Recipient of the Dhillon School of Business Gold Medal
For this installment of our Five Questions series, in celebration of the Spring 2020 graduating class, we shift our focus to Dhillon School of Business undergraduate gold medal winner, Jenna Peters. Jenna graduates with a Bachelor of Management with a finance major. She is a cohort of Co-operative Education (Co-op) and Integrated Management Experience (IME) and was a research assistant for the marketing department, working closely with Dr. Roberto Bello analyzing theoretical constructs in consumer behaviour.
1. How has your history impacted your post-secondary journey?
I grew up just outside of Calgary where western values of hard work and persistence are commonly preached. It was always important to do your best, be involved in the community and give back wherever possible. When I came to the University, it was very important to me to continue to follow these moral guides.
I grew up riding horses and began volunteering regularly with the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association, helping physically and mentally disabled individuals cope with their disabilities in a constructive manner. Being around horses has kept me grounded, I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with them in many facets.
2. What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience?
In my third year of University, I took part in the Integrated Management Experience (IME) program. We worked alongside a non-profit, Windy City Canine Rescue (WCCR), to help formalize their business practices, steer them toward their future goals and create a replicable fundraising event, the 'Woofin' it Walk'. I will never forget the feeling of gratitude and appreciation when we saw the outpouring of community support and attendance at the event. We anticipated that a few people would come to see the animals for adoption, however, it was a fully packed park of smiling families and wagging tails.
Being able to learn the theory in class one day and apply it in a meaningful and transformative manner the next, truly impacted my learning experience in the most wonderful way. Working not only with the organization, but with my brilliant cohort, allowed me to see that small efforts by many, truly do make great changes. Additionally, it demonstrated that a grassroots approach can have staggering results. Afterward, I was lucky enough to take on an independent study with a colleague to work closely with the founders of WCCR to design a tailored long-term business plan.
3. Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?
My older sister, Cayley Peters, who is also a uLethbridge alumna, has had such an impact on my experience. She is the main reason I chose uLethbridge and to pursue a degree in finance. She is the most intelligent, hardworking and caring individual I know. Having someone to guide me through each process, whether choosing classes or my major, made big decisions feel more manageable. I truly don’t know what I would have done without her ongoing support, guidance and understanding throughout the last four years. She also has given me valuable insight on how to apply my degree in industry. I look up to her as one of my greatest role models and hope to one day give back to her all that she has given me.
4. What is the most important lesson you learned?
University has taught me that tenacity and hard work will ultimately lead to success. Regardless of your skill level at the beginning of a task, if you put in the time and do not take shortcuts, you will achieve what you put your mind to. My experience at uLethbridge has affirmed that merit will prevail in all scenarios, regardless of where you start. If you want something, work hard for it and you will succeed.
5. What advice would you give to students who are about to begin their post-secondary journeys?
To new students, I would say to jump at every opportunity that presents itself. You never know what doors will open and always, at least, take the time to explore them. Definitely take part in some form of extracurricular group, you never know what you will find out about yourself. Additionally, don’t sweat the small stuff. There will be moments where it seems your plate is just too full; balance is important. Meet all the new people that you can, the social aspect is equally as important as the schooling. I can confidently say university has been the most memorable years of my life. Don’t forget to take it all in, the journey you are about to embark upon is one of learning and growing, both professionally and personally. Lastly, it is important to find something meaningful to you whether it be your major, a club, a charity or a sport!