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St. Thomas University Student Strengthens Connection to New Brunswick Through Experiential Learning Opportunity

Jason O'Hearn

Jason O’Hearn was told when growing up that New Brunswick was a have-not province. However, he never saw it that way. After spending the past five months working as a Future GNB student for the government, his positive view that he always held of his home province was confirmed.

A Communication & Public Policy student at St. Thomas University, Jason was provided the opportunity through Future NB’s experiential learning initiative to work in the government’s Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour. Being able to learn more about what his home province has to offer has been very meaningful, and Jason hopes investment in experiential learning continues.

“The biggest takeaway from my placement was the opportunity to grow a stronger connection to my home province,” says O’Hearn. “Growing up, I was told New Brunswick will always be a have-not province. My placement demonstrated that is not true. Our province is one where prosperity thrives, and the future is bright as long as we continue to invest in meaningful experiential learning opportunities.”

The Future NB initiative fosters collaborative relationships between the business community and students across New Brunswick. Through experiential learning, students gain real world experience while contributing to the development of their community.

Joining Future NB and their partners on their efforts is RBC, who have made investing in experiential learning a key component of their RBC Future Launch initiative. RBC Future Launch is a $500 million commitment to bringing young people together with community leaders and partners across the private and public sectors to help youth prepare for the future of work.

The opportunity for Jason to apply skills learned in the classroom into a real-world setting has been very valuable, and has helped him understand more about the workings of the Government, where he hopes to have a career one day.

“An exciting aspect of my placement was seeing clear connections between the work I was doing day-to-day, and what I have already learned in the classroom thus far at St. Thomas University,” says O’Hearn.

What is next for Jason? This experience has re-assured his goal of pursuing a career in Government after he completes his degree.

“After my time at St. Thomas University, I plan to pursue a career as a civil servant with the Government of New Brunswick,” says O’Hearn. “As I look towards the future and plan to pursue a career with GNB, the skills, relationships, and overall experience I gained from my Future GNB placement and the positive impact it played in my post-secondary education are some things I will cherish forever.”

For more information on St. Thomas’s experiential learning opportunities, you can visit

For more information on experiential learning opportunities in New Brunswick, interested employers and students can check out more success stories during RBC Future NB Week from January 24-28, 2022 at