Coming to TRSM
I grew up in a small town on the coast of British Columbia with a love for fashion. After high school, I followed my passion all the way to Toronto to attend fashion school, where I had the opportunity to study the history of fashion. After graduating with a diploma in fashion marketing & merchandising from the International Academy of Design, I recognized that I would need a business degree to round out my education.
I had a lot of choices when selecting a university, but I chose the Ted Rogers School of Business Management at Ryerson University because I wanted to be in the heart of a major city and at a school where I would have tons of opportunities to excel. In today’s competitive business environment, I knew I would need more than just good grades and a degree to set me apart. So in my first year, I browsed the many different clubs at Ryerson and reached out to the Ryerson Marketing Association (RMA) as it was the best fit for my interests.
Within a year, I was President of the RMA, a student chair on the Business Council and a member of the Brian Segal Leadership Committee (now the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre).
If I could give current students one piece of advice, it would be to get involved! Find something that interests you and pour yourself into it. Getting involved with a club or group gives you a chance to develop leadership skills, work as part of a team and network with your peers. While I was part of the RMA, I had opportunities to host high-profile business events and connect with top industry leaders. You might even get strategic and bring in speakers from companies you would love to work for, and voilà: instant connection!
I landed my first dream job through my involvement with the Brian Segal Leadership Committee. I knew I wanted to work in publishing and dreamt of working at the Rogers headquarters at One Mount Pleasant. I was fortunate to serve on a committee led by the CEO of Rogers Publishing. I worked my butt off to impress him and at the end of my term, I approached him for a paid internship. Fortunately, my hard work paid off and I landed a paid position at one of Canada’s prominent media companies where I was able to put my business education into action and build my resume as a student.
Toward the end of my studies, I landed my next position with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), where I worked in all areas of marketing. Although their mandate was not directly related to my interest in fashion, I was looking for a new challenge with a global flavour. During my time at the COC I had the opportunity to attend the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and work alongside some of our nation’s most successful athletes. Honestly, spending time with Olympians makes you realize just how important goal-setting is in life and how much harder you can push yourself to achieve your goals.
With two Olympic Games under my belt and a newfound interest in the intersection between fashion and sport, it was time to return to my roots. This took me to my next position at the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) where I managed the Olympic Business line that included our athletes’ Olympic fashion and those famous red mittens. I was also able to realize my dream of working for the oldest retailer in North America and for a company that, in my opinion, Bonnie Brooks completely rebuilt. Ms. Brooks is and will always be an industry icon and leader for me, so to work for a company that she had such a tremendous impact on was very important to me and my career goals. I had the great pleasure of working with an amazing group of talented people who knew their business inside and out, and I left HBC with a strong sense of retail and business acumen that came from working with the best in the business!
Becoming a Lifelong Learner
The end of university doesn’t mean an end to learning. There are so many different professional industry groups and organizations out there. Personally, I am still committed to continuous learning and remain involved in my professional community as a member of Fashion Group International (FGI), a professional organization whose mission is to be the pre-eminent authority on the business of fashion and design and to help its members become more effective in their careers. The networking opportunities within this group have opened so many doors in my career and have allowed me the opportunity to give back to an industry that means so much to me.
I am now two months into my job with lululemon, where I am combining my love of fashion, sport and design with marketing and business development. I am learning a mile a minute and fortunate to bring all my past experiences into this role.
My Advice for Current Students
I encourage you to push yourself as much as you can and make the most of your short time at the Ted Rogers School of Management. There are so many opportunities available to you and connections to be made. You have a wealth of amazing people and student groups right at your fingertips, which just might be the next step to landing your dream job or making the connection that will help get you there. Be open! Get involved! Throw yourself into what you love! Right now, everything is within reach, closer than you think, you just need to be confident and ask for it.
I am grateful for each and every experience that brought me to the point I am at today and I look forward to what the future holds. While my path has never been direct, I wouldn’t do a single thing differently and have loved every minute of it!