Lakehead Orillia graduate credits his degree on college pathway program 

Two fishermen fishing in a creek

Lakehead Orillia graduate credits his degree on college pathway program 

Cody Avery is on the hunt. 

Cody (HBASc’18) grew up in Tottenham, a small town approximately one hour southwest of Orillia. 

He was part of Lakehead Orillia’s graduating class on Saturday, June 9, 2018. He majored in Criminology with a minor in Environmental Sustainability. Before that, he studied Police Foundations at Georgian College. 

“I had no intentions of going to college, let alone university. I wouldn’t have gone to university if it wasn’t for the transfer program that they have arranged there,” he said. 

Since he graduated from Georgian with an average of 70 per cent or higher, Cody started in his second year of the four-year Criminology program at Lakehead University Orillia, thanks to the pathway program.

“What was especially helpful was the location. I was already living in Orillia, so all I had to do was change schools. The transfer program was a huge part of why I went to university,” he said. 

When Cody started at Lakehead Orillia he wanted to become a police officer after graduation, but within a few months he became friends with students in Lakehead’s Environmental Sustainability program and that’s when he declared his minor. 

Now that he has graduated, Cody’s hunt for a career has begun. 

“My focus has shifted to environmental law enforcement. I would like to work in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – it could be hunting and fishing compliance. There’s a variety of options in the field,” he said. 

For anyone considering attending Lakehead, he recommended getting involved on campus.

“I worked for the student union and met people around campus. That made my experience at Lakehead a lot more enjoyable. The more involved you are the more you get out of it,” he said. 

“One goes to university for your studies, but hands down the second most important thing is getting involved. I also worked with the research centre.” 

And he played intramural sports at Lakehead, such as volleyball, soccer, and tag football. 

He said his biggest challenge was balancing work and school. 

“Making connections on campus, that kind of support helped me to keep pushing and stay motivated. The people you meet, the friends you have, help you push through the hard times.”

Cody is confident his Lakehead University education will help him land a job that will kick-start his career. 

“For me coming from a small town in Simcoe County, being able to go to a smaller university was important. Not to say a big university is bad, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere of Lakehead Orillia.” 

That atmosphere includes professors who know your name. 

“Even as simple as seeing professors out in the community and at school and they know you by your first name. You hear stories about people who go to schools with 30,000 or 40,000 students and you are just a number in the audience. Lakehead is not like other schools,” he said.