BBA (Accounting), 2009
Simon Fraser University’s renowned Co-operative Education program, connection with major employers globally, and scholarship offer were the driving factors that led Travis to choose the Beedie School of Business for his undergraduate studies. Having the freedom to create accounting tutorials that provided his students with educational, and yet delicious treats, was a bonus.
“The tri-semester system at Beedie is ideal for students who wish to excel in both academics and extracurricular activities. The ability to take classes year-round provides the flexibility to balance rigorous academic schedules, complete co-op work terms, study abroad on international exchange, and be involved in the business undergraduate society.”
Actively participating in the experiential learning opportunities offered by Beedie also gave Travis the chance to learn more about himself and his own strengths. He realized that motivating others was something that came naturally and that he enjoyed. His commitment to mentoring and helping others was best demonstrated while working as a teaching assistant for an introductory accounting course. This is where he baked cookies for his class that were shaped in words of accounting terminology, such as “debit” and “credit”. Given the laughter and enthusiastic learning that followed distribution of his baked treats, Travis knew that he was making a positive impact in the lives of others.
Following graduation, Travis maintained his involvement with SFU by joining its Alumni Association and being elected as a member of the Board of Directors. One of his more recent initiatives involved developing an event targeted to young alumni. With the theme, “What I wish I knew when I was 25 years old”, it provided a platform for community leaders to speak about their successes in their professional careers.
“There has been a fundamental shift in career development that involves seeking out diverse experiences that will add to a person’s toolbox of skills and challenge one’s perspective of the world,” explains Travis. “I am where I am today because I chose experiences at Beedie that would make me a well-rounded and open-minded business professional rather than simply focusing on the traditional career path.”
As an example, while in his final year at Beedie, Travis spent one semester studying abroad, in Milan, Italy. Since then, he has attended reunions with fellow classmates in Singapore, London, New York, and other major US cities. In doing so, he has developed a global network of young business professionals simply because he made the decision as a student to take part in Beedie’s international exchange program.
The network that Beedie helps a student build, and the feeling of community that it instills in its students remain a source of inspiration for Travis, keeping him accountable to the goals he has set. As a student, he found it easy to stay motivated, always surrounded by equally bright and busy students. Today, he relies on the friendships formed at Beedie to help him not only stay ambitious but also seek out new opportunities. In fact, one of the reasons Travis chose to pursue graduate studies abroad was because a Beedie alumnus made the recommendation.
For those who are just starting their undergraduate careers, Travis has two pieces of advice. Firstly, keep an open mind and talk to as many people as possible, especially senior students and professors. While it’s important to create one’s own story, Travis believes it is also important to remember that few successful individuals could have achieved all that they have on their own.
Secondly, don’t get comfortable. “In our lifetime, there will always be a way to move forward, whether it is your career, your relationships, or your body of knowledge.” Travis has made meeting new people and creating new adventures a priority in his life. In representing the Beedie School of Business abroad while pursuing graduate studies, he is not only meeting his priorities, but also furthering SFU’s vision of engaging the community and the world.
- Written by SFU Beedie School of Business