09:49 AM

In the news: Mohawk prof out for blood

633, that's how many lives were saved by Mohawk's second-year Financial Services students who helped Canadian Blood Services recruit blood donors for this year's blood drive.

Denise Saulnier is a Community Development Coordinator with Canadian Blood Services. "The students' contribution is huge. They were able to fill spots we could never fill and in many cases we exceeded our targets because of them."

During a visit to the class on Thursday, Denise thanked the students for their hard work. The class of 37 students brought in 211 donations, surpassing the previous year's class of 40 students who brought in 139 donations. All of the blood donated during this year's campaign was used within five days.

This is the third year that Mohawk College Professor Christine DiCarlo's

students have participated in the blood drive. The annual blood drive helps students hone their sales skills, which they will need to approach prospective clients if they want to succeed in the Financial Services sector.

Brittany Virr was this year's top performing student, with 36 of her prospects showing up for their scheduled appointments. With some fund raising experience behind her, Brittany is no stranger to asking people for support, but getting people to donate blood was much harder than getting them to open their wallets, she said.

The experience gave her a good idea of what she will face when she leaves Mohawk to pursue a career as a Financial Planner, a profession that relies heavily on a person's ability to sell themselves.

"It (the blood drive) was a really good way to relate what we're learning in class to the real world," said Brittany. A blood donor herself, Brittany said the experience also reinforced how it important it is to donate.

The experience was also a chance for the students to impress potential employers.

Investors Group was so impressed with the students' success that on Tuesday the company hired a bus to pick them at Mohawk and take them to the company's head office in Toronto. There, the students were treated to lunch, given a tour of the office and heard from motivational speaker Anthony Morris. The top three students were presented trophies, and for her hard work Brittany received $100 gift certificate and gold tickets to a Tiger Cats' game.

2011_Mar_Financial Services students 
Christine DiCarlos second-year Financial Services class celebrates the end of a successful blood drive.