Like mother, like daughter

< More Stories
June 4, 2019
The world of interior design is continuously evolving, but one trend stays constant for this mom and daughter – the value of a Lakeland College education.
Shelly and Courtney Corbiere
Courtney Corbiere is eager to accept her interior design technology (IDT) diploma at convocation on June 7. Equally excited is her mom Shelly, who walked across the same stage 23 years prior as an IDT graduate. 
Shelly, Class of 1996, is the lead designer of Shelly’s Window Coverings Ltd and works in partnership with Nick Toma of Toma Fine Floors in Vermilion, Alta. Before teaming up five years ago, Shelly’s path included working in retail and starting a window covering business from home. This course of action allowed her to stay up-to-date with her career while raising her family.
“Even when we traveled or moved to a new community, I could take my career with me. We decided to settle down in Vermilion about 13 years ago, and I continued working from home until the opportunity came to work with Nick at Toma.”
Working with her clients, Shelly transforms their homes to reflect their lifestyle and does it so well that the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce awarded her with the President’s Choice Award in 2016.
“It was a huge surprise to be recognized for my work. I don’t do my work for the accolades but to be recognized solidifies that I’m doing something right. It also motivated and inspired me to keep doing more and to give my clients my best work,” Shelly says. Remaining true to her word, Shelly and Toma opened a new location in February to better serve Vermilion and the surrounding area.
Last year, Shelly also returned to Lakeland to fulfill another dream of hers; to teach in the classrooms she once learned in. Shelly says the prominent change since she was last in the classroom is the evolution of technology in the industry, adding her projects were handcrafted and took place over some time. Now, projects are rendered at the click of a mouse. She taught second-year IDT students how to use the 2020 Kitchen and Bathroom Design Planner, modern software that helps interior design professionals capture ideas and streamline processes. 
“To be standing in front of them had a different spin on it. I had grown to know the students previously, so it made the experience a relaxing one. I also received good feedback so there might be other opportunities for me to do this again.
Being able to do something you love makes going to work a dream every day. ” says Shelly.
Courtney couldn’t hide her smile when she says her mom was a welcome addition to the IDT program.
“It was fun to see my mom at the front of the class. When she asked me if it was okay if she taught my class, I thought it was great. My classmates were also more than welcoming,” she explains.
Having been raised by an interior designer, Courtney’s desire to pursue a career in design was seeded early on.
“Growing up I always liked making little models, designing and watching my mom work on her projects. I also worked with her at Toma while I was in high school. There, I was exposed to more interior design,” Courtney explained. She’s breaking into industry through her practicum placement at PF Design Studio in Lethbridge, Alta. From there, the world is her oyster.
Courtney says her Lakeland experience was a positive one thanks to dedicated instructors and a supportive work environment.
“When I've had a tough assignment or struggled with a task, I was always able to go see an instructor and talk to them. This program can be tough at times because of the late nights in the lab and deadlines, but our instructors and my classmates are very encouraging – we build each other up.”
Shelly and Courtney agree that the intimate class sizes are also a highlight of their Lakeland experience because of the amount of one-on-one time each student gets with the instructor.
Photos (Top-Bottom): Shelly and Courtney Corbiere at Shelly’s Window Coverings Ltd and Toma Fine Floors new location in Vermilion, Alta. Shelly's passion lies with window coverings and has been in the industry for over 20 years. Courtney at her desk in one of ​Lakeland's interior design learning spaces.
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
Choosing to attend Lakeland College was one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life so far. The welcoming and friendly Lakeland environment encourages a place of excellence, and fosters the ability to be successful not only in school, but in life.

– Mariah Van’t Hof

University Transfer, Class of 2015

What Alumni Say
I have loved my experience at Lakeland. The teachers are personable, and quick to share about their own experiences. They encouraged me to run with my own ideas and see what would happen; they got excited about my designs, which gave me the confidence to do my best and be more creative.

– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience

What Alumni Say
The hands-on field trips, quality of education i received, professors who are invested in your success, and all the friends I made. I exceeded my academic expectations and I also had a lot of fun. If i had to do it all over gain, i would choose Lakeland!

– Nicole (Audet) Pysh

Class of 2006, Environmental Protection & Class of 2008, Applied Environmental Degree