How did you end up in the Alberta BCom program and what did you specialize in?
Coming out of high school, I originally had a strong interest in physics and math so, naturally, I applied into the Faculty of Engineering during my early U of A career. After several semesters, I started to realize that this field wasn’t for me so I decided to search for something that better utilized my strengths, which were my people skills and my knowledge of technology. When I learned that the Alberta School of Business offered a good mix of computer and management-related courses I applied and never looked back. My main area of focus was Management Information Systems and Management and Organization.
The shortage of skilled Canadian information technology professionals has been mentioned by many IT specialists. Perhaps not many people see the benefits of having an IT career. What do you love most about your job and the industry you are in?
The IT industry appealed to me because of the inherent challenges it holds. As technology advances, there are always new things to learn and continual opportunities for growth. One of the misconceptions of this industry is that IT professionals sit in front of the computer all day and don’t interact with anyone, but this is far from the truth. Because information technology is so integral to an organization’s success, we are in constant communication with senior managers, accountants, financial planners and company executives. As an IT professional, I help my organization match its information technology needs with its business strategy in order to reach the company’s goals.
What did you take away from the Alberta BCom that helped you succeed in your career? Which business classes did you enjoy the most and why?
Some of the higher level MIS and SMO courses were the most memorable to me as they gave me a good overview of how organizations operate through case studies and group work. Working in teams was sometimes a challenge because of the variety of personalities and skillsets that you encounter. As I advanced through my degree, I learned how to use my own strengths and to also leverage the individual skill sets of my group members to reach our objectives. This is an ability I still use today and will help anyone achieve success in their careers.
Do you have any advice for young people who are either thinking of starting a BCom degree or are working towards one?
Enjoy everything that the University has to offer. Get involved with the countless number of student groups and extracurricular activities. Start building that large network of friends and colleagues so that you can help each other reach your career and life goals even after you graduate from the U of A. Most of all… have fun!