Women’s Track & Field
To say that Brenna Hamel's everyday life was changed by the COVID-19 pandemic would be an understatement.
The fourth-year Rotman commerce public accounting specialist was working for a technology-consulting firm in Singapore through the University of Toronto's international exchange program called NUS (National University of Singapore) Overseas College. Then, U of T recalled exchange students in response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's plea for all Canadian citizens to return home in March.
Hamel wasted no time and was on a flight to her hometown of Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, 140km north of Saskatoon, within 48 hours of the announcement.
"I was quite sad," said Hamel. "I really enjoyed my life in Singapore and was not ready for it to end. I left because I believed my travel insurance, issued through U of T, would be voided by the cancellation of the exchange."
That's when her life flipped upside down. Hamel went from working amongst Singapore's booming business environment and population of 5.6 million people, to life on her parent's recreational farm.