The Hub Convocation 2020: Carmen Olsen, BA
#AthaU20 Grads

Convocation 2020: Carmen Olsen, BA

By: Carmen Olsen

To celebrate #AthaU20 Convocation, we are profiling some of AU’s grads. The team at AU is so proud of everything they have accomplished and we are excited to celebrate each one of our graduates leading up to convocation and beyond!

Read on to learn more about Carmen Olsen’s story and her AU journey through the Bachelor of Arts program.

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Why did you choose AU?

I had to work full time and I wanted to be able to travel.

Carmen Olsen

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Tell us about the people who have supported you throughout your journey at AU?

Staff and teachers at AU who were always helpful and truly interested in my learning.

Carmen Olsen

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What is your favorite memory from your time at AU?

My favorite memory involves having an exam invigilated while I was working overseas about 18 years ago now.

I was working in Thailand for five years as an ESL tutor (helping the computer teacher put his materials into English), and I had to go to Rajaphat University in Surat Thani to have one of my AU exams invigilated. They sat me in the middle of a gym all by myself with the invigilator at the far wall and student spectators, who wanted to watch me through the glass because they didn’t get many foreigners there then. Half way through my exam, a student quietly walks up to me carrying a silver tray with a pink orchid flower, a cup of tea and little Thai desserts because they thought I might be hungry. I felt like the Queen. ๐Ÿ™‚

Carmen Olsen

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How will completing your degree at AU transform your life?

It will give me more options when changing jobs. But, I started my journey simply to learn not with any job goal in mind.

Carmen Olsen

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Tell us about a time that the flexibility of AU helped you overcome a challenge.

When the pandemic hit I was about two weeks away from writing my two final exams for my entire degree. It was very stressful thinking everything might be on hold for a very long time, but I was very impressed with how quickly AU staff jumped into action to help me reschedule into the ProctorU exam system; I was able to finish only a month later than planned.

Carmen Olsen

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My personal journey landed me here, at AU, but it certainly doesn’t stop now. My future is …

My passion for learning is now transferred into learning the violin to the best level I can! I’ve just written a short story and entered it into a competition (my first ever!)….and I’ve started my first novel.

Carmen Olsen

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Is there anything else you would like to share?

I started my journey 20 years ago when I took my first course. I’ve always worked full-time, I’ve changed jobs, moved countries, changed majors, divorced, remarried, seen loved ones die, developed new friendships all while studying with AU. Some courses I was very good in, others not so good and I struggled. But, AU gave me that ability to study and grow, and I can’t sing their praises enough.

Carmen Olsen

Carmen Olsen lives in Toronto with her husband Eric, who is an opera singer with the Canadian Opera Company. ย Carmen has just completed her Bachelor of Arts in English, part-time over many, many years while working full-time. ย She has now taken up the violin as her real passion, as her passion for learning has never dwindled.

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Published:
  • September 27, 2020
Guest Blog from:
Carmen Olsen