The latest from the New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training

NB-IRDT gets experiential learning program off the ground and at a distance

Author: NB-IRDT

Posted on Jun 10, 2020

Category: Pathways to Professions , Education

NB-IRDT's experiential learning program, Pathways to Professions, has proceeded full speed ahead, despite the challenges of operating during a global pandemic. The program was developed-- and then adapted to be delivered remotely-- by staff at the New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training (NB-IRDT) in partnership with the Atlantic Institute for Policy Research (AIPR), FutureReadyNB, Planet Hatch, and the Director of Experiential Education at UNB.

Students are working remotely from Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John, and even Chilliwack, BC. This year, Pathways to Professions is employing 6 UNB undergraduate students:

  • Jessica Mann, BBA, Honours Marketing, Minor in Media Arts and Culture, Class of 2020
  • Noubahar Hasnain, BBA, Honours Finance, Minor in Economics, Class of 2021
  • Madeleine Gorman-Asal, BSc, Mathematics/Statistics-Biology, Class of 2021
  • Nihla Hussain, BSc, Biology-Chemistry, Class of 2022
  • Thomas Camp, BSc, Software Engineering, Minor in Electrical Engineering, Class of 2023
  • Aya Benotmane, BSc, Chemical Engineering, Class of 2020

Madeleine and Nihla are working with Dr. Ted McDonald (Director, NB-IRDT) as data analysts on a Population Dynamics project. Their goal this summer is to analyze and present data on the population growth, mobility, and demographics of New Brunswick, which can then be compared to other provinces.

Thomas and Aya are also working as data analysts with Dr. Herb Emery (Director, AIPR) on the “BoostNB” project. They will be building on work done by students in previous years to provide straight-forward information about the New Brunswick economy, along with analysis showing whether NB is moving toward (or away from) recommended economic goals. Last years’ results can be viewed at

Jessica is leading the team in the role of Project Manager, and Noubahar is overseeing knowledge translation as the Communications Coordinator.

Program participants are working as part of a professional research team alongside researchers at UNB. Some of the questions being answered this year include:

  • How do retention rates of immigrants vary by Immigrant Admission Category and Pre-Admission experience?
  • How are youth in New Brunswick faring in the labor market?
  • How have the numbers of post-secondary enrollments in various fields changed over time?
  • What are the trends in outmigration of working-age New Brunswickers?

In addition to the research, students have the opportunity to participate in a number of weekly workshops led by subject matter experts. Some of the sessions that have taken place so far include seminars and tutorials on administrative data, data privacy, project management, accessing and using open source data, and basic economic measures – with more to come.

The 2020 Pathways to Professions team will be releasing their findings in August.

Find out more about our training programs at



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