The following article was written by a member of our student community. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Telfer School of Management. For more information or to flag inappropriate content, please contact us.
When you are in high school, it is difficult for everyone, and especially for international students, to find the university program that best suits you. Faced with the multitude of possibilities available to us, both in terms of the program and the choice of city and university, it is a stressful and difficult decision. I am from Côte d'Ivoire in West Africa, and I decided to come to Canada in 2017 for my university studies.
At that time - and I think a lot of students feel the same way - I had no idea what I wanted to do in the future, either for my future career or for my university studies. I was happy to have good grades, and did not fully realize that only a few years were separating me from university. By my senior year in high school, I started to feel the pressure to choose a university and a program of study, and it was not easy.
Finding my program
Initially, choosing which university I wanted to attend was fairly easy. My brother was already a student at the University of Ottawa, so it was the obvious choice for me as well. However, the biggest challenge was finding a program of study that was best for me. During my research, I realized that one of the things I liked to do in my spare time was to read and learn about companies and their founders, not for the activities and services they offered, but mostly for their history and what led to the success of those companies.
The only option that I felt came close to this interest was to study management. So I enrolled in the Telfer School of Management with a Specialization in Management with the idea of one day being my own boss. After one year at the school, I learned that there was a Complementary Option in Entrepreneurship offered at Telfer. It was a perfect option for me, especially since the course choices were related to my interests and allowed me to finish my bachelor's degree still within four years. So I completed my registration, and took this additional step on in my academic path towards the career I want to build.
Today, in my third-year, after starting my elective courses, I can say that my entrepreneurial ambition is confirmed day after day. The practical aspect of these courses was what I was missing in most of my theoretical courses. I had the opportunity, for example, to analyze a film about the life of an entrepreneur, to participate in a conference on entrepreneurship, and even to meet an entrepreneur with whom I discussed his career path in order to write a report.
From a passion to a career
All of these activities I am doing now, I either used to do already or always wanted to do. I believe what I am learning now will allow me to develop important skills such as teamwork, creativity, or initiative that will be very useful to me when I go into business.
For now, although I haven't discovered my business idea yet, I am determined to, and I know that one day I will reach my goals. We'll talk about it one day!