Come to the ABT Trade Show: May 28, 2019!

Yellow and blue poster advertising the ABT Trade Show

Save the date: May 28, 2019 at 1 pm!

New ideas, fresh designs!

The Applied Business Technology (ABT) Trade Show runs twice a year, and the next one is on May 28, 2019 at 1 pm at UFV’s Clearbrook Centre. Our students work incredibly hard in teams to take their products from idea to trade show in less than six weeks, and use many of the skills they are mastered over the previous five months of the ABT program.

Everyone welcome

If you are looking for the Next Big Thing or just want to experience the excitement of our capstone event, come along to the Clearbrook Centre on May 28! It is open to the public from 1 pm until 2:20 pm and we hope to see you there.

Previous shows

Every trade show event features new teams and new ideas, so we guarantee it will be an experience to remember. Below are the teams showing off their work at our February 2019 event.

Two sets of smiling students demonstrating their trade show booths

Mountain Cafe and Home Comforts


Two teams of smiling students in front of their trade show booths

Art of Serenity and Miracle Multipurpose Mineral Water


Two teams of smiling students in front of their trade show booths

Chilliwack on a Budget and Potterheads


Two teams of smiling students in front of their trade show booths.

Life is Always Better Travelling and Valley Harvest Cookbook


Two teams of smiling students in front of their trade show booths.

Marigal’s Organics and Gotta Have THIS!


Two teams of smiling students in front of their trade show booths.

No Mom Alone and The Midas Touch

See you there!

If you would like some more information about the trade show or the ABT certificate program, please email:

Parking spaces for the UFV Clearbrook Centre can be at a premium at certain times of the day, so please make sure to park in the UFV parking areas indicated in pink on the map below.

aerial photo of UFV Clearbrook Centre, City Hall, The Reach, and new courthouse construction that shows UFV parking spaces in pink

UFV parking areas are in pink on this map (map provided by Abbotsford City Council)

Image Credits

ABT Trade Show banner created by Melissa Naman; used with permission, May 2019.

ABT Trade Show photos by Mary Higgins; used with permission, May 2019.

Parking map provided by Abbotsford City Council.


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Fall 2017 Highlights

ABT Field Trips

A group of students viewing the art installation called The Witness Blanket

ABT Students Viewing The Witness Blanket

As part of the university-wide commitment to Indigenization, ABT organized field trips to the Witness Blanket and The Reach Gallery Museum. Prior to the field-trip day, students were guided through an introduction to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission mandate and calls to action. On October 25, faculty and students attended the Witness Blanket; in the afternoon, they went to The Reach, where they were encouraged to explore all the public art on display with a focus on the two Indigenous artists being exhibited. (Three faculty members and 41 students participated in the day’s events.)

Students reflected on their experiences and provided insightful feedback:

“If I have taken anything from this, it is that there is still a long way to go for all the wounds to heal.”

“I want to live my life with integrity by being respectful of others regardless of race, spirituality, color or gender. Understanding the tragic Indigenous history is not only thought provoking but demands change in humanity.”

Town & Gown Fundraising Dinner

Three women standing behind a table containing ABT marketing materials.

Christine Nehring, Melissa Naman and Mary Higgins at UFV’s Town and Gown 2017

On November 15, ABT attended UFV’s annual Town & Gown fundraiser. This sold-out event generated more than $85,000 for UFV student scholarships, awards, and bursaries.

ABT hosted an information booth and met numerous community members as well as reconnected with UFV colleagues and ABT graduates. One graduate was in attendance to celebrate the success of her daughter, Alexis Warmerdam, who received UFV’s Young Distinguished Alumni award. Kudos to Alexis, and what a pleasure to reconnect with ABT graduate Margaret Woelke!

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ABT Trade Show on Feb 6, 2018: Open to All at 1pm!

Composite image of the two trade show events as students are setting up their tables

Getting Ready for The Show in 2017

ABT Trade Show Feb. 2018

The ABT program holds two trade show events every year, and they are always high-energy events. After six busy weeks of preparation and polish in their Web-based Business Communications course, students present their products and services to a select audience. Next week we are opening up our trade show to the public for the first time, so we hope to see you there for fun, innovation and door prizes!

Date: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Time: 1 pm to 2:20 pm

Location: UFV Clearbrook Campus, 32355 Veterans Way, Abbotsford, BC V2T 0B3 (see map)

What to Expect?

You can expect the unexpected! Our students are full of ideas and you will see some inventive solutions to modern problems that stretch the bounds of possibility. To get a glimpse of what they have been up to, take a look at Twitter #ABTatUFV.

To whet your appetite, let’s take a look at our exciting February 2017 event; the students were full of pioneering ideas and creative solutions.

February 2017 Trade Show

In February 2017 (after being delayed twice due to bad weather!), our AB1 and AB2 students presented their work. The team photographs were taken during the event and then formed part of the awards ceremony we hold for our students at the end of the program

Infinite Possibilities and PASS


Two trade show booths showing happy students demonstrating a travel guide and a scheduling app

British Columbia Publishing and TIP


Two trade show booths showing happy students demonstrating an innovative travel mug and a scheduling app

Six-To-Eight-Mug and SWEPT Scheduling App


Two trade show booths showing happy students demonstrating a hair studio award program and a community activity program

B’Stylin’ Rewards Program and GAINS Activity Program


Two trade show booths showing happy students demonstrating a travel guide and a healing jewelry

Fraser Valley Photobook and Healing Sense Jewelry


Two trade show booths showing happy students demonstrating a coffee delivering service and scheduling app

JavaGo and Deadline Blaster


Two trade show booths showing happy students demonstrating an office multi-tool and an on-line deals app

The Pocket Office and SPOT: Deals Online

See you for the Feb 2018 trade show next Tuesday!

Image Credits

All photos taken by C. Nehring and M. Higgins and used with permission, January 2017.

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So You’ve Graduated: Now What?

Three women wearing graduation gowns and caps looking over their shoulders.

Three ABT grads: Karen, Tracy, Lisa.

University—while requiring hard work—can be a comfortably predictable place, with goals, timelines and deliverables set by external forces, such as your professors or the university’s Office of the Registrar. (Note: 2017 UFV grad applications are due April 3!) After you complete a program of study, however, life becomes rather daunting, as those goals, timelines and deliverables become ones that you must set yourself. You want a job, for example, but no one is standing over you, demanding that you have your new job in place by next Friday at 3 pm. So what can you do? Here are a few tips that may help guide you in this post-university time.

  1. Collect Data

Start collecting job postings for positions that interest you, even if you think you are not quite qualified. And don’t collect just links; many employers remove job postings once the position is filled, and you run the risk of losing that data. Right-click an on-line job posting, and you should have the option of saving it. If you can’t seem to save it, then take screenshots in a Word document.

  1. Analyze Your Data

Once you have a collection of job postings, start analyzing their contents, looking for trends and themes. You may quickly notice that administrative positions require high-level proficiency in the MS Office Suite. (ABT grads, you have that!) You might also notice trends in salary ranges: often, public-sector positions pay more than private-sector ones. Start collating that data, as it will help you set salary expectations and prepare you for answering that dreaded interview question: how much do you expect to earn? Also analyze the data for your gaps; for example, if numerous job postings call for familiarity with Google Docs, Dropbox, Hootsuite, WordPress, or a myriad of other platforms, research those platforms and learn to use them. Most online platforms have a free or trial version that will allow you access.

  1. Set Short-, Medium-, and Long-term Goals

Use your data analysis to inform your employment goals. If public-sector job postings require 2–3 years related work experience, and you have none, then set public-sector employment as a medium-term goal and look for an entry-level private-sector position to start. If you would like to eventually have an upper-level administrative position, then set that as a long-term goal, and use your data analysis to start building toward it; for example, you may need further education or a particular skill-set, such as strong supervisory or leadership skills.

  1. Volunteer Strategically

Strategic volunteering involves volunteering with a goal in mind (e.g., building relevant employment experience) and can be particularly useful for those changing industries or careers. Target an organization and position that both interests you and helps build your work experience on your resume. The Red Cross is a good example; it relies heavily on volunteers and has a well-structured and formalized volunteering process. For as few as three hours a week, you could volunteer in an administrative position. And studies have shown that altruism can improve your life too!

  1. Network

Most people are reluctant to network, as the fear of rejection and the awkwardness of talking to strangers can be overwhelming; however, as most jobs are acquired through the hidden job market, it is important to tap into and expand your network. The first step is to ensure the people you already know are aware that you are looking for work. (Develop a short statement, often called an elevator pitch.) The next step is to find opportunities to meet new people and gather information about employers. Join a local Chamber of Commerce (UFV grads can join Mission’s Chamber of Commerce free for one year) and start attending functions. Look for local job fairs and networking events such as the 10th Annual Fraser Valley Chambers of Commerce Business Showcase. (It’s free for attendees.) Consider joining a networking or professional-development group such as Toastmasters.

Although re-entering the work world can seem daunting, maintain your focus by using the points above, researching the companies that you are interested in, tailoring your cover letter and resume to each application (here’s a job deconstruction tool), and staying positive.

There is a job out there waiting for you!

Crossing the UFV Stage.








Image Credits

Three graduates: From Karen Wilson, June 2015; used with permission.

Crossing the stage: From UFV’s Flickr stream,; June 2016, some rights reserved.


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Join ABT Instructors for WordPress and Minute Taking Workshops!

WordPress logo with blue text (WordPress) and a white background

Welcome to WordPress!

This fall, Christine Nehring and Mary Higgins will be facilitating two new workshops as part of the UFV Continuing Education Fall 2016 Catalogue:

Introduction to Digital Minute Taking

Abbotsford — Clearbrook Centre
(80228 BISC DMT01 A5A) 1 session, Sat, 9 am –noon, $150. Sep 24
(80229 BISC DMT01 A5B) 1 session, Fri, 9 am –noon, $150. Oct 28

Introduction to Blogging in WordPress

Abbotsford — Clearbrook Centre
(80230 BISC BIW01 A5A) 1 session, Sat, 9 am–noon, $150. Oct 1
(80231 BISC BIW01 A5B) 1 session, Fri, 9 am–noon, $150. Nov 4

IMF African Consultative Group meeting around a large conference table

Get Ready For Minutes!

Introduction to Digital Minute Taking

Common questions from minute-takers:

  • How to format the minutes?
  • What to record during a meeting?
  • How can technology can make life easier?
  • When should agendas and minutes be distributed?
  • How can meetings run more smoothly?

In this workshop you will find the answers to these and many more questions as we guide you through the process of preparing for a meeting, what to do during the meeting, and how to distribute minutes that people want to read and take action from!

Collection of WordPress stickers, buttons, pencils - for WordCamp Boston 2010

WordPress swag (sadly not available at the workshop!)

Introduction to Blogging in WordPress

During this hands-on workshop you will create a new WordPress blog, learn the fundamentals of blogging in WordPress, and publish your first blog post. Learn  why WordPress is currently the most popular website development platform in the world and how you can harness its flexibility to create memorable content.

Bring your ideas and enthusiasm, and you will soon be on your way to blogging like a pro!

How to Book a Place

It’s easy to reserve your place on either or both of these courses:

By Phone

Register with your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express by phoning the Office of the Registrar (OReg) on 604-854-4501 or 1-888-823-8734.

In Person

Register in person or have a friend register for you at any UFV campus (except Agassiz and Clearbrook Centre).

There is more information about registering for Continuing Education courses on their website.

Images Credit

WordPress image: From Flickr;; some rights reserved:; retrieved Sept 2016

Meeting image:

From Flickr;; some rights reserved:; retrieved Sept 2016

WordPress stickers:

From Flickr;; some rights reserved:; retrieved April 2016

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Welcome to 50 New ABT Students!

Picture of the Clearbrook Centre taken from outside, in the Friendship Garden

UFV’s Clearbrook Centre, taken from the Friendship Garden

Last week we were thrilled to welcome 50 new students into the Applied Business Technology program here at UFV’s Clearbrook Centre. Our two fall cohorts include students from Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Langley and beyond, and seven dual-credit students from the Abbotsford School District.

After orientation, classes started in earnest on Wednesday last week; one week later students are getting into the swing of their new routines and have already learned many new skills.

We wish all our new students every success in the program and look forward to sharing in their achievements in the coming months!

Image Credit

Taken by Christine Nehring; used with permission.

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Convocation 2016 and AB3 Expo!

Semester End

The end of semester is always a busy time with many events such as the ABT Expo,  ABT awards and party event, and convocation. Our wonderful AB3 students are now enjoying practicum placements in many organisations in the Fraser Valley including school districts, municipalities, Correctional Service Canada locations, UFV and beyond, as the tweets from Christine show!

Two students helping to clean a lab, and smiling

Amara and Sarah back in the ABT lab!

ABT Expo: A Trade Show Event not to be Missed!

In January 2015 we introduced a new course to the ABT Program: Web-based Business Communications. During this fast-paced, seven-week course, groups of students develop social media campaigns to promote their products, using Twitter, WordPress, and many other forms of promotion. We held the first Web Comms/ABT Expo in May 2015, and it has proved to be a highpoint for many students. Invited guests have commented on how professional, engaged, enthusiastic and eloquent students are about their products and the work they have done.

ABT Awards

As a way to celebrate all the hard work students have done, we have an award ceremony on the last day of classes and hand out certificates in many different categories, from Artistic Achievement to Mobile Communications. Below are photographs of the Winter 2016 class from the ABT Expo, and the award they received.

Four members of the team next to their booth containing information about product and promotional material

A Walk in the Park Team at the ABT Expo

Three members of the team next to their booth containing information about product and promotional material

Three members of the team next to their booth containing information about product and promotional material

Thrift Seekers Team at the ABT Expo

Four members of the team next to their booth containing information about product and promotional material

LSCS: Your App Team at the ABT Expo

Four members of the team next to their booth containing information about product and promotional material

Four members of the team next to their booth containing information about product and promotional material

Cones Team at the ABT Expo

Three members of the team next to their booth containing information about product and promotional material

Blueprint Team at the ABT Expo

Convocation 2016

One our favourite times of the year is convocation. It is such an honour to be able to celebrate our students and their achievements in a public way, and it always a fun and moving ceremony. Congratulations to all our students; your hard work and persistence will serve you well in the future!

Montage of photos behind the scenes with ABT students before convocation began

Behind the Scenes at Convo 2016!

Three ABT grads on the stage about to convocate

ABT grads cross the stage

UFV Flickr 2

Waiting to Convocate!

Looking to the Future

We are already preparing for our new students, and the next two cohorts will start in September 2016. Places are filling up fast, so if you are interested in taking the program (or know someone else who would be interested), you can find out more and how to apply on our UFV pages. Our next assessment is on July 15, 2016, so mark the date!

Your Favourite (ABT) Memory

Now we’ve shared some of our recent ABT highlights, why not share one of your favourite memories from ABT or something else you’ve done recently? The comments section is open, below.

Image Credits

First Twitter image from Christine Nehring taken by Deborah Grenfield, June 2016; used with permission
Second Twitter image from Christine Nehring taken by Christine Nehring, June 2016; used with permission
ABT Expo photos taken by Christine Nehring, May 2016; used with permission.
Convocation 2016 montage images taken by Mary Higgins, June 2016; used with permission.
Convocation stage image #1 from UFV’s Flickr;; June 2016; some rights reserved
Convocation stage image #2 from UFV’s Flickr;; June 2016; some rights reserved

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VIU 2016 Teaching and Learning Conference

Panorama showing campus in foreground and Nanaimo, sea and mountains in background

VIU campus panorama taken from cafeteria patio

VIU: The Land of Rabbits and Stairs

The 2016 VIU Teaching and Learning Conference was held on May 4, 5 and 6 in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. As this teeshirt from VIU illustrates, there are many steps in the VIU Nanaimo campus, and there are a great deal of rabbits eating, darting around, and sun bathing around every corner. The weather was balmy, the teaching was invigorating, and the learning was inspiring.

From Turtle Island to the Twittersphere

Christine and Mary attended many workshops between them, dealing with issues from open textbooks to inclusive learning, and many points in between. The high-energy opening keynote “Exploring Our Ways Of Knowing” with Dr. Pamela Toulouse was a powerful way to start the conference. Dr. Toulouse really brought different ways of knowing to life with audience participation in drawing, sharing, moving and communicating in many different ways. I looked back at my notes with a smile as I saw my Turtle Island image studded with names and notes, and Christine’s looks quite similar…

Two annotated drawings of Turtle Island by Mary (l) and Christine (r) showing names and notes

Two Turtle Islands

The hands-on closing keynote “Dirty Slates: student ideas as catalysts for learning” with Dr. Sara Harris explored how students’ prior knowledge and experience add many dimensions to learning and teaching. We were challenged with creating a concept sketch of the greenhouse effect – a surprisingly difficult assignment! Dr. Harris also talked about how meaningful personalized assignments were for students (and faculty), so we then had the task of creating a concept sketch around a concept or area we teach. After a couple of minutes of discussion, the life cycle of a tweet (what happens to your 140 characters) seemed the obvious choice:


Hand-drawn concept sketch showing how a tweet goesf rom your profile out into the wider Twittersphere - or not!

Concept sketch: life cycle of a tweet

I was somewhat surprised to be asked to explain my sketch to the conference, but happy to do so. Keen observers will note that in my haste to get the concept sketch completed, I inadvertently wrote 140 characters instead of 140. In years to come, thanks to the permanency of social media, I can see that this may well come back to haunt me as the ghost of conference past!

WordPress Fun

In addition to attending workshops, we also presented our own workshop: “Blogging in WordPress: Strategies for Success”. It was a fast-paced and enjoyable hour spent in the company of some very enthusiastic participants. Christine blogged about our escapades earlier in the week, and you can see the workshop website we created here.

Connection and Connectedness

Workshops aside, the conference also gave us the opportunity to meet other faculty from BC and beyond. There were several Applied Business Technology faculty from other institutions, and it was gratifying to find out we have so many of the same  opportunities, challenges and interests as our fellow practitioners. In the process, we also discovered that four ABT faculty came from the same few square kilometres in Alberta as each other! It is a small world, indeed.

The conference was definitely a big success, and we hope to return next year.

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2 presentations x 2 days = Success!

A wharf in Nanaimo, BC with multiple boats docked

View of Nanaimo Harbour

ABT instructors Mary Higgins and Christine Nehring recently presented back-to-back at both UFV’s annual PD Day and Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Teaching and Learning Conference.

UFV FLO Workshop

In keeping with ABT’s focus on digital resilience and technology use, Mary and Christine participated in the first workshop through pre-recorded video built into a Blackboard shell. The workshop was organized by the participants of UFV’s inaugural Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) course as a way of sharing strategies, successes and challenges from that May 2015 experience.

photos of nine UFV employees who participated in the UFV PD Day FLO workshop

UFV FLO Workshop Team

WordPressing the World one Workshop at a Time

Mary and Christine continued their goal of WordPress world domination by conducting a workshop titled “Blogging in WordPress: Strategies for Success” at VIU’s annual Teaching and Learning Conference. Participants were given a whirlwind tour of WordPress (e.g., the Dashboard, Media Library, Categories and Tags) and were introduced to blogging strategies such as using text and images appropriately, and ensuring accessibility. Participants then created, edited, and posted a blog post. (Here are some examples of their work.) Feedback from the session was excellent, with comments such as:

  • Resources and hands-on practice at creating a blog post. Thanks! I’m inspired.
  • I loved how much you got done – my most productive hour today!
  • Loved having the computer to use and do.
  • Covered lots; organized; got me off the computer 🙂 . Great session!
  • How to create a blog, post it, and edit it.
  • Focus on accessibility was great! #thanks
  • Much easier to post a blog than I thought; lots of fun; will have to think about doing this with students.

This fall, on top of their regular ABT teaching, Mary and Christine will be running a number of WordPress workshops through UFV’s Continuing Education department. Watch the CE website for the fall brochure.

Image Credit

Image 1: Taken by C. Nehring, used with permission.

Image 2: Screen capture from workshop BB Learn shell. Image created by G. Jang and M. Higgins.

Classroom image by ltdan;; some rights reserved; retrieved Apr 2016

WWW image by itupictures;; some rights reserved; retrieved Apr 2016


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Dual Credit for ABT/SD34 Students

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 3.37.25 PM

Elsie Fu, recent ABT graduate, at UFV’s Clearbrook Campus

UFV and SD34: A Perfect Partnership

A little-known ABT secret is that some of our students are earning dual credit courtesy of a long-standing agreement between UFV and the Abbotsford School District (SD34). Recently, one of our own was featured in a promotional video. Take a minute to listen to Elsie Fu as she talks about how she has benefitted from taking the ABT program.

Career Program Options

ABT isn’t the only program available to SD34 students. Eligible programs range from technology programs such as ABT and architectural drafting to trades programs such as welding and automotive service technician. If you know an Abbotsford student who is high school age, recommend that they talk to their school counsellor about how to apply to SD34’s Career Programs. It’s not everyone who can earn a high school diploma and university certification at the same time! Thanks, SD34, for being a great educational partner.

Image credits

Image of Elsie Fu used with permission from SD34.

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