In celebration of the Spring 2020 graduating class, we have shifted the focus of our five questions series to our graduates. In this installment, we spoke with Dhillon School of Business graduate and former President of the Management Students' Society, now the Dhillon Business Students' Association, Travis Slomp. Travis graduates with Bachelor of Management with an International Management major and Spanish minor.
What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience?
My most memorable experience was being the President of the Management Students' Society, now the Dhillon Business Students' Association. I met so many amazing people throughout the university and community and made some life-long friendships. I grew so much as a person that year and learned a lot of valuable life lessons and skills that will help me in my future. Getting involved in that capacity really opened up more opportunities for me throughout the year.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?
There were a lot of people throughout the university that truly helped me and had a strong impact on my years of study. The two people that stand out to me the most are Dan Kazakoff and Luz Ospina. For anyone that knows Dan, they know exactly why he was a strong influence. Dan is an all-around superb professor and human being. He is always super friendly and open to talk to anyone whether he knows you or not. His classes were some of my favorite ones that I took and he puts so much pride into what he does. If you have a chance to take any class with Dan, you would be mistaken to pass up on that opportunity. The other professor was Luz Ospina, Luz was my professor for some of my Spanish minor courses and she too is an absolutely wonderful professor. She is extremely caring and puts so much passion into the classes she teaches. I also was fortunate to go on an exchange to Spain that Luz sets up and her impact on me through the exchange and my classes are something I will never forget.
What is the most important lesson you learned?
The most important lesson I learned is that you need to get out of your comfort zone as early as possible, and get engaged. I was a fairly reserved and quiet kid coming into my first couple of years of university. Towards the end of my second year, I met some people that pushed me to test my boundaries and I really stepped out of my comfort zone. I started getting engaged throughout the rest of my university years and became way more outgoing and personable. If I hadn't challenged myself I wouldn't be where I am today, wouldn't have met so many amazing people, and would've had a lot more regrets upon graduating.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
Due to COVID, much like everyone else, my future plans have changed quite extensively. Instead of traveling I am now focusing on my career and looking for a graduate student position hopefully related to international business. Down the road, I would love to become an expatriate and work in/see more of the world. I would also love working as an internal consultant, helping companies with cultural or hierarchical issues. Helping these companies to understand and adjust their workplace settings to become more people-oriented and more successful.
What advice would you give to students who are about to begin their post-secondary journeys?
My advice is to make sure you're taking care of your mental health. I have seen and personally experienced burnout in many forms and it really isn't worth it. That test, paper, or project you have due is important, however, it's not worth risking your mental health over. Make sure you have a healthy mixture of social, work, and school life. University should be fun, so enjoy it.