I worked in Marketing for the Accelerator Centre. The Accelerator Centre helps technology entrepreneurs to be successful by supporting them in the start-up phase of development. In this role, I was responsible for planning and implementing branding and marketing strategies to attract new clients; alumni relations- keeping in touch with the graduates of our program through our grad association; and maintaining communications with our current clients.

How did you decide which initial career to pursue?

I started my career as an Instructor Therapist working with autistic children in an intensive scholastic environment because of my interest in the role. Through this role I learned alot about understanding the motivations behind human behaviour and have been able to apply this in my work. For example, Marketing involves gaining a comprehensive understanding (through data collection and analysis) regarding why anyone would want to access a service or product a company has to offer and then taking that information to create a Marketing strategy which resonates with potential consumers. I then moved on to Editing, Communications and Marketing roles which were a better fit with the training and education I received, as well as my personal interests.

Where did you receive your education and how did you find this helped you begin your career?

I received my B.A. (Hons., Literature and Political Science) from Wilfrid Laurier University, and my MA (Popular Culture) from Brock University. I also volunteered as an Editor for an online journal published by the Association for Literature Environment and Culture in Canada. Although my education was not geared toward achieving a specific occupation, it did help me learn how to research effectively; prioritize my work; and edit, as well as summarize information, in a succinct manner. I have been able to utilize all these skills in each of my working roles.

Who has provided the most support to you and how did you connect with these people?

I have received support from personal contacts, as well as family and friends, as a source of encouragement and also to facilitate accessing my first professional role as a Technical Editor. Additionally, I made an effort to reach out to professors, and professionals in various fields, that I felt I could learn from. Finally, work colleagues have been a valuable source of support.

What is the best career advice you have to offer?

Don’t be afraid to reach out, and be open, to feedback from others in order to grow and learn personally as well as professionally. Also, a first attempt at anything you work on is never going to be perfect, therefore learning from others will help you to continually improve and feel more confident about the final product you produce. Finally, it is important that when you reach out to professionals (for example on LinkedIn) for feedback that you define explicit parameters regarding why you are reaching out to them. For example, have specific, rather than general reasons, as to why you want to connect. Provide clear questions regarding what you want to learn about and what you are hoping to achieve. It is also helpful to define how much time you think you will need from that person. If the person you originally reach out to is unable to be of assistance, ask if they know of someone else who can help you.