News Release Archive

Demetrios Kostadopoulos's summer job has gone to the dogs, cats
and the occasional hamster or rabbit. The biology/pre-vet student
at Saint Mary's University is working as an animal shelter
assistant and enjoying every minute of it. 

Mr. Kostadopoulos, 19, got his ideal job by tapping into the
Student Loan Employment Program, a Nova Scotia Economic
Development and Tourism initiative. This program is available for
undergraduate students who receive a student loan in the current
academic year and who plan on returning to school full-time. 

Under the program, students apply for funding by mid-February
and, once approve, must find an employer who will provide job
experience related to their field of study. The unique element to
the program is that at least 60 per cent of the students' pay is
held back and applied directly toward their tuition in the fall. 

For Mr. Kostadopoulos, the program has given him the opportunity
to work with the Cape Breton branch of the SPCA in Whitney Pier,
where he receives the basic training he needs at this point in
his studies. "In pre-vet it's hard to get experience," he said.
"This is giving me the experience I need."

He said the SPCA deals more with the kinds of animals he would be
treating as a veterinarian. Eventually, Mr. Kostadopoulos hopes
to go into zoology and deal with larger animals. He volunteers at
a stable on the weekends and some day hopes to work at the Two
Rivers Wild Life Park in Marion Bridge. 

Patricia Rose, manager of the Cape Breton branch of the SPCA,
said Mr. Kostadopoulos is contributing to the organization and
learning a lot. One of the main advantages of the program,
besides wages being covered by Economic Development and Tourism,
she said, is that it offers both the employer and employee a
great opportunity.

"It benefits our organization in that we always need extra
people, and it's also good for the student as far as training,"
said Ms. Rose. "He's getting experience with vaccinations,
euthanasia, and in dealing with the customers."

Mr. Kostadopoulos agreed his work at the SPCA gives him practical
experience. "I could volunteer at a vet but I would be getting
more observational experience there. Here, it's more hands-on."
He also said he is gaining the experience he needs to handle the
emotional part of dealing with animals.

In addition to his training, Mr. Kostadopoulos said the financial
aspect of the program is important. "I like the money-saving part
of it," especially the savings earmarked for tuition.

Contact: Angela Campbell
         Economic Development and Tourism

NOTE TO EDITORS: Colour photos available upon request.

ngr                 August 27, 1997 - 10:25 am