The Edwards Experiential Learning Initiative

The Edwards Experiential Learning Initiative (EELI) is a central initiative at the Edwards School of Business. By providing "hands-on" experiences, students can gain practical skills for the real world.

Each year, students are selected to be Experiential Learning Liaisons (ELL), which bridge the gap between the initiative and students. Thrive caught up with three former ELLs to learn about the experiences they’ve had since finishing at Edwards.

Anna Tavares

Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Graduation Year: 2017
Major: Management

Why Edwards?

AT: As an international student, I chose Edwards because having a business degree from a local university created a number of career opportunities I could pursue. Edwards offered me the support and guidance I needed to establish myself as a business professional.

What did after-grad life look like for you?

AT: I am a Director of Strategy at Vendasta Technologies. It’s one of the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in North America. In my role, I am responsible for managing initiatives that drive Partner engagement and growth through Product Led Growth strategies.

How did your experiential learning position help you?

AT: The Experiential Learning Liaison role gave me project management and event planning experience, skills that I frequently use in my current role at Vendasta.

What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?

AT: Professionally, earning the chance to speak about my work in front of 200+ conference attendees at ConquerLocal, in San Diego this past June (photo).

Advice for students?

AT: Be present, learn to be a good listener, get to know yourself (your strengths and weaknesses), and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Jaedyn Matsalla

Hometown: Canora, SK
Graduation Year: 2018
Major: Marketing

What are you doing now?

JM: I’m living across the world in Germany. I work at a B2B company. It’s a small, international company, so we manage all facets and regions of our marketing from headquarters. I enjoy what I do here, and it’s never boring – dealing with high-tech and innovative solutions that I am constantly learning more about, utilizing different types of marketing channels and media, and developing our brand throughout all regions of the world.

What’s one takeaway from your degree?

JM: While university group projects are not always enjoyable and easy, I think that learning how to work with all types of people has been one of the most important assets that I’ve acquired over my degree. I never even realized the communication and conflict resolution skills that were being honed over that time. The real world involves a lot of collaboration, and often with people who have different backgrounds and cultures. I’m pleased to feel surprisingly comfortable and competent working with colleagues from across the world that have varying skill sets and working styles.

Advice for students?

JM: I think one of the most underrated traits when going out into the workforce, working with clients, or even just working with other students and professors is being humble and having a good attitude.

Lindsay Wileniec

Hometown: Saskatoon, SK
Graduation Year: 2016
Major: Finance

Where are you currently working?

LW: I am an Analyst in HSBC’s Global Graduate Programme and am concluding my second rotation in Global Trade and Receivables Finance in Vancouver. I’m also writing my thesis for my M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics.

What does the future have in store for you?

LW: I’m relocating to Toronto for my next rotation with HSBC. After that, some of my goals are to complete my M.Sc., move abroad with HSBC, and hike the Via Dinarica.

Advice for students?

LW: Say, yes. There are many avenues for professional development; seek them out and don’t shy away from opportunities that come your way.  

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