Today we had a chat with Allison Maldonado, Business Systems Analyst
What’s your role at ONCAT?
In my role as a Business Systems Analyst, I support ONCAT’s internal team by establishing, maintaining, and assessing technology systems that support business processes. I work with my team to identify and recommend enhancements to internal business tools and support the implementation of efficient technology systems. Essentially, I problem-solve and connect IT solutions and experts with ONCAT’s internal team.
What did you do before joining the organization? And what experience did you have with postsecondary transfer prior to working here?
Before joining ONCAT, I spent seven years at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). I supported HEQCO’s mandate of ensuring Ontario’s colleges and universities are accessible, offer high-quality programs, and are accountable to Ontario students. I did this by customizing and maintaining project management and CRM systems that supported their program of research, evaluation, and policy advice.
How does your work advance ONCAT’s mission to improve transfer students’ experiences in Ontario? And why does ONCAT’s mission resonate with you?
My daily work aligns ONCAT’s objectives with IT solutions by improving the technology that supports the work of internal teams. Providing efficient solutions and process improvement recommendations means that my colleagues in research, granting, or sector engagement can focus on directly advancing ONCAT’s mission to improve transfer students’ experiences in Ontario. I also support the redevelopment of ONTransfer.ca, ONCAT’s credit transfer website, which directly supports transfer students and institutions.
I take pride knowing that the work I do drives change in the transfer sector and improves transfer students’ experiences in Ontario. ONCAT’s mission resonates with my personal values of reducing barriers and improving access at a systemic level.
Transfer students make up a relatively small amount of the Ontario postsecondary student population—approximately 6-9%. Why do you think postsecondary institutions should still focus on improving transfer student experiences?
I think improving student transfer experiences is an integral piece in supporting all Ontario postsecondary students since it provides additional paths to educational attainment. Improving the transfer system from an equitable lens is an important way to reduce barriers and provide access to postsecondary education in Ontario for vulnerable groups.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about postsecondary education—or student transfer—since starting your work at ONCAT?
Prior to working at ONCAT I was familiar with ONTransfer.ca but I did not appreciate the extensive collection of course and program information that the tool centralizes.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is not working next to my colleagues every day. I’m looking forward to meeting them in person one day!
If you could give any advice to yourself as a student, what would you say?
There are systems and resources in place to support you. Don’t feel shy to reach out; there are so many people who will gladly provide guidance and advice.
Just for fun …
What’s your go-to restaurant or recipe?
My go-to restaurant is Bua Thai in Etobicoke. It’s run by two sisters who pride themselves in serving traditional Thai cuisine and excellent customer service.
What’s the first place you would want to travel to in a post-pandemic world?
I want to travel to New York City to meet up with a friend who lives in the UK.
Cats or dogs?
Dogs! I wave at every dog that looks my way. If my cat asks, then my answer is cats.
Any great books or movies you’ve enjoyed recently and want to recommend?
I would recommend watching the documentary Disclosure, which chronicles the problematic and violent history of trans representation in TV and movies. Not an easy watch, but I think it’s important to do the work of learning and unlearning.