New finance major grad Joshua Olea (BMgt '21) from the Dhillon School of Business says he chose his major because of its mix of theory and practical concepts. While learning practical components like how to read financial statements, he also learned to take into account theoretical factors such as the competitive nature of markets and the quality of how a company is managed. This mix he says helped him grow as a critical thinker.

Here Joshua tells us more about his experiences at uLethbridge's Dhillon School of Business.

What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience?

I attended the University of Lethbridge Calgary Campus, in which the classes are tailored to those who work 9-5. As a result, I believe I was able to learn from a more mature set of colleagues as I felt I was usually one of the younger individuals in my classes. Some of the most memorable experiences I’ve had at uLethbridge came from learning from my peers, discovering what I enjoyed and growing as an individual.

Did you participate in co-op? Tell us a bit about your co-op work terms.

I completed three work-terms at TC Energy. At TC Energy I was hired as a Business Analyst Student for three work-terms (12 months). Being part of the Initiative Management Office team, I was able to help support leadership (managers, directors and VPs) streamline communication processes, create visualizations of data, as well as help with cost-performance. I had a very supportive team who helped contribute to my growth as an individual and build the confidence I now have in the work that I do. My favourite part of my work term was being able to work with Microsoft Power Bi. Because of my co-op I now have an interest in the data sciences and would like to pursue a Masters in that field. I believe the best thing about co-op is the competitive advantage it gives you as a student.

What is the most important lesson you learned during your time in the Dhillon School of Business? Were there challenges you overcame?

The most important lesson I learned in post-secondary was to take my time. Early in my degree I overloaded myself with extra curricular activities and I almost did not enter into the co-op program just because it would have delayed my graduation by a year. I feel like post-secondary should be a place where you are given an environment to figure out what you’re passionate about and to learn what you enjoy doing.

Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?

I believe there were a few professors who had an important influence on me. One who particularly comes to mind would be Robbin Derry. Robbin is an extremely humble person who has strong values for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. From taking her classes I have gotten insight about the importance of these topics and have grow an interest in contributing to society through volunteering and/or advocacy work. Her life experiences that she shared with the classes also influenced me to perhaps someday pursue a PhD.

What advice would you give to those who are about to begin their journey at the Dhillon School of Business?

Education shouldn’t be a sprint, but a marathon. School and grades are important but I believe mental health should take priority. Please take your time to enjoy the experience and take advantage of all the opportunities that come with being a student!

The Dhillon School of Business at the University of Lethbridge is known for its immersive experiential learning opportunities, connecting learners with industry, its supportive, personalized approach and for exposing students to emerging technology. Study options available in both Lethbridge and Calgary.