The TRMC 2020 team took the opportunity to interview Laura Gowling, a TRMC 2018 Delegate and the TRMC 2019 VP of Public Relations, to discuss her thoughts on student leadership, the entrepreneurial spirit of Ted Rogers, and her advice for current students.
Laura is currently employed as a Customer Insights Consultant in the Emerging Marketers Program at Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC).
Laura has devoted the duration of her undergraduate degree towards her passion for student leadership. What has she taken from this experience to her current placement?
Being a student leader allowed me to gain important skills such as professional communication, organizational skills, and leading teams. The skills that you develop from being a student leader become second nature in the workplace. These skills are not only wanted but are starting to be expected by employers. In my role at Canadian Tire, I have been asked to take on several projects that are in addition to my day-to-day responsibilities. Managing my time effectively with these projects is a skill I have gained through my experience as a student leader. Ultimately, my experience has helped progress my career and has provided me with the opportunity to diversify my responsibilities and experiences at work.
What does the spirit of Ted Rogers mean to you?
I think the entrepreneurial spirit of Ted Rogers is embedded and engrained in the everyday life of students at the Ted Rogers School of Management. In general, our students are very entrepreneurial. They talk the definition of ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ and diversify it to apply to their professional careers whether it is starting their own business or being intrapreneurial within the workplace, our students are unique. Additionally, outside of the classroom our students are humble and continue to work very hard every day; which I believe is the true spirit of Ted Rogers.
Why do you think students should apply for TRMC 2020?
As a delegate, there is immense value that you gain from attending the conference. There will always be at least one thing you’ll take away from the conference that will influence your day-to-day life as a professional, or how you choose to build your career path. I always encourage students to attend conferences, specifically TRMC, because of how well organized their speakers, events, and sessions are every year. As a delegate, you get to be totally immersed in the experience while having fun and developing your career, so why wouldn’t you jump on an opportunity like this?
Do you have any final advice or words of encouragement for current undergraduate students?
For the students that have recently entered university, getting involved right away is my biggest piece of advice, and for the students who are in their last few years – it’s never too late to get involved. Academics are very important but being able to prove to employers that you have the soft skills that offset your educational studies is something that is mostly developed through student leadership opportunities. During Commerce Frosh I was encouraged to get involved right away, which ultimately lead to me working my way up through various roles. Ultimately, I got the opportunity to become the Executive Vice President (EVP) of The Ted Rogers Students’ Society and then eventually continue to join TRMC. In addition to involvement with student groups, I would also encourage students to network within your peers and with student leaders at various schools. When you get into the working world, having a team of people that will be able to vouch for your abilities is essential!