I was born/grew up in: Calgary, Alberta
I now live in: Surrey, British Columbia
I completed my training/education at:
Once I completed high-school, I took a number of night school courses for marketing, event planning and communications. In addition, I completed the marketing-related modules in Pragmatic Marketing. I loved reading and learning so I made a point of reading a lot of books on marketing and communications. While my initial entry job in a high-technology company did not require these skills, I continued learning and volunteering to help on projects that did require these skills. This positioned me strongly as I was a successful candidate in a number of positions leading to a senior management role within the company I was working for.
What I do at work
A career in business development means you get to take part in many different projects on a daily basis. It also means you get to work with many different people. These people can be in different areas within a company and in other companies. I spend a lot of time communicating, both verbally and in writing.
My work is on developing strategies to solve challenges our customers have. Some of these challenges need a lot of discussion with experts in different areas. This could be people in finance, engineering, or human resources. You have the opportunity to work with many people all the time! A good example of a challenge in shipbuilding is "how to monitor a vessel out in the ocean to ensure the people on the vessel are safe?” To solve this challenge, our team is looking at how the use of 3D technology can help. We are working with 3D technology, engineers, researchers, software programmers, and lots of other experts.
It is very rewarding to tackle challenges with a group of people all collaborating to develop a successful solution. Science solves problems and it encourages you to look for solutions from many different angles. This is a lot like business development. As a woman, I bring my unique capabilities to the team. Effective teams should be made up of different genders, roles, and ethnicity. Everyone brings their strengths, expertise and views into the mix.
My career path is
When I was in high school, women were not encouraged to pursue many career options (other than secretarial, nursing or teaching). As a result, when I graduated I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I knew I liked writing. This led me to take marketing courses in night school.
I joined a company that allowed for lots of growth. I took advantage of the opportunities they provided to take part in different projects. I developed skills (organizing, writing, problem solving). I was promoted into different roles that increased in scope and challenge. These new roles were all in the marketing, communications, and business development areas. Eventually, I took on the role of managing a communications team for a global company.
My dad was a single parent and died the year before I completed high-school. This meant our family did not have a lot of money. I allowed this to influence my decision on a career path. While I was able to work and complete high-school, I chose not to pursue full-time post-secondary school. Today, I would encourage anyone in the same situation to look at grants, scholarships, and other funding sources. Don't allow lack of funding to be the sole factor of not continuing your education. Check the options available to you.
I am motivated by
I really love the challenge of designing an event or working on a project from start to finish. It is so rewarding to be working behind the scenes on an event that benefits other people. For example, I may work on a proposal that presents an idea to solve a problem and send it to the customer. Whether it is selected or not, it is exciting to be part of an effort with a team that is motivated to solve challenges.
How I affect people’s lives
Careers in business development are important. The people in these careers begin, sustain and grow businesses. These people also provide a base to develop more innovative technologies. These technologies may have positive impacts for people. They may also have a positive effect on the environment, the country and the world. They may also create jobs.
Outside of work I
I like to create quilts using vintage fabric. I also support a lot of initiatives in my church that helps other people locally and in other countries. I love bike riding; it’s great to be outside and enjoying nature.
My advice to others
If you like solving challenges and working with people, this is a great career. If a single challenge looks daunting, break it down into smaller ones and work on them individually.