Alumni Spotlight is a series of interviews conducted with members of the Dalhousie Alumni Association.
Nickname? Nope! My name was already confusing because I use my second name, Teneile, which I prefer, instead of my first name (Kriska), so people didn’t get a chance to find a nickname for me.
Class of ‘07
Bachelor of commerce
Current role: Acting TV product manager at Cable Bahamas Ltd., Bahamas
From the Caribbean to Canada and back again: Teneile Simmons (BComm ’07) was born and raised in the Bahamas, but gave up island palm trees for city snowstorms when she moved to Halifax to take advantage of the Dalhousie commerce co-op program. She is now back in the Bahamas, putting her co-op skills to use at Cable Bahamas Ltd., where she has worked her way up from marketing coordinator to her current position of acting TV product manager.
“It was easy enough for me to transition” from school to career, she explains, because in both the commerce program and at Cable Bahamas “you have to be organized, results-driven, creative, and always ahead of the curve.”
Teneile exemplifies the drive common to so many Dal alumni: while her job “has its perks,” she says, “it’s a lot of work.” A typical day at Cable Bahamas is fast-paced and involves lots of meetings, and Teneile’s “product manager” title means she has a wide area of responsibility—overseeing everything from buy reports for video-on-demand and pay-per-view orders to liaising with network affiliates and working on advertising and marketing strategies. Her company has ties to Halifax, in that, some of its past executives lived and were educated in the provincial capital.
Dalhousie Gazette: Why did you decide to attend Dal?
Teneile Simmons: The co-op program. After high school, I’d always worked while attending college. I started at the local college here part time and worked full time. After realizing that I’d be in school longer than expected, I opted to go to school full time and try the working thing part time. The Dal co-op program allowed me to study and periodically return home to work as part of the program—a perfect combination!
DG: Where did you live while you were at Dal?
TS: First semester, I stayed at O’Brien Hall on Morris Street. I loved Morris Street so much that I moved to an apartment not too far from O’Brien and stayed there until I graduated.
DG: What was your biggest distraction while you were at Dal?
TS: I wouldn’t say that I had many, if any—I was pretty focused.
DG: Favourite place to study while at Dal?
TS: The library there or an empty classroom [on the Sexton campus]. That place was close to home, open 24/7, and everyone there was always busy with a big project. I felt inspired.
DG: What was your favourite food on campus?
TS: This is easy: Tim Hortons apple fritters with hot chocolate.
DG: How did your Dal experience prepare you for your current role?
TS: My Dal experience is one that I’ll always be thankful for because I feel it was just meant to be. Dal was not my first choice, but it turned out to be the best choice for me. Halifax to me is a melting pot of different cultures and experiences and in my current position I work with persons locally and from around the world. Effective communication and interaction is a critical success factor in a telecommunications environment.
DG: What do you see as the best thing about being a Dal alum?
TS: Being a part of a great institution—it’s a great legacy.
DG: What is your favourite Dal memory?
TS: I would say Caribanza—it’s an annual show that all of the Caribbean students from across Nova Scotia come together to put on. Everyone shows their support and they get to see a bit of the Caribbean. So while in Canada, I also got to learn more about the Caribbean islands.
DG: Do you have any words of wisdom for current Dal students—something you wish you had known when you were a student?
TS: Read over the fine print when it comes to mobile contracts! But seriously: take this education journey as an experience into something unknown, but one that will really be impactful at the end. There will be differences but embrace them so that you can say you were a part of something different but awesome at the same time.