Where are they Wednesday: Ben Barclay | College of Arts

Where are they Wednesday: Ben Barclay

Ben Barclay

Team Lead: Escalations and Mentorship in Communications and Consumer Service at Danby

Bachelor of Arts, English and Media & Cinema Studies (2019)


Today's Where Are They Wednesday feature is a spotlight on a recent alumnus and a Guelph Arts Apprenticeship Program (GAAP) success story - Ben Barclay! 

Ben graduated from the UofG with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in English and minor in Media & Cinema Studies. Before graduating, Ben applied to our Guelph Arts Apprenticeship Program (GAAP) and received an apprenticeship with Danby. In our recent catch-up with Ben, he informed us that he was hired permanently and recently promoted within Danby to Team Lead: Escalations and Mentorship in Communications and Consumer Service! Congratulations on your achievements, Ben! We're so happy GAAP was such a success for you.

Here's more of Ben's story in his own words: 

"I wouldn't be in such a great position at Danby, let alone at Danby at all, if it weren't for the GAAP. Where the program did give me the opportunity to apply to specific postings tailored to our skills out of our programs by the end, more importantly, Nicola and company taught me everything I need to know regarding how to go about constructing my resume, cover letters, and interviewing. Without these valuable skills that I will now have with me for the rest of my working life, I wouldn't have been ready to apply for and obtain such a position that I am in now without the program. Say I had found the Danby posting on my own, I highly doubt I would have been as ready or prepared to apply in the best way possible. Since I have then started at Danby, I have continued to try to learn and grow with the same perseverance, positive attitude, initiative, and willingness to learn and adapt that I had while amid the program. I credit my ability to keep up this mindset throughout my journey thus far as a large reason why I have seen such great results at Danby, and even received a promotion so early in my career. What I thought was going to be a 1-year placement has quickly turned into an unbelievable opportunity to develop and learn within a great company for the foreseeable future at Danby. I truly could have never envisioned myself where I am at now at this point a year ago.

As for how I was feeling heading into the 4th year of my degree, and more so the final semester after Christmas of last year, the nerves were there heading into the unknown after graduating. Entering the working world and job hunting for positions that aren't just for a summer, but for a full-time career can be and was intimidating for me at first; especially considering all the talk and stereotypes about arts degrees. The GAAP helped take much of that worry away and replaced much of those feelings with feelings of excitement for the opportunity to find meaningful and effective employment in my field. As soon as I began working with Nicola, I could tell that the program had a clear goal to help us grow and learn in job searching and helping us get started on our career paths. I mean that with all my heart too. The people in the program really do care and want us to succeed and find our paths in this ever so challenging working world, which is even more prominent with COVID-19."

What are your future career goals?

"To be perfectly honest, I have no idea where I see myself, nor where I want to be in 5 years. I do know I just want to be in a place where I can continue to grow, move up, and get better personally and with whatever team I am working with. It may be with Danby, or with someone else, though I do not see myself leaving Danby any time soon! Not sure how it will play out but I'm excited to have everything continue to fall into place."