News and Stories

Max Sinnis

Giving Back

Max Sinnis (Class of 2012)

From a young age, Max Sinnis had two goals for his career – owning his own business and helping others. Today, Max is doing both.   

Max came to the NSCC Pictou Campus as an adult-learner, hungry for the skills and experience to become an entrepreneur. Early into his Business Administration program he felt validated in his decision to attend NSCC.

"I knew exactly right then and there that this is what I want to do with my life. The College provides phenomenal hands-on learning, and although the workload was heavy, it was rewarding to know that our projects were helping real businesses in the community", says Max.

Now the owner and founder of Digihub Marketing in Pictou, Max is making his goals a reality and he believes he has a lot to be grateful for. "I had someone help me through college and I know first-hand that every little bit helps".

That notion of paying it forward is extremely important to Max.  In addition to his role as a coach and sponsor of youth sports in his community, Max was now in a position where he felt he could do more. In the spring of 2016, Max decided he wanted to give back to the school that had given him so much.

Through the NSCC Foundation, Max has established an award eligible to students entering NSCC's Business Administration - Marketing concentration at Pictou Campus with a passion for business and marketing, and in need of financial assistance to achieve their goals.

"By supporting NSCC students in this program, I am supporting my industry at the same time. I wanted to provide students with the same opportunities I had been given and reward them for working hard towards their goals," says Max.

The Digihub Marketing Mastery Award is now available to students.

Jamie Gerrard

Paying it Forward

Jamie Gerrard (Class of '99, '00, '03)

Passion, dedication and hard work – all traits NSCC alumnus Jamie Gerrard attributes to his successful career right here in Nova Scotia. Jamie started his journey with the College in 1997 in the Library Information Technology program and from there, continued on to study Business Information Technology and Web Programming. "I wanted to explore a variety of opportunities and interests and NSCC had programs that tailored to each of them," says Jamie.

After finishing the Library and Information Technology program, Jamie was equipped with the skills and know-how to launch his part-time job with Halifax Libraries into a career. As he honed his technical skills, he discovered a passion for the more personal aspects of the business world. Through guidance from a mentor, Jamie learned about human resources and professional coaching – a combined skillset that continues to shape his strengths as a leader.

Leveraging his education and work experience, Jamie transitioned into the startup space in 2005 and quickly climbed the ladder with digital marketing agency, Verb Interactive. It was there that Jamie was able to help transform a small staff of four, into an award-winning team of over 60 professionals. Jamie's client-base included organizations like NBA team Orlando Magic and MasterCard.

Now as Director of Product and Marketing at aioTV, Jamie is applying his strengths and expertise to propel this company to the next level. "The startup space gives you an opportunity to be hands-on in a lot of different areas, which is one of the most appealing things to me," says Jamie.

Despite the demanding work schedule involved with a start-up, Jamie strives to live a balanced life, and giving back is part of that. Over the past decade, Jamie has been working closely with NSCC faculty to provide mentorship to students in the IT field. "I've spent my career making sure that those that want to be better, have the tools to do so through coaching, leadership, and mentorship."

Jamie is an active member of the NSCC alumni community, volunteering his time and advice. This past spring Jamie volunteered at the IT Campus' IT Career Fair, where he provided students with first-hand perspective on that transition into the "real world", as well as the benefits of staying connected with NSCC after graduation.

In addition to being an NSCC advocate and mentor, Jamie is also a long-time employer of NSCC graduates, helping them stay and work in Nova Scotia. "I hire NSCC grads because I know what they bring to the table," says Jamie.

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