How I went from Pastry Chef to Legal Assistant

November 13th, 2020

My name is Kristen Marie, I was the type of student that did not know what she really wanted to do, meaning, I changed my mind a lot! My first career choice started when I was very young, I wanted to be an English teacher. I would pretend with old paperwork from school and pretend I was teaching a class in my parents living room – keep in mind, I was very young! Once I got to high school, I realized there was no demand for teachers of any kind in Fredericton, New Brunswick. That is when my career choice changed for the first time. I thought of what hobbies I liked to do around the house and what I could create a career from; I instantly thought of my cousin, she baked in local bakeries in New Brunswick and when she babysat she would always teach me to bake. I decided to take a few courses to help me along with my decision in high school such as: Culinary Arts, Nutrition, and Co-op. Co-op was my first step into the career of Pastry Arts. I started part-time at Fredericton’s local bakery, The Happy Baker, and transitioned to full-time when I graduated from Fredericton High School in 2014.

Kristen M

Kristen Marie – graduate of Eastern College’s Paralegal diploma program.

I worked as the main Pastry Chef at the bakery for 4 years until I realized I needed to change my career for both my body and my mind. I had a few suggestions from family and friends, but what stuck with me was Paralegal, I found a program that was starting right away in the Fall of 2018 – I got accepted! Going from working all the time to going to school was a strange transition, since I was not like my fellow classmates, I chose not to go to post–secondary school right after high school. I gradually got used to going to school, working at the front desk (as I was offered a part-time position to help) and working at the bakery part-time to pay for the monthly bills. It was a long two years, but I did it! It was a great experience, although I had some bumps along the way with learning techniques, and the difficulty that came with being so tired from all that I was accomplishing throughout the day.

When I was finally done my program, I set up an interview with a small local law firm in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Whitehead, Miles & Associates. They were looking for a Receptionist to start right away. Like I was back in 2014, I wanted my first step into my new career. After four short months, I was promoted to General Legal Assistant for Senior Partner, Allison Whitehead, Q.C. My story is not some huge, heartfelt story for furthering my education, but it was a long journey to get me where I am today. I had bumps in the road, I had to pause my plans, and I had a hard time juggling it all; but I do not regret a thing! I am proud to say, I am an Eastern College Graduate!


Check out our Paralegal page to learn more about the program.