Who: Lesley-Anne Scorgie
Degree: ’05 BComm
Current Occupation: Financial Analyst with Encana Corporation and best-selling author
What do you miss most about being a U of A student?
The U of A campus is stunningly beautiful. I really miss walking between the buildings or lying in the grass reading my class notes when the weather was nice.
Favourite campus memory?
Slipping away with a few pals between classes for pizza and a drink.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a current U of A student?
No matter how busy your schedule is, try to make time to meet new people, join a few clubs and enjoy the social side of being a student.
Best procrastination activity?
Watching old movies I rented from the library for free, hanging out with my cousin, and riding my bike through the River Valley.
I really enjoyed my marketing class on branding and I also enjoyed my Business Law course. So much of the work I do today touches on these two aspects of business. For example, my books are specifically targeted towards a certain niche in the market and my brand supports the books. And having legal savvy in business, especially finance, is incredibly valuable so as to not make critical mistakes and to know what your rights are.
If you got one university do-over, what would it be?
I would have skipped philosophy and spent more time in English because I love literature. Books can be incredibly abstract and often stretch our thinking. I would encourage all students and graduates to read as much as they can throughout their life. The diversity of thought that comes from literature is amazing and can contribute to both your personal and professional life.
Favourite secret makeout/study spot? I definitely didn’t have a makeout spot, but I certainly found my study groove in the UofA Law Library.
What did you do to help you stay sane during exam time? Besides drinking too much coffee to try to stay awake longer; I always tried to make time to work out and take a few nights off from time to time to hang out with my friends.
What impact has the U of A had on your life? The U of A was where my career started. In fact, it was in my first marketing class that I got the idea for my first book, Rich by Thirty; A Young Adult’s Guide to Financial Success. A light bulb went off for me as we were discussing how to identify and serve various market niches. Because my passion is financial literacy for young people, I quickly realized that the under-30 crowd wasn’t being well serviced with interesting and fun financial resources. That’s when I figured, “who better to talk about financial literacy for young people, than a young person’.
Since my first book came out, the U of A has been incredibly supportive of my career; always cheering me on as I’ve grown my personal brand and started to change lives with messages about financial literacy. In return, I spend time each year giving back to the school. For example, I put on financial literacy presentations for children of alumni and I am also involved, both as a donor and volunteer, on the committee that supports young women in business. In addition, I sit on President Samarasekera’s Think Tank Committee in Calgary.
I’m honoured and excited to have the U of A’s support, yet again, as I release my third book in Spring 2014 entitled Well-Heeled: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Getting Rich. My new book focuses on giving young women the tools, skills and empowerment they need to make awesome financial choices for their lives.
I also believe that my financial education at the U of A has given me a competitive advantage in my work with Encana Corporation. The training, approach to solving problems and thinking strategically about the direction our organization is headed in contributes directly to the work I do on Encana’s Corporate Strategy team. It’s exciting to be able to apply my skills in real-life.
Convocation question: what should all new grads know? Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work at something that you’re passionate about. And from a financial perspective, if you do what you’re passionate about, the money will always follow.