Nicole Verkindt '03

Written by: Hayley '22
Nicole Verkindt is a Neuchatel Junior College alumni who graduated from the class of 2003. Currently, she is a tech entrepreneur who is exceptionally well distinguished in her field. In 2019, she was named StartUp Canada’s Woman Entrepreneur Ambassador of the year, and in 2017 she was named StartUp Canada’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. 
She was a dragon on CBC’s “Next Gen Den”, and is currently an investor in “The Pitch”, an early stage tech company on Gimlet’s Media. Right now, she is the CEO of OMX, an industry-led software platform that connects businesses within security, international defense, and aerospace industries. Otherwise, she is a Next Gen member of the Canadian Business Council, and represents her company on this council made up of the CEOs of Canada’s 100 top businesses.

Nicole originally learned about the vast travel and independence opportunities given at Neuchatel Junior College from her prom date in grade twelve. Then, it was in grade thirteen that she decided to embark on the journey of a lifetime and move to Switzerland on her own. Like many other new coming students, she was uncertain as to what to expect of the school and what her experience would be like. 

Even though she was not particularly well traveled before she came to NJC, she took advantage of the many travel opportunities provided by the school throughout her year; to which she now reflects back on fondly. Her favourite trip was a Spring Break independent travel with her friends to Malaga and Greece. She believes that it is very important for students to go on and actively participate in the historically rich trips that the school provides. In her time at NJC, she particularly enjoyed her class's Second World War trip to Germany, where she and her peers were able to go on informative history tours, and even visit the remains of the Berlin Wall. Nicole agrees that one of the best things about Neuchatel Junior College is that students have the ability to learn about different cultures and gain a well rounded, global perspective, which she greatly benefitted from after her year in Switzerland. 

Throughout her time at NJC, Nicole gained various important life skills, and attributes the development of such skills to her time at Neuchatel Junior College . She believes that the school well-equips students with the proper life skills needed in order to prosper in university and future endeavours, which she experienced first-hand when continuing her studies at the IVEY Western Business School in Southern Ontario. She attributes her ambiguous mindset, independent thinking, and professional adaptability to her time at Neuchatel Junior College.

Neuchatel Junior College truly created an environment that allowed Nicole to open her eyes to the rest of the world, develop important skills that she would later use throughout her personal and professional life, and allowed her to become an independent and well-rounded individual from a very young age. Due to the special and unique environment that NJC gives to its students, students are able to make lasting memories, create life-long friendships, and truly become the best version of themselves.
Neuchâtel Junior College offers the unique opportunity to study Canadian curriculum abroad. While living in Switzerland in a French community, students enjoy an international education through travel and experiential learning in Europe. Gap year and Grade 12  high school students gain international experience and develop independence and life skills that prepare them for university and the global workplace.

A Canadian high school in Switzerland | Grade 12 & Gap