Cassandra McFarland

(She, Her, Hers)

Communications and Events Specialist

Faculty of Management
Office: EME 4147
Email: cassandra.mcfarland@ubc.ca


 


Tate Bond, a dedicated 4th-year Bachelor of Management student, discovered his passion for business after transitioning from the Bachelor of Science program. His successful journey at UBCO was achieved by focusing on growth and development opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Through his involvement in the Consulting Club and the hands-on co-op experience at KPMG, Tate has acquired a diverse skill set and forged meaningful connections that have shaped his path toward a career in consulting and leadership.


Q: What drew you to the Bachelor of Management program at UBCO? 

A: I started as a Bachelor of Science student but quickly realized that the program wasn’t right for me. I started taking more electives to see what interested me and liked the Management ones I chose. I knew I wanted to stay in Kelowna at UBC Okanagan, so I decided to transfer going into my second year, and it exceeded all my expectations.

Q: What have been your biggest takeaways from the program 

A: My biggest takeaways have been the soft skills the program helps you develop. There are many opportunities for group work in Management classes, which allowed me to collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds and take on a leadership role. I was a very independent person before joining the program, so getting the opportunity to build up these skills was very rewarding.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of the program so far?

A: The most rewarding part for me has been the opportunity to build relationships within the program and the sense of community it provides. I felt like I belonged as a student in the faculty, and many of my best friends today are people I met through the program. I’ve also had the opportunity to build relationships with professors beyond the classroom, and the ones I’ve talked to have all been incredible mentors.

Q: What advice or insight would you give a prospective student considering the program?

A: Make sure to look at opportunities outside of the classroom. While the classes help provide an overview of the business world, there’s much more to see. Going to MSA events, business trips, case competitions, and networking events has helped give me a broader experience than if I just spent all my time focused on classes, and I would encourage other students to take advantage of these opportunities.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs or student organizations on-campus? If so, what inspired you to get involved?

A: I was the Co-President of the Consulting Club this past year after serving as a Vice President the year before. I wanted to take on a larger role outside of the classroom this year, and I saw this position as a great opportunity. Being the Co-President allowed me to work closely with a team of motivated and hardworking students throughout the year. Also, it let me network with various experienced professionals in the industry. I was honoured to receive the Club President of the Year award alongside my Co-President, Gianni di Benedetto, and the rest of our fantastic team for my work with the club this year.

Q: Are you or have you been in a co-op placement? If so, what was your role with that company?

A: I completed one co-op term as a Consultant at KPMG this past summer. It was interesting to see how the corporate world operated, as I’d never done an internship before. It also gave me a chance to see what skills from the classroom I could apply in the real world. I’m returning to the company full-time this summer and am super excited to pick up where I left off.

Q: If you have participated in the co-op program, what were the greatest benefits of the program and what advice would you share with someone considering doing a co-op?

A: I think gaining real-world experience in a field I’m interested in before graduating was beneficial. I also found that the co-op office provided helpful tips for resumes, cover letters, and job searches that helped me land the job I wanted. Although I decided to graduate without completing my full co-op designation, I would still recommend all students to consider the co-op program. It allows you to build your skills in a real-world environment and can save the stress of job-searching in your final year if you get a return offer from one of the companies where you complete a term.

Q: What are your future goals?

A: In the short term, I’m pursuing a career in consulting, with my co-op term and experience with the Consulting Club serving as a launching pad. Long-term, I see myself as a leader in the business world, either as an entrepreneur or executive of an existing business. Being a leader this past year with the club has been highly rewarding as it allowed me to help and guide others, and I would love to do that on a larger scale going forward.

Q: Do you have anything else you’d like to share? 

A: Be open to new experiences. The Bachelor of Management program offers many opportunities in and outside of the classroom, and the community it provides is beneficial. Being open to trying these new things helped me make the most of my time here and will serve me well in my career going forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What drew you to the Bachelor of Management program at UBCO? 

A: Growing up around business talks and diverse surroundings, I had always been keen in building my career in business and UBC had been one of my dream schools for a few years. When I came across the management program at UBCO, it stood out to me mainly because of how close-knit the student community was, making it easier to connect with other students, professors, and industry professionals.

Q: What have been your biggest takeaways from the program 

A: My biggest takeaway from the program is the career skill set it allows one to build. Working with individuals from diverse backgrounds enriched my communication and collaboration skills and broadened my perspective. Moreover, by taking courses ranging from industry analysis to accounting and governance, I have been able to develop my strategic viewpoint and business acumen.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of the program so far?

A: The most rewarding part of the program so far is its practical emphasis. Engaging with industry experts and professors throughout my studies, and then applying that knowledge in my capstone project, simulations, and business case competitions, has truly honed my skills, sharpening my ability to tackle complex business challenges with innovative solutions and strategic insight.

Q: What advice or insight would you give a prospective student considering the program?

A: Make sure you really dive into your studies by picking courses that interest you and ask for help if you need it. Look into joining clubs and getting involved with the MSA. It’s also super important to get to know your peers and professors as they could be the people you end up working with one day. Your time here is what you make of it, so put in the effort to make it count.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs or student organizations on-campus? If so, what inspired you to get involved?

I had a great opportunity to be the president of the MSA’s Accounting Club this year. Having gone to some of their events last year, I found like-minded individuals and that inspired me to get further involved. This year was great, I had a great time leading nine extremely talented individuals with whom I was able to build the club’s awareness and provide resources to students.

Q: Can you share a bit about your experience winning the Student of the Year award at the MSA Gala?

A: Winning the Student of the Year award at the MSA Gala was an incredibly humbling experience. This recognition felt like a collective achievement, celebrating not only my academic achievements and extracurricular involvement but also the support and inspiration I’ve received from the community. It’s motivated me to keep striving for excellence and to contribute positively to those around me.

Q: Are you or have you been in a co-op placement? 

Even though I wasn’t a part of the co-op program at UBCO, I interned at Dufil, a renown consumer goods company in Nigeria. As a treasury intern, I handled accounting tasks like reconciling book and bank records and assisting with product costing. Beyond the numbers, I built lasting connections and had insightful conversations that enriched my experience. It was a valuable opportunity that has positively influenced my career path.

I would definitely recommend doing a co-op while you can, because having done an internship after my third year, I definitely understand how valuable it is. It gave me some great industry insights and a better understanding of what I wanted to do in my future along with developing my work ethic. The co-op program at UBCO has some great resources that are very useful to set the building blocks of your career.

Q: What are your future goals?

A: My future goal is to pursue my CPA with a public practicing firm, working in audit or advisory. I want to be able to leverage the skills and insights gained to make impactful and strategic contributions in the field of accounting, aiming to drive innovation and ethical practices within the industry.

Q: Do you have anything else you’d like to share? 

A: At the beginning of my degree, I felt overwhelmed, but I quickly learned that learning happens as you go and that new experiences aren’t as daunting as they initially appear! Don’t hesitate to step outside your comfort zone or say yes to the next big opportunity. By embracing opportunities like co-op, campus involvement, and networking, you’ll expand beyond academics to enhance your practical skills, forge professional connections, and grow personally.

Q: What drew you to the Bachelor of Management program at UBCO? 

A: I enrolled into the Bachelor of Management program in 2020 and what drew me to this was the array of opportunities that being at UBCO’s would bring for me. UBCO attracts a diverse breadth of people in its programs all to which I’ve had the opportunity to meet and create connections with. The amount of groupwork involved in all of the required MGMT courses has allowed me to generate friendships and career relationships.

Q: What were your biggest takeaways from the program 

A: So far my biggest takeaway has been the opportunity to be enrolled in the UBCO Co-op interdisciplinary program. Having the opportunity to build out my resume and  make connections in the workforce has been one of my biggest success’s while being at UBCO. It has shown me the real-world applications of the enticing course work learnt in my first three years in the program.

Q: What was the most rewarding part of the program?

A: The most rewarding part so far has been the long lasting connections I’ve been able to make with students in my program, students from other programs, and the Management faculty and staff.

Q: What advice or insight would you give a prospective student considering the program?

A: I would say be prepared to collaborate with your peers and learn how to take different roles when being in a team dynamic. Management offers a very wide breadth of classes and I would encourage students to branch out and try as may different areas as you can.

Q: What has been your experience with co-op so far?

A: I am in going into my final term of the co-op program. I have stayed with the same company for my entire placement because of the amazing dynamic I’ve found while working there. My first two terms were as a marketing and growth specialist and have recently begun my new role in customer success and client relations.

Q: What have been the greatest benefits of the co-op program and what advice would you share with someone considering doing a co-op?

A: The co-op program has been one of the best experiences of my professional career. Not only have I gained crucial skills to add to my resume to make me a contender against other candidates, but I have been able to create connections in the fields that I would like to enter after I graduate. Being able to almost trial run what I would like to pursue post grad has shown me what I do and do not like in a company and in the career paths I am considering.

Q: What are your future career goals?

A: After I graduate I am currently planning on working in a company somewhere in order to gain more experience, then return back to schooling to complete my masters.

Q: Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

A: Enjoy and embrace the challenges that come with being in this program and learn from your mistakes. If you fail at something that is not as important as the lessons you can learn from that experience. Another piece of advice would be to meet as many people as you possibly can. Not only does this help you with all your collaborative work, but you also never know when the connections you’ve made with people will help you out in your professional goals.

 

What drew you to the Bachelor of Management program at UBCO? 

I originally enrolled at UBC Okanagan in the Bachelor of Arts program. I wanted to use Arts as a base for an eventual law degree, thinking it was a more typical pathway into law. While I absolutely loved Arts, when I arrived on campus and started networking with other students and alumni, I quickly realized that Business Management was better suited for my skill set and had the potential to foster more commercial awareness. Campus Services was very helpful and helped select my classes accordingly to ensure I had what I needed to transfer, which allowed me to move into Management from my second year onwards. The areas of skill development that I was drawn to in Arts (critical thinking, interpretation, creative strategy) were all present in Business Management but it was Management’s collegiate atmosphere that ultimately sold me.

What were your biggest takeaways from the program 

Prior to moving to Kelowna, I was a bit more introverted and extremely nervous about public speaking. While presentations were a small part of the program itself, the skills I developed through group exercises and the accompanying work is something I now use on an almost daily basis. The program allowed me to hone my skills in a very supportive environment, alongside people who were all working towards the same thing. Now that I’m working in a role that requires me to negotiate, voice my opinion, and work closely with others, I’m grateful for the foundation that Management gave me. Although public speaking still isn’t my favourite activity, I know I have the necessary tools in place to do so confidently.

In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, the years I spent becoming comfortable doing group work has completely altered how I view projects and working with others. That has been invaluable.

What was the most rewarding part of the program?

Management helped pull me out of my shell and gave me a very strong footing for my career path. While the project management and creative thinking skills I developed have proven to be useful, the most rewarding part of the program was getting to know other students and professors. I’m still in contact with some of my teachers and reach out to them for insight when needed. Some of my peers remain my best friends today and despite most of us living on different continents and pursuing different career paths, we regularly make time to catch up.

What advice or insight would you give a prospective student considering the program?

Go in with an open mind! While there were certain classes I was nervous about, like Negotiation, I grew to love it. It completely shifted my style of communication and gave me an insight into different personality types and how they operate. As a lawyer, this is obviously a very key concept to grasp, but taking it in university allowed me to work on it in a ‘low stakes’ environment. You quickly realize that everyone is in the same nerve-wracking scenario as you and needs to work together to succeed. Other classes, like Project Management, gave me competitive tactical skills that I used in various roles post-graduation.

It’s been particularly rewarding to see how many different career paths are available from the program. It’s difficult to find two people from Management who have gone down the exact same route, but all are successful in their own way.

What is your current occupation and how did you get there?

I will be a qualified solicitor in England in September 2024. I’m currently finishing my two-year training program (the UK equivalent of articling).

In my last year at UBCO, the owner of a marketing agency (a Management alumni) came into my marketing class as a guest speaker and I reached out about a part time role. I worked as a content writer during my fourth year and upon graduating, I joined the team full time and quickly moved up the ranks to become an equal owner of the agency. During this time I led a team of 10 and handled client services and marketing strategy. I was with that agency for 2 years before moving to Vancouver to join a larger agency and further my professional development with clients in a bigger city. While law was the eventual goal, I truly loved marketing and wanted to gain some career experience before going back to school.

After 2 years in Vancouver, I applied to law school in London, England and moved in September 2019. I did my law degree from 2019-2021, volunteering with pro-bono clinics and interning at Human Rights organizations along the way. London law firms typically recruit 2 years in advance so in my first year of law school, I secured a role with a firm. I then went on to do my Legal Practice Course (mandatory for qualifying solicitors before joining a firm) and in conjunction gained a Master of Science in Law, Business and Management.

I started at Fladgate LLP in September 2022 and my training contract ends in September 2024, at which point I’ll be a qualified lawyer (assuming all goes to plan).

Do you have any career advice you’d like to share?

I’ve had a bit of an irregular career path on the face of it, but I think in this day and age there’s no need to go down a linear route. I absolutely loved my time in marketing, and much like the Management program, the experience I gained during those working years has given me a huge advantage in my current role. All experience is good experience, so make the most out of it. Many of the contacts I built along the way have helped me land where I am.

Beyond the above, I think it’s important to give back where possible. Mentor when you can, and equally seek out people who have done what you want to do and reach out. My dad has had a very successful legal career in Canada and the best piece of advice I received came from him when I moved to London. “In everything you do, do it with integrity. It will always get you far and you’ll sleep better at night’.

Finally, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Most of the opportunities I’ve had (law, marketing, or otherwise) have stemmed from reaching out to people on LinkedIn or attending networking events. If you put in the effort, people will notice. It’s cliché, but you don’t get what you don’t ask for – don’t wait for things to come to you!

What are your future career goals?

I would like to eventually carve out a niche for myself in Environmental & Planning law. With the state of the world being what it is, I want to create positive change and be a force for good.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

I absolutely loved my time in the Management program, and UBCO in general. I made some of my best friends there and look back on that time of my life fondly. If anyone has any questions on my career path, or about life in Management/at UBCO more generally, please don’t hesitate to reach out on LinkedIn. My inbox is always open.

What drew you to the Bachelor of Management program at UBCO? 

Location. Born and raised in (truly beautiful) British Columbia, I moved to the East Coast for my first and second years of university to see the rest of the country, but quickly realized I needed to return. Nothing compares to the mountains and lakes, but more importantly the people and the culture. UBCO was the perfect place for a high-quality education, with a small-town vibe.

What takeaways from the program 

The realization that a quality education doesn’t necessarily require elaborate programs and flashy marketing. It’s what you make of it, and how hard you work at it. If you want to learn something new, sign up for the class and dedicate the time to comprehend it. If you didn’t like a certain subject, move on, and find a different one. Every decision you make helps inform your career trajectory, and not all decisions are going to end the way you want them to. With a smaller institution like UBCO, you get to know your peers and your professors personally, all of whom help guide your career decision making.

Did you participate in Co-op and if so, can you share your experience?

I was enrolled in the Co-op program and in my third year at UBCO, I attended the UBCO Career Fair where I approached the Husky Energy booth and had a great conversation with one of their representatives. We stayed in touch following the event, and I eventually obtained an 8-month placement with Husky. During my time with the company, I formed strong connections with the team and when I graduated, I continued working for them in Calgary. My time with Husky was extraordinarily beneficial, as it gave me the experience and confidence to move into more challenging positions both inside and outside of the company.

What was the most rewarding part of the program?

In all honesty, the encouragement from the professors and program administrators to explore new things, pose questions, and pursue any career objective I was interested in at the time was truly invaluable. It empowered me to think ambitiously, leading me to apply for a co-op position that I initially believed was beyond my reach. Surprisingly, securing that position kick-started my career more than I had anticipated.

What advice or insight would you give to a prospective student considering the program?

If the Okanagan is where you want to live, attending UBCO is a no-brainer.

What is your current occupation and how did you get there?

I am currently a Senior Project Manager with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. I started my project management career in the private sector within oil and gas where I quickly realized that I love built-environment projects. After relocating back to the Kootenays I struggled to find a project management job while living in Nelson, that offered ample opportunities for growth and advancement.

Fast forward to the COVID era, which reshaped the landscape of remote work. By establishing a connection with a key individual from the Ministry, I secured a position that not only offered substantial growth opportunities, but also provided me with a deep understanding of effective teamwork.

Do you have any career advice you’d like to share?

Build relationships with those around you, and not just with those in your ‘inner circle’. Building and sustaining relationships is a fundamental aspect of most careers. If you can build those connections early on in your journey, strengthening what works and learning from what doesn’t, you will be years ahead of your time. Don’t approach networking solely to advance your position, try and gain experience with different personalities and perspectives – especially those you may not agree with. Inevitably you will find yourself working alongside individuals with different fundamental views during your career, and having prior experience will help tremendously.

What are your future career goals?

To lead a team of people to do great things, manage impactful projects, but most of all, to foster a work environment where people can genuinely enjoy their careers and fulfill the lives they envision for themselves and their families. Finding balance (if there is such a thing) is admittingly challenging, a struggle I personally grapple with. But if I can step away at the end of my career with balance, and with a small group of people that I have genuinely inspired, I would consider that a success. Plus, the pension, my future career goals are tied to a government pension and early retirement.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

Put your hand up for new opportunities. Even if it feels intimidating or you don’t think you’re qualified, put your hand up anyways. Life has a way of unfolding in unexpected ways when you are open to embracing new challenges.

Q: What drew you to the Bachelor of Management program at UBCO?

A: Throughout high school, I knew getting a business degree was the direction I wanted to follow. I chose UBCO specifically for its reputation and location. Having come to Kelowna almost every summer growing up, I got to experience everything the Okanagan has to offer, which influenced my decision to choose UBCO.

Q: What have been your biggest takeaways from the program so far?

A: My biggest takeaway is how essential teamwork is in the management program as it diversifies thought and enables individuals with different skill sets to tackle real-world challenges. Post-grad, the importance of teamwork is more pronounced as people will face many challenges in the workplace.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of the program so far?

A: The most rewarding part of the Management program is the incorporation of real-world case studies into our group work. This gives management students different perspectives on various markets and cultural diversity, which is extremely valuable. The projects were led by knowledgeable professors which ultimately served as a learning opportunity.

Q: What advice or insight would you give to a prospective student considering this program?

A: The advice I would give a future Management student is to stay active in building a professional network by attending events across campus, joining a club or connecting with professors.

Q: Where is your current co-op placement and what is your role with that company?

A: I am completing my final co-op term with ESD Simulation here in Kelowna. I am working alongside the sales and marketing teams where I perform updates on social media platforms, changes to the website, write blog posts, and act as a first point of contact for current and potential customers.

Q: What have been the greatest benefits of the co-op program?

A: The greatest benefit of the co-op program is career exploration. The exposure to different fields helps guide a job choice post-graduation. Having this co-op work experience allows co-op students to have enhanced resumes, future employment opportunities post-grad and larger networks in their relevant fields.

Q: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with someone considering doing a co-op?

A: A piece of advice for future co-op students is to take advantage of the diversified opportunities that are offered on the job board. I ended up in a position that was not of initial interest to me, but now I am hoping I will get to return to that position after graduation.

Q: What are your future career goals?

A: My future career goal is to be an entrepreneur in a business that is a leader in innovation, is socially and environmentally responsible and fosters meaningful changes in communities around me.

 

What drew you to the Bachelor of Management program at UBCO? 

Back in High School, I was lost in the post-secondary application process. I had no idea of what I wanted to do for a career, but I thought that I would be interested in studying business. As I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to study, completing a commerce degree didn’t make much sense to me at the time. The Management program at UBCO was perfect for me as it offered a large selection of courses which allowed me to gain the experience and knowledge in several business fields. The university also had a great location in a vastly growing region, had much smaller class sizes, and offered great programs such as the Go Global program, different clubs, and work experience opportunities.

What were your biggest takeaways from the program 

I’d say one of the biggest takeaways for me is the fact that learning never stops. You will find yourself growing and expanding on this information every day and will be able to use it to gain stronger connections with one another.

“Everything that you learn in the program is extremely valuable no matter what you end up doing both inside and outside of your career”

What was the most rewarding part of the program?

The most rewarding part of the program for me was the opportunities to get involved both inside and outside of the university. Whether it be a club, studying abroad, the live case competition, or the co-op program, there is always something for you to be a part of and there are endless opportunities to expand your network.

What advice or insight would you give a prospective student considering the program?

I would say to try to get involved in everything that is offered to you. It may be scary at first but put yourself out there and be a “yes” person – it will pay off at the end of the day. I would also say that everyone in the program wants you to succeed. Seek help when you need it, go to office hours, use the tutoring service, and create study groups. These services are there for you to succeed, so take advantage of them as they will make a huge difference in your time at university.

What is your current occupation and how did you get there?

I am currently working at Highstreet Ventures as a Community Leader. During my last year at UBCO, I decided to enroll in a Diploma program studying Urban Land Economics at the Sauder School of Business where I focused my studies in real estate development. Once I graduated from UBC with both a Management degree and a Diploma, I was still unsure of what I exactly wanted to do. At the time of my graduation, I was serving at a local restaurant, and one of my colleagues connected me with a lady who worked at another Highstreet property. After several conversations with her, I soon learned more about Highstreet with their carbon-free initiatives and their core values and decided to apply to one of their open positions. Not long after, I got the job and have grown to love something that I never pictured myself doing.

Do you have any career advice you’d like to share?

I would say to never say no to an opportunity that results in you growing as a person and to continue to build relationships with those who you meet. It’s easy to say no to opportunities that may come up, especially those that require a lot of time or effort on your part. It is often these opportunities or experiences that make us who we are. There is never harm in saying yes to something that will only make you stronger at the end of the day.

What are your future career goals?

As a young individual working in this industry, there is a lot of room for growth. I plan on continuing to push myself every day, learn from others, continue my education, and continue to build my network.

What drew you to the Bachelor of Management program at UBCO? 

The small classes and intimate learning environment. 

What takeaways from the program 

How important the accounting and finance classes are when running your own business

What was the most rewarding part of the program?

The amazing group environment and some of the excellent faculty we had.  

What advice or insight would you give to a prospective student considering the program?

Use your class time effectively and actually go to class. Take the classes that are most relevant to the real world (ie. finance, accounting, economics, etc.).  

What is your current occupation and how did you get there?

I am the Founder and CEO of Integrated Solar Solutions Ltd. We install residential, commercial & off grid solar systems all over British Columbia. It was kind of a fluke how I founded my own business, but long story short I was working for someone else in the industry and I knew I could do it way better, so I started my own business overnight. 

Do you have any career advice you’d like to share?

Network, network, network. Contacts make contracts.  

What are your future career goals?

To continue to run and grow Integrated Solar Solutions. I have a few other business ideas I would like to get going on as well. 

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

The Okanagan valley is an amazing place to start and run a business. 

Environmental entrepreneur

Master of Management (MM) graduate Jessica Shumlich on creating her own path to success. 

Since graduating from the UBC Okanagan Master of Management program in 2019, Calgary-based Jessica Shumlich has gone on to live out her entrepreneurship dream as the co-founder and CEO of Highwood Emissions Management. Launched in 2020, Highwood has rapidly become a leader in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management for the Canadian oil and gas industry, offering a range of consultancy services and software tools to support companies in measuring, reducing and tracking their GHG emissions. We spoke with Jessica about her experiences at UBC Okanagan, her entrepreneurship journey—and where she goes from here. 

What drew you to the MM program at UBCO? 

I really liked that it had a regional focus, with sustainability being a  big part of it. I’m also very interested in economic development, so it was appealing how the program uses the Okanagan as a live case study. I also felt that I would have the ability to learn from my peers, because we would all do the program at the same rate and pace. 

What takeaways from the MM program have you drawn on in your career?  

A big one is learning to think differently. As somebody who comes from a very technical background in engineering project management, I was very solutions-oriented. In the MM, we were really encouraged to be more in love with the problem. That helped me in my entrepreneur journey, because if you have a solution in mind as an entrepreneur, you’re probably going to fail. You have to learn to be okay with unknowns and to challenge yourself to ask: Do I have the right product market fit? Who are my customers? 

The other big takeaway was the importance of relationship-building. I learned so much from my cohort—how they responded, what their thought processes were—that helped me think in a different way.  It’s been really important to maintain that network.  

What sparked your desire to start your own company? 

Entrepreneurship was always in the back of my mind, but when you’re working a corporate job, it isn’t something that you’re exposed to. In the Masters of Management, I met people in my cohort who were entrepreneurs. All of a sudden, I started to say, “Well, if they’re doing it, why can’t I do it?”  

I began talking to a few trusted friends and colleagues about potentially doing an entrepreneur journey. And, I was terrified. Then I met my current business partner at a conference, and he was excited about the potential. We spent six months coming up with a business plan, and launched into market September 16, 2020. And we have not looked back. It started out as two of us, and now it’s grown to over 25 people, with very healthy revenues. We’re growing very quickly. 

What do you think is the biggest driver of your success? 

There are a few things. Timing is always important. We were methane and greenhouse-gas emissions and climatechange experts, and we launched our business just before the world by and large woke up. We were the company who had the expertise and the services that was needed, alongside hard work and grit. We’ve also been able to pivot, to take feedback, to look at the market from an objective perspective to figure out what services and products we need to offer. Hiring the right people has been very important as well. We’ve been very cognizant of the team that we’re building up, and we’ve hired an amazing team around us to support us and deliver. 

What’s most challenging and most rewarding about your work? 

We have a really good business and a good model, but being a high-growth entrepreneur is scary sometimes. I use the analogy that it’s like running towards a cliff at sprint level speed, without knowing if the bridge is going be there or not. You just have to trust in yourself, trust in your business partner and trust in the people around you that the bridge is going to be there. I love it, but it’s hard to wake up every morning and say, “I’m going to jump off a cliff again.” 

“The most rewarding part is seeing what we’ve built: seeing the company and employees get successes and getting recognition for things internationally. We’re building a team of experts that’s unprecedented, and we’re building this model and this sector.

Where do you see yourself in the future? 

Find an organization that shares your own values and has a team that is aligned in purpose. The time spent is so much more enjoyable when you surround yourself with good people and challenging but rewarding work.

What are your future career goals?

I see Highwood being the go-to emissions management firm in consulting and software in oil and gas, but hopefully in other industries as well. In the very long term, I’d like to be able to step away from Highwood and see it be an awesome success. I’d like to get into venture capitalist investing, particularly for marginalized groups of the population. I’d like to find ways to inspire people to become entrepreneurs and to help more entrepreneurs who might think a little bit differently, like I do, to achieve their dreams. 

March 5, 2024 from 11-12:30 p.m.

The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC), the Management Student Association (MSA) and the MSA Accounting club welcome you to join us in EME 4116 to answer all your questions about becoming a CPA. At the CPABC Information Session we will discuss what it’s like to be a CPA, the Experience Verification Route (EVR) and the differences between working for a public firm in a smaller or larger city.

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