Elyse O'Brien wears a camouflage uniform and stands in front of a Canadian flag.

Meet Elyse and learn about her professional journey and experience in the online graduate program!

I began the GDE program in September 2021. As a Queen's alumna, it was an easy decision to pursue graduate studies at Queen's. I was happy with the options presented with this program, both in specializations and the degrees offered. It allowed me to start with a few courses through the Graduate Diploma and then decide if I want to pursue the PME program, which I do! I am in the Assessment and Evaluation specialization, and already I have found the knowledge I have gained to be helpful in my workplace.

I am an Air Battle Manager in the Canadian Armed Forces. I am currently posted to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska with the North American Aerospace Defense Command. I control fighter jets and tankers to execute the mission in defending North America as well as daily training missions. While not in a traditional teaching environment, I am an instructor for new Air Weapons Officers and Weapons Directors. It's unique in that I have the opportunity to work with and instruct both Americans and Canadians.

My advice for new students: This program provides such a great opportunity to learn from other professionals with different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Even if we work in different sectors, we often face similar difficulties and so it is interesting to hear how others have approached these situations. I have found that the more you engage with other students, the more value you will gain from these courses.

Professionally I can be in a variety of situations either with the military or on the civilian side. With the military, it is hard to know what your job will be and what city (or even country) you will be in within a couple years' time. I hope this program provides me with the foundation to be successful regardless of where I end up!


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