Do you have a unique talent, or hobby? Are there any funny or unique stories that accompany your talent?
I love music, especially singing. Growing up on the East Coast music is a part of the culture and I have always had music in my life. From sitting around the camp fire with guitars to playing in the high school band to currently singing as part of the Canadian Military Wives Choir here in Ottawa.
I have had some interesting opportunities with the choir over the past several years. There have been a few that have been very memorable and unique experiences. We had the opportunity to sing in Parliament several times but the one that is most memorable to me was singing in the Senate for the Ceremony for the Families of the Fallen during the National Day of Honour for the Afghanistan mission. This was a very emotional ceremony because the people in attendance had lost someone in the conflict. The other very memorable experience was on a much lighter note when we had the opportunity to sing the national anthem for an Ottawa Senators game. It was amazing to be on the ice looking around at a full house and the roar was deafening.
I think the thing I love most about music is the way it just seems to bring people together.
What would say was a turning point in choosing the Telfer Executive MBA?
I had done a lot of research before choosing the Telfer EMBA. I looked at distance learning/online options as well as local. I decided that a local university would be the better option for me because I valued that face to face contact with my professors and cohort. I was still a bit on the fence though. Was an MBA the right thing for me and my career? It is quite an investment; would it be worth it? So many questions. What really sold me on taking the plunge and doing an MBA was attending one of the events. I remember sitting there listening to the alumni talk about their experiences with the program and in particular the consulting projects. All I could think was wow they are doing some really cool things but I would have no idea how to do the things they did. Then it hit me, they didn’t know how to do those things when they started the program either. That is when I thought to myself, I can do this and more importantly I want to do this. I am now really excited to start this journey and see where it takes me.
What do you admire in a leader or mentor? Do you have someone who you consider a strong mentor or leader within your life?
I have had managers over the years but true leaders are a little harder to come by. A leader to me is not necessarily someone who is senior in a company. It is someone who can influence and help people and organizations to be better. The person that comes to mind for me is not someone I reported to or a senior person in an organization I worked for. It is my mother. She is one of the strongest women I know. Many years ago, she served in the Army. In those days when you got married you left the Army which is what many of her friends did. My Mom did not, she stayed and continued her service. After my parents married she was told that she was not allowed to put my father on to her work benefits. This did not see right to her and she fought to have him put on her benefits the same as the wife of any serving male member would be. She was successful in doing this. Then she got pregnant, at this point if you had not left the Army you definitely did now. My Mom did not. There were no maternity uniforms or anything of the sort back then but she stayed in through her pregnancy with me and my sister. She fought for rights that we take for granted today. She was not a senior military official in any way, in fact she was a clerk but she believed in something strong enough to take a stand and change the way things had always been. This is the kind of influence that a true leader and mentor shows. I am proud of my Mom for always standing up for what she believes in and for teaching my sister and I to do the same.