Who You: Stuart Werner
On scuba diving and transitioning to the School of Business
RACHEL D’SA // ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR
Before Stuart Werner suited up for the formal world of business, the third-year Capilano University student lived in a castle with the Queen. In one of the years leading up to his decision to join the business realm, Werner worked for the Queen’s summer home in Scotland, after becoming interested by his sister’s previous work experience there. He first worked as a gift shop and general public grounds attendant, then as a housekeeper.
He notes that his experience, though at times not glamorous, was incredibly valuable. The opportunity not only gave him the chance to see members of the royal family on the daily, but also presented a valuable aspect that he holds near and dear to his heart – travelling.
Over the years, Werner has virtually seen it all (though he argues he still holds a long list of places he’d like to visit). “When I originally did the program that Cap used to offer [the Capilano College Professional Scuba Dive Instructor], it was because I had just graduated high school and I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do. I looked at the program and saw that I could do a year of scuba diving and I could still say that I was going to university, or at that time college, so I enrolled,” he chuckled. “I’m also an ocean lover and I did know how to scuba dive before the program, so I knew that it would be something that I would enjoy.”
Werner’s passion for travel and adventure grew with his experience, leading him to take on a semester abroad in Helsinki in the spring of 2017. “The Finnish people are very reserved to begin with, so it takes a while to get to know them. But once you do meet them they’re the friendliest people ever. It was nice in travel aspects, of course. I got to go to Russia, Estonia, and Sweden and things like that. They’re all next door to each other so it was great,” he said about the five-month experience. He additionally noted that the University made it an accessible trip due to their class schedule regulations for the program, allowing study abroad students to experience the culture around them without being bombarded with a heavy course load.
“I had been to Norway, Sweden and Denmark before, so I thought I’d go to Finland and sort of check off the last Nordic country. I also chose Finland because I wanted to go somewhere no one else from Cap was going. Nothing against people from Cap but I found I just wanted to go somewhere and be forced to meet people,” he said. Thanks to his own passion and drive, and a now-extinct program, he’s been able to explore everywhere from the Philippines to Vietnam and Australia. After his first sizeable diving trip, which was his program’s month-long practicum in Playa del Carmen, Werner continued in the industry for five years before making the decision to go back to CapU to pursue an education in business.
Though he’s already had the opportunity to mix business and pleasure, Werner notes that his scuba diving and travel experience won’t leave him when he’s out on the field. “When you dive, you usually go in pairs and groups, as the safest option. So you’re relying on your buddy, your buddy is relying on you. Maybe it won’t be the diving directly, but, you know, I’m in the business program here and I think the teamwork and communication aspect of scuba diving can be applied to everyday life,” he said. “And potentially I’ll meet some clients through it as well. While others go golfing, I could go scuba diving and
talk about the business world.”