The Hub Barbara Reis: My journey beyond virtual walls

Transforming Lives: Moving Beyond is a testimonial series written by AU students and alumni who want to acknowledge how AU has helped shape their lives.

It’s a space for those who want to thank the people who have helped to support and transform their AU experience to achieve their greatest successes; all while looking forward to their future educational and personal potential.

Their story is worth shouting from the rooftops! Have an inspiring story of your own to share? Email us! We’d love to hear it.

Walking around these virtual walls is something fantastic.

I’ve been around Athabasca University’s virtual corners for a while. These virtual walls opened up colossal opportunities for me.

In 2017, when I was accepted into the Master of Education in Distance Education program, I was working for the Alberta Motor Association as a Total Rewards Advisor. In 2018 I had the opportunity to work for the Ministry of Advanced Education in Alberta as a Compensation Analyst. I loved that ministry, and the job there was as challenging as it could be.

I thought I was at the top of the world. Little did I know that shortly after, my life would turn into something unexpected.

New beginnings

In April of 2019, I got a call from Maryland; a former co-worker called me to check if I wanted to work for Johns Hopkins Health System. At first, I thought, “No way, Jose! I’m working for the government now; I will retire here.” But then I thought, “Wow, Hopkins … I think I will give it a shot.”

I decided to submit my application through the referral and a few weeks after that, they called. A talent acquisition representative wanted to set up an interview between the director and me. Everything else is history.

Working at Hopkins is one the best things that ever happened to my career. You have to experience Hopkins to know what I’m talking about. I’m floored with all the sophistication this place devises. I love every minute spent here and I have no regrets. My family is still in Alberta; I can’t wait to bring my daughter here and show her what a winter without snow on the ground is all about.

I have to say, I miss Canada and love it when I have to come back. I miss Tim Hortons! I currently work three weeks from Maryland and one week from Alberta. Soon it will be only here. I plan on applying for the Doctor of Education in Distance Education program at AU, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will be accepted into the program.

I’m proud to say that I am a female in leadership, and I support all females that decide to explore the leadership career stream.

AU pride!

I am tremendously proud to call AU my home university. I carry AU in my heart! It was AU that brought me the critical mind that I need to perform my job. I still remember the quantitative courses I took and how applicable they are to what I do at Johns Hopkins University.

Lastly, I want to say that this all started with a dream of what I wanted to do. I dreamed, then it happened. If you can dream, you can do it. Dream big, and make sure that AU will be right in the centre of it.

Barbara has 20 years of experience in Human Resources with focus on HR analytics and Strategic Human Capital. She is an avid volunteer and is currently part of the NODA (‘No One Dies Alone’) program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Barbara is crazy about her family, and her daughter rocks her world. Barbara is passionate about the academic life and treasures every minute spent amongst books and the academia environment. Barbara is a huge ambassador of AU and speaks highly of Athabasca University everywhere she goes. Barbara’s favorite line is: “I have a dream” by Martin Luther King – MLK.

  • July 15, 2020
Guest Blog from:
Barbara Reis