Winter 2021

Meet The Recruiters: Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre

Heather McNorgan (L), Suzanne Paquin Photo courtesy of: Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre

We believe that the best way to build our business is to allow our readers to become familiar with our clients; those who hold our readers in the highest regard and value the influence they have when guiding students in education leading to a career they are best suited to. 

To facilitate those who are considering a career in aviation, we’d like to introduce you to Suzanne Paquin and Heather McNorgan, two of the recruiters at Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre. We sat down with Suzanne and Heather and asked them to share a little about themselves
so that you have the chance to get to know them as well as we have. 

About Suzanne

Suzanne, originally from the west coast admits that the adjustment in relocating was overwhelming! “Did you even know how crazy the 401 Highway is? After almost 11 years in Ontario, maybe next year will be the year I figure out which way is North,” adding “but there’s no mountains to reference.” A mother of two beautiful children, Suzanne is married to a West Jet pilot. The upside is that she now has a great understanding of all the things he’s been talking about for so many years.

“I do my best to live in the moment and appreciate the little things like a sunny fall day or a deer walking through my yard. My friends are like family, and I cherish all of them so dearly. I am an introvert in an extrovert’s body and depending on the situation I am just as comfortable being a wallflower as I am the life of the party.” With age comes change and what Suzanne notices most about herself now is that she’s drawn to leopard print clothing and finds herself saying things like, “Can you believe what she is wearing?!” Her primary goal in life is to be a good person each day … except when she’s stuck in traffic or finds herself running late. 

About Heather

Heather – a self-admitted busy-bee as a working mother of two school-aged kids, finds she can be very chatty and engaging but does enjoy taking advantage of time alone to work on projects both at work and at home. “I am a self-described introvert/extrovert hybrid. I find social settings perk me up better than coffee ever does – but I do need to carve out alone time every day to get the peace and quiet the introvert in me requires to avoid feeling overwhelmed and anxious.”

Finding people and human behaviour fascinating, Heather works actively to always improve the understanding of, and interactions with people. “Being able to relate to people is important to me and has been one of the reasons I’ve been successful in working with people and managing programs.”

Passion & Hobbies

For Suzanne, comedy and performing are at the forefront. Back in Vancouver and here in Ontario, she has performed improv and stand-up comedy for over 20 years. “There’s no better feeling than getting 10 – 600 people to laugh! I love it and have been missing it so much for the past two years.”

Having recently gotten back into reading, Suzanne loves finding a new book and losing herself in the story and the characters. “One book I read actually made me cry – something I had never experienced before. I like a strong female lead or story and recently have read a few mesmerizing books about female spies and decoders from the second world war.”

“Life in general” tops Heather’s passions. “I am happiest when I am surrounded by people who are encouraging and supportive and fun, and who understand that a good sense of humour and some good music will save us all!”

Heather as well enjoys reading, and writing. And sports – curling and personal training are areas in which any free time she has is spent doing. 

The Role

“I came into this role quite by accident,” shares Suzanne. “I was originally hired for marketing and then was encouraged to apply for the role of Client Experience Manager, overseeing the student experience and their journey through the program.” That role, she explains enabled her to use her past life and work experiences to help work toward creating an outstanding student experience at WWFC. “I love my hardworking and dynamic team!”

Heather finds herself drawn to positions where she can blend being supportive and being a leader/mentor. “This specific position appealed to me because it allows me to support senior management in taking WWFC in the direction it aims to go in. And I’m able to work with students as more of a leader/resource for guidance capacity being someone they can turn to for assistance.”

The Best Part of the Job

“The idea of being a part of a student’s journey – completing their program and reaching their goals by getting to know them, understanding what motivates them and using that knowledge to help set them up for success – that was the first thing that drew me in,” Heather explains. The rapport she continues to build with colleagues is a bonus for her. “As someone with plenty of job experience, working with reasonable and friendly/supportive staff isn’t a given.” She’s grateful to have found it, however, at WWFC.

For Suzanne the response is two-fold. “On the marketing side, I love the creative aspect, and on the client experience side, I love solving problems and coming up with new ways to approach how things are done. It also gives me a chance to keep learning which is so rewarding and wonderful.” The challenge for her she admits, is when she encounters a situation with a student in need and she’s just not able to help.

The Other Side of Covid

When asked about how Covid has affected them, the responses from both seem very similar to those of what we find most people have realized living amid a pandemic. 

“Life can change dramatically in a moment,” exclaims Heather. “That the things you might have perceived to be trivial are more meaningful then we may have ever imagined,” she continues. And adds, “something as simple as the ability to connect directly with people whenever you want. And to realize that it is okay to admit when you’re struggling and need help – and understanding that someone is always ready and willing to help; and that there is zero shame in asking for it.”

Suzanne has a new appreciation in simply seeing people’s faces. “So much human connection is through expression and seeing both smiles and frowns. There’s no more hiding.” 

We would like to thank Suzanne and Heather for being so candid and sharing who they are with us and our readers. Please reach out to them for information or direction if you have a student considering a career in aviation – it’s obvious these two ladies are more than willing to offer advice.