Nancy Diamond (BA ’96) was a single-mother of two young children who pursued a business and psychology degree from Brock part time for 15 years while working full time. Her children are now grown-up with children of their own, and she is a proud grandmother of three.
Diamond works from Kelly Services as manager for Niagara and Hamilton and volunteers on the board of directors for two professional organizations.
Diamond is an inspiration for those considering attending university part time. “I encourage anyone who may not be able to return to school full time to look at your options,” said Diamond. “Brock worked with me to help me achieve my goals. What they say is true: ‘if you have the will….there is a way’.”
Diamond’s life goal is to help make a positive difference in the lives of others and her community.
What attracted you to Brock University?
I live in Niagara, so attending Brock was convenient. Brock had, and still has, a reputation of excellence. They offered evening courses and back in the early 80s as a working single mother of two little kids, it made sense.
What activities were you involved with at Brock that were outside of the classroom?
Since I was not a full-time student, I mainly associated with other part-time students. The library was an excellent resource and opportunity to connect. My son attended the summer camps and I enrolled my daughter in one of the Child Studies research projects on how preschoolers interact.
How has Brock changed your life?
Attending Brock showed me how important lifelong learning is. Educational institutions are like a world unto themselves; however, Brock has integrated itself into the community. It hosts summer programs for kids, involves itself in local business initiatives and programs, produces research that benefits the local community and beyond, provides cultural opportunities through the Brock Centre for the Arts, and of course, it continues to be a major, premier employer in the region.
What has been your career/life path since graduating from Brock?
My employer, Kelly Services, has an excellent educational support program which encouraged and funded the majority of my schooling at Brock. They invested in me. I was promoted to branch manager around the same time I graduated. I then became the manager for the Niagara and Hamilton regions. I have also been on the board of directors for the Human Resources Professionals Association of Niagara for the past six years and the board of directors of the St. Catharines-Thorold Chamber of Commerce for four years. I am currently chair for this 1,200-member, well-respected business organization — the second female president/chair in 143 years.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
I can see the positive effects of what we do in companies and in people’s lives. We help to connect great people with great companies. Being involved with the HRPAN and the chamber of commerce also gives me the satisfaction that comes from volunteer work and making a difference in the community.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
The recognition of the Kelly brand in Niagara. I have been with the company for 23 years and we have local customers who have remained with us for more than 25 years. This is a testament to our great people, great customer service and ethical, successful policies and procedures. Kelly has been in business for 65 years. Now that’s bench strength!
What is your “other side of the brain”?
I love to garden. I love to assist nature to create beautiful peaceful places. Plus, it’s probably a control thing, but I love to protect my flowers from weeds and watch them grow and flourish.
What advice do you have for new graduates?
Believe in yourself. Imagine the life you want and move in that direction. As Mike Dooley wrote: “Choose carefully: Thoughts become things!” I am a firm believer in the law of attraction: it’s worked for me. I would tell new graduates, “If you love your life…it will love you back!” And finally, be engaged, be involved: you can learn a lot from volunteering. Give back: you always get more than you give.