Deb Kinvig

I see life as an adventure. I came to Canada in 2002 for a one-year contract as a Registered Nurse on the Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency Unit at BC Children’s Hospital and 13 years later I’m still here in Vancouver.

Royal Roads is very welcoming; the staff members are just fabulous. What was important to me was that the degree was experiential. I would call it a peak learning experience.

At first I thought, here I am in Canada, a girl from a little town in New Zealand, getting her master’s degree. But you can’t let any negativity seep in. You just have to be positive and work hard and anyone who does that will be successful.

As a middle manager, I have benefited from my Royal Roads degree because of the valuable learning about systems thinking in organizations. My thesis was on health care, dealing with the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship.

I learned just as much from people I did the program with as from the instructors. We called it “lounge learning.” A lot of our learning was done on a Friday night after class where we would discuss what was learned during the day over a glass of wine. The discussions of real life scenarios were quite outstanding.

Leadership is about who you are and if you’re not a reflective person you can’t be open to leading others.

Royal Roads is a very special place. I stayed in the dorm for the residency. You have to work pretty hard, but sometimes bumping up against each other is where the learning happens.

Doing the degree has given me a lot more confidence and a great deal of personal satisfaction. When you come out of Royal Roads having completed a master’s degree, you think you can take on the world. That’s one of the good things about it. It is well respected and can open doors. Fundamentally, I like the values piece. You don’t often go to a master’s program and talk about values. Particularly in a leadership course elsewhere, you could learn some dry stuff, but instead what I do like is that Royal Roads works very hard to make the learning very applicable to a real-world situation.

Deb Kinvig
Deb Kinvig graduated from Royal Roads University with a Master of Arts in Leadership in 2010 and earned a certificate in executive coaching in 2011. A former nurse and police officer, she works as a collaborative practice leader for the Provincial Health Services Authority in Vancouver.

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