A family affair: Mother and daughter take classes at NAIT together

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Arts & Life

It may seem rare for most people to attend college with their parents, but for mother and daughter Christina and Grace Egilsson, it’s pretty normal.  

Both Christina and Grace had been taking classes elsewhere, with Christina online at Athabasca University and Grace at the University of Alberta. Grace advised Christina that NAIT offered business courses after she had decided to transfer herself. 

“I was at U of A and decided to switch it up … I came across NAIT, and it seemed like a good program from everything I’ve heard.” Grace applied for NAIT’s Business Administration program, with a focus in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She then told her mom about it, who also applied. “And then we just ended up in the same program together,” they said.  

Although the two chose to study differently, with Christina doing mostly online courses and Grace mostly hybrid, the main objective is to expand the family business through added knowledge. “My husband and I have our own business, and we’re currently in expansion mode, and Grace is joining us in that. So, the entrepreneurship thing is really big,” said Christina. Mr. Egilsson also spent time at NAIT in the Heavy Equipment Technician course. “The plan is that when we’re done, we have the business side of things, and he’s taking care of the technical side of it,” added Christina.

The two said their experience has been positive and that they frequently exchange experiences about their different instructors. “It’s been kind of  neat because we can bounce things off each other,” said Christina. They were in the same math class last semester, Grace agreed that it was nice to have someone to talk to about classes. “Just being able to go to each other if we’re not understanding something for assignments … and have that extra help right there if you need it, it’s been really nice,” said Grace. 

They’ve also appreciated some of the benefits of attending NAIT instead of their other schools. “I’m really enjoying it. The smaller classes, I think the instructors are a lot more involved, and you get more real practice with stuff,” said Grace. Christina agreed, saying, “What I really love about NAIT is how practical and hands-on a lot of the classes are and what you’re learning. You’re not just learning theory.”

Christina has two other daughters currently in post-secondary, so she confessed the most significant challenge: “It gets stressful during exam time.” 

Although Christina started her post-secondary journey later in life, she encouraged others who might be considering going back to school to go for it. She said she did things opposite: “I had a family, built a career and now I’m doing the education piece to back all of that up.” 

“As someone who is older, it can be really intimidating to go back to school, because school tends to be something that’s for younger people. So, if it’s something somebody’s thinking of doing, whether it’s getting a different degree or diploma to enhance what they’re already doing. Just do it.” 

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