Lashonda Mitchell, BMgt

What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience?

I had a few memories at uLethbridge that were quite memorable for me. The first and most prominent being Managerial Skill Development. This course taught me a lot of why people act the way they do within as well as outside of their work environments. I personally enjoy learning about what makes others tick, so to have a course other than Organizational Behaviour that expanded on these topics was great! The best part of this class was the hour-long discussions at the commencement of each day and the activities which allowed us to get to know our classmates better. This was the first class that focused on understanding the material being taught rather than memorizing it. It was nice to feel like I was being heard in the classroom and that my opinions mattered. The next memory would be the Exploring Creativity class. Just like Managerial Skill Development, this class made me feel as if my voice was being heard, paired with plenty of fun improv games, activities and projects that forced you to get out of your comfort zone and experience new things. I finished my degree with this course and it was definitely the cherry on top when it came to my university career. Lastly, the simulations in Introduction to Supply Chain. I hold a minor in supply chain, so there is no surprise that this course would be one of my favourite courses. This course included simulations and using excel to figure out supply chain problems. I loved that this class was so hands on, it definitely made me a lot more excited about pursuing a career in supply chain.

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

There were 3 people that stood out the most to me during my time at the uLethbridge, the first two being my co-op coordinators. Brynne Thurston and Doreen Kooy definitely impacted my life when it comes to looking for a career. They both encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and realize that if an organization is calling you for an interview, it’s because they believe you can do the job. In turn, all you have to do is provide them with the evidence that backs their beliefs while also interviewing them to see if they are a good fit for you. These two women helped me grow in the co-op program and become more vocal and strong in each internship that I took. With their patience I was able to become more confident in my writing abilities and in showing others how much of an asset I am to a team. The third person that made an impact was Lorne Williams. Lorne’s teaching style focuses on getting students to understand the concepts instead of memorizing terms just to pass a course. By leading the class through an hour long discussion every time we met, he gave each student the opportunity to apply what they were learning. This was one of the first times that I felt like my voice mattered in a classroom setting. I didn’t feel like I was being talked at, but instead as if I was actually involved in the teaching process. The way that Lorne approached his teaching and his students, allowed all of us to open up more and be honest about our experiences in the workplace. It opened each and every one of us up to constructive criticism and provided us with tools to help improve our reactions within the classroom, work environment and the world in general. I will always remember this class as it also taught me how to make people feel heard and assert myself in a healthier way.

What is the most important lesson you learned?

Do everything that scares you! It’s very easy to stay in your comfort zone but there is always something better on the other side. Challenge yourself to do things that you don’t feel you are qualified for or at least learn how to do the things you are not qualified for so that when it comes time to apply that knowledge, you will not be afraid.

What are your hopes/plans for the future?

My hope is to find a career that lights me up. I would love to stay in Supply Chain but if I realize I am a better fit in a different industry, I will jump into it wholeheartedly. I hope to end up in a position where I am able to help others learn more about themselves or learn more about how the industry I’m in can benefit them.

What advice would you give to students who are about to begin their post-secondary (graduate studies) journeys?

Do not worry about timelines and definitely join the co-op program or make sure that you get summer internships in the field that you’re studying. Networking is so important! Make great connections with the other students, your teachers, your employers and always put your best foot forward. If you have to retake a class, don’t fret, think of it as a way to learn a different learning style and a chance to pick up information that you may have missed the first time around. At the end of the day, you will have your degree, but make sure to make the most of this experience. It will be scary, but it will be worth it! It doesn’t matter if it takes you 4 years of more, do everything you can to get the most out of your experience. Grades are important but they are not the be all end all, your connections, problem solving abilities, job experience, extracurricular activities and voice will get you much farther than only focusing on your grades. Don’t forget to enjoy all of it and don’t take anything in life too seriously or you’ll miss the beauty in every experience.