Max Friesen knew from an early age that he wanted to help others. The hands-on approach of Capilano’s Applied Behaviour Analysis-Autism program was a natural fit; now, working as a behaviour interventionist for students who have autism, Max has turned his aspiration into reality.
“The program gives direction to the compassion and empathy that I think all of us intrinsically have,” he says.
The program’s 500-hour intensive practicum not only provided training, but gave Max an opportunity to have an immediate impact on the community.
“You feel like you make a difference in the quality of life in a family, every day that you work,” Max says.
Supporting families in homes, schools and organizations, Max is driven by the tangible and measurable improvements he sees in his students.
“You aren’t there to sell hope,” he says. “You’re there to give results. And that really fires me up.”
“AUTISM IS A LIFELONG CONDITION AND IT IS LIFELONG WORK. BUT THERE IS SO MUCH PROGRESS TO BE MADE WITH EVERY STUDENT.”
BACHELOR OF ARTS
APPLIED BEHAVIOUR ANALYSIS (AUTISM) DEGREE, 2014
Thinking of an Arts or Science degree?
Choose from hundreds of courses in the disciplines below. Courses can be applied to diploma and degree programs at Capilano U, and are fully transferable to post-secondary institutions in B.C. and beyond.
HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES Anthropology, Applied Behaviour Analysis (Autism), Art History, Chinese (Mandarin), Creative Writing, Criminology, Economics, English, French, History, Geography, Japanese, Liberal Studies, Lil’wat Nation Language and Culture, Linguistics, Philosophy, Political Studies, Psychology, Sechelt Nation Language and Culture, Sociology, Spanish, Squamish Nation Language and Culture, Women’s and Gender Studies
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING & MATHEMATICS (STEM) Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computing and Data Science, Engineering, Mathematics & Statistics, Physics
Complete your credential at Capilano U
- Bachelor of Arts, major in Liberal Studies
- Bachelor of Arts – Applied Behaviour Analysis (Autism)
- Associate of Arts Degree – Creative Writing
- Associate of Arts Degree – English
- Associate of Arts Degree – Psychology
- Associate of Science Degree – Biology
- or apply credits to credentials outside of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Music has been a constant presence in Natasha D’Agostino’s life. Growing up, she put on shows at family get-togethers, joined choral ensembles and performed in musicals. But Natasha didn’t realize she wanted to pursue a life in music until she listened to an Ella Fitzgerald record.
“I got this rush of — yes, this music makes sense to me,” Natasha says. “This is something I want to get to know.”
Natasha has since blossomed as a vocal artist and will never forget her experiences in Capilano University’s Jazz Studies program, like performing with two of her favourite professional jazz musicians Ambrose Akinmusire and Norma Winstone.
“Cap has inspired me to stay true to myself as an artist and to continue digging deeper into what that means,” Natasha says.
Energized by the passion of the faculty and her classmates, Natasha hopes to pursue a master’s program in performance in the future. In the meantime, she is working on her recording debut.
“I WANT TO KEEP PUSHING BEYOND WHAT I KNOW AND HAVE ACHIEVED AND TO KEEP EXPLORING THE LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES IN MUSIC.”
BACHELOR OF MUSIC
JAZZ STUDIES DEGREE, 2017
Megan Sadler was overcome with fear during her first trip abroad.
“I went to the hotel concierge and freaked out,” she says. The concierge calmed her down, showed her places to go on a map, and told her to return the next day to tell him how much she was loving her experience.
Megan’s trip was changed thanks to his kindness and she wanted to do the same for others. She earned her Bachelor of Tourism Management degree at Capilano University, taking advantage of opportunities such as a co-op work term, studying abroad in the UK and participating in CBT Vietnam, a community-based tourism training initiative in Northern Vietnam.
Now as a trade marketing coordinator for Rocky Mountaineer, Megan engages partners around the world to promote the company’s luxury rail journeys.
“The life changing experiences we create for our guests are inspiring,” Megan says. “Enough for anybody to be excited about coming to work.”
“OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM LEARNING, THE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES WERE SO IMPORTANT. I FELT READY TO JOIN THE WORKFORCE BECAUSE I KNEW SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE FIELD ALREADY.”
BACHELOR OF TOURISM MANAGEMENT DEGREE, 2016
Ever since taking Law 12 in high school, Nabila Lalani had a fascination with the legal profession. Pondering the next steps in her career as she earned her undergraduate degree in criminology, she discovered Capilano’s Paralegal program.
“I really enjoyed the intellectual challenge,” Nabila says. “That together with the exceptional faculty members were what allowed me to flourish.”
Now, as a paralegal in Digby Leigh & Company’s real estate department, Nabila plays an integral role in day to day operations — working closely with the lawyers, drafting and reviewing documents, and communicating with clients and outside counsel.
Being able to help clients through an exciting time in their lives — like purchasing their first home — makes all the hard work worth it.
“The most rewarding part is seeing their reactions at the end of a deal,” she says. “We aren’t in this field to be rewarded but when your clients appreciate the work you do, it makes it that much more worthwhile.”
“LOOKING BACK, WHAT PREPARED ME WELL WAS HOW TRANSFERABLE THE INFORMATION WAS. IT MADE FOR SUCH A SMOOTH TRANSITION FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE WORKPLACE.”
PARALEGAL DIPLOMA, 2017
Matthew Porter was working in a longterm care facility when he saw firsthand the impact rehabilitation assistants had on residents.
“They were always looking forward to the sessions,” he says. “And you could see that with work, even an older adult could get stronger.”
Inspired, he enrolled in Capilano’s Rehabilitation Assistant program, earning invaluable experience during work placements in acute care, rehabilitation and community mental health settings.
After five years as a rehabilitation assistant for Vancouver Coastal Health, he now works as a seating and mobility consultant. He says his Capilano University education and experience were instrumental in landing the job.
Working with occupational therapists, Matthew consults with clients to set them up with properly-fitted equipment — wheelchairs, lifts and mattresses, for example — to remove barriers for leading a more functional and independent life.
“The client’s reaction when they finally get that piece of equipment where they can get out and engage with their community is priceless,” Matthew says. “And that’s why we do this.”
“THE THREE WORK PLACEMENTS WERE INVALUABLE. IN CLASS, WE GO OVER CERTAIN SKILLS BUT WHEN YOU APPLY THEM IN A REAL-WORLD SITUATION, IT FINALLY CLICKS. YOU GET THAT AHA MOMENT.”
REHABILITATION ASSISTANT DIPLOMA, 2012