Journeyman electrician Shawn Snow advances career with business certificate

Carlee Snow

Shawn Snow (BAC 2019) knew that when he completed his Electrical Journeyperson's Licence that it would not be the last time he would be in the classroom. Naturally curious with an inherited passion for business, Snow set his sights on the Certificate in Business (BAC) program at the Edwards School of Business with the motivation to expand his knowledge and his career options.  

For 10 years, Snow worked as an electrician for Innovation Saskatchewan (formerly Innovation Place), managing a number of projects and ensuring systems ran efficiently. In his role he honed in his teamwork skills as well as taking on leadership roles when he got the chance, skills that would help him well in the future, both in his career endeavors and in the classroom.  

In 2017, Snow enrolled in the BAC program. Initially unsure of where and how his career would progress, he saw the program as a natural next step for him to continue to grow and learn.  

“I decided to apply to Edwards to further my education and gain a better understanding of the business environment,” said Snow. “I was eager to learn something new and since I’ve always been interested in business it was the perfect opportunity for me.”  

He also found the option to be able to ladder into the full-time Bachelors of Commerce (B.Comm.) program to be an appealing draw because he didn’t have a clear career outcome he was pursuing.   

“The option to transfer into the full-time program felt like an insurance on my investment in the sense that it can be used towards future educational endeavors depending on where my career will take me.”  

Snow explained that what he enjoyed most about the class was the implementation of real and local businesses into the cases and projects they worked on. “My favourite project was a business analysis of 9 Mile Brewery. We acted as consultants: we met with the founders, toured the facility, and were able to work with them to come up with a solution for the problem. The hands-on experience really enhanced the learning process.”  

One of his group members ended up working with 9 Mile as a result of this project. “It was a great opportunity for us to expand our networks and specifically for her. We were already seeing the real-world impact and value of the program before we even completed it.”  

“On a professional level the certificate program set the foundational steppingstones for how I could advance into different positions in my career through the knowledge and skills I gained,” explained Snow. “Personally, it was a great learning experience for myself of what I was able to accomplish. The program was a lot of hard work, it was time consuming, but the end result is worth the work, and it was a great accomplishment.”  

That hard work soon paid off. In December 2022, Snow was offered an Asset Management position with Innovation Saskatchewan, citing the BAC as a big contributor to this career change.  

“The certificate helped me get my new role because it demonstrated that I had the ability and drive to take on new challenges and better myself outside of what was required of me in my role as an electrician,” said Snow.  “I gained the business knowledge needed to move up into a higher-level strategic role.”  

The transition from electrician to asset manager came with many new responsibilities with the major focus being on looking after the built environment to ensure all systems are operating within their designed scope. A primary element of this work is done through commissioning.  

“We want to bring equipment up to the design specifications so there are no interruptions to the business community,” Snow explained. “This has huge positive impact for the organization, allowing the buildings to run more efficiently which is economically better but also results in less environmental impacts.”   

Another new responsibility is leading different elements of a new strategic plan as Innovation Saskatchewan is looking to implement new management programs. “I’m happy to be coming on board at the beginning so I can be part of the full scope of the project through conception, implementation, execution, to finish. It is an exciting time.”  

The responsibilities that came with this new role provided the perfect opportunity for Snow to flex the skills he learned at Edwards. “Because the program touched on a wide variety of aspects in business, they translated seamlessly into the work I’m now doing, be it strategic thinking, operations, human resources, and more. I see the direct correlation between my education and my job and its very rewarding.”  

“My favourite part of my job is the challenge; identifying issues, creating plans, implementing to resolve the problem. I enjoy this challenge but also the opportunity to learn something new.” Snow shared that regardless of what position he is in, he wants there to be an emphasis on lifelong learning, one of his close personal values. “I always want to be learning something new. Always growing and evolving what is possible for me.”  

Visit the Edwards Certificate in Business page to learn more or chat with an advisor. The Certificate in Business is designed for individuals from non-business backgrounds who want to advance their career potential through a foundation in business. Set yourself apart when applying for jobs and expand your knowledge by developing the critical and creative thinking skills needed to become an effective decision maker. 

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