I am a communications specialist and editor, but I have not always thought of myself in this way. Before attending university, I spent more than five years working as an inspector in the oilfields of northern Alberta. I was young, and I was able to make enough money to move out of my parent’s house at nineteen and gain my independence. My experience travelling the province and completing work for a variety of clients in diverse regions provided me with the opportunity to gain an understanding of the inner-workings of one of Alberta’s largest industries. Beyond this, however, the occupation of inspector has instilled in me a need to pay attention to the most minute of details, be they in relation to the structural integrity of pressure vessels, or the minutia of a deeply technical piece of writing.
As the son of an educator, I have had the value of education instilled in me since childhood. This facet of my personal narrative has penetrated all areas of my life, and has ingrained in me a desire to learn and to teach. Prior to attending university, this desire manifested itself in the reading of advanced scientific and technical literature, and merely teaching what I have learned to my peers and family members. While this may have been little more than an annoyance to my friends and family, my attempts to educate them on the subjects I had been learning about actually taught me how to effectively communicate complex ideas. As I neared the three-year mark as an oilfield worker, my academic tendencies began to conflict with my career path. I saw no opportunities to capitalize on my specific set of skills or interests. That is when my mother began attempting to convince me to enroll in the Bachelor of Communication Studies at MacEwan University. She opened my eyes to the opportunities that post-secondary education could provide for me, specifically being able to work with words for a living. Without my own mother to act as a personal guidance counselor and mentor, I would certainly not be on the path that I am today.
I began my first semester of university as a scared young man, with little to no confidence in my academic abilities. With very midterm written, every essay submitted, I feared that I would be unable to rise to the task of completing an undergraduate degree. As I progressed through that first terrifying semester I began to gain confidence in my own aptitudes, and finally began the process of truly dedicating myself to becoming the most effective student that I could be.
A year and a half went by in this way, I was constantly learning and gradually increasing my own expectations of myself. It was then that I was approached by my current business partner, Emily, with the proposition that we should start a company together. It was in this moment that I realized that I would be able to apply my skill set to a career path that aligns with my interests, and I believe that it was this moment that will come to define my professional life for the foreseeable future. Emily told me that she believed that our skill sets were mutually complementing: her business sense and interpersonal expertise combined with my technical expertise and commitment to academic excellence. Together we form a hyper-effective team that is ready to build a creatively and intellectually satisfying, and of course profitable, enterprise.