I can comfortably include accounting, business strategizing, and team leadership on my resume, complete with examples and stories I can be proud of.
I had access to industry professionals who let me pick their brains about what to expect, what to try, and what not to try. They happily shared their how their journeys led them to where they are now and gave all of us the trust to allow our lives to unfold as they will. We can start somewhere with a specific goal in mind, but if we take the opportunities presented to us, even if they don’t mesh with our original ideas about our future, we can still end up somewhere great.
The most important and transferrable skill I gained was confidence in communication, particularly public speaking. Throughout the program, communication is emphasized, even in the accounting stream, and I have no doubt that it is the most important skill to learn. Technical skills are easy to pick up along the way, but to be able to enter the work world able to express yourself to a room full of people with clarity and confidence is priceless.
I, along with three others from Red River College, had the privilege of representing the College at the Vanier Business Case Competition in Montreal in February 2020. The practices were frequent and grueling, the learning process was frustrating and sometimes tearful, but we emerged strong and capable, and I know none of us would trade that experience for anything.
The advice I would give to someone considering this program is this: come into it with an open mind. Don’t be afraid to change your path – if you intended to be an accountant, but now something about marketing is calling to you, it’s okay to change your mind. Take the opportunities, use the resources, nurture the connections, and treasure the friendships. You won’t regret it.