Entrepreneur - Social Innovation Start-up

"I started my own business to focus on making a difference to young people. As an entrepreneur, I’m part financier, part product manager, part human resources manager, part market researcher, and I’m always selling my vision. In this job, I need to have confidence in my vision, the ingenuity to deliver my vision within limited means and the enthusiasm to effectively tell the story and move others to action. I also need enough humility to adapt my solutions to changing market conditions and feedback."

Salary Range:

$40,560 - $122,005

The Tip

Don’t get a mentor. Get mentors. No single person has all the answers. I find the real learning isn’t in what they agree on, it’s what they disagree on. This is where you can really start to ask hard questions.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Formulating research questions

  • Ability to critically analyze literature

  • Ability to develop and execute qualitative research

  • Ability to synthesize key themes from multiple sources

 

Contextual Knowledge
  • Knowledge of human behaviour

  • Understanding of context and values of audiences

  • Essential understanding of topics and themes as they relate to an audience

 

Advanced Communication Skills
  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Sensitivity to how communications is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to audience

Evidence-based Storytelling Skills
  • Ability to use research to develop an evidence-based story

  • Ability to generate story ideas

  • Ability to identify target audiences

  • Ability to create compelling narratives across media

 

Additional Skills
  • Excel in defined core transferable skills with a focus on transdisciplinary systems thinking, adaptive thinking, communication, organizational and interpersonal skills

  • Fundamental business acumen

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (English) with a minor in social innovation

  • Bachelor of Education. Completed additional courses and professional development in guidance ­­­­­­counselling.

  • Master of Business Administration (entrepreneurship)

  • A commitment to being a lifelong learner. I read one book a month.

  • Listen to the Stanford Social Innovation Review SSIR podcasts

 

"I followed my passion into a degree in English and then a B.Ed. What gets me up in the morning is making a difference to young people. As a guidance counsellor, I identified opportunities to enhance our school’s program delivery through process innovation. This led me to complete my M.B.A. in entrepreneurship and pursue my mission to change the world through social innovation."

Employment Experiences:
  • Guidance counsellor for six years

  • Founder of a social innovation start-up focused at developing digital support for career counselling and training. Secured a three-year government grant to fund pilot

 

"Experience as a guidance counsellor set the stage for my career change. The change wouldn’t have been possible without my background in counselling. My career pivot was less about a long-term plan and more the result of learning about myself and what I can do for the world."

Community Experiences:
  • Since my second year of university, I have spent one week a year volunteering at a school overseas. For the past four years, I’ve coordinated the trip.

 

"A passionate professor in university introduced me to this field school program where I still spend one week a year abroad mentoring young teachers and educators."

Contextual Experiences:
  • Worked in both big and small organizations

  • I am a passionate believer in Margaret Mead’s principle that “…a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

 

"I discovered I loved being a guidance counsellor, but the system and structure limited my impact. My contextual experience allowed me to develop the ability to reflect on how to maximize my impact."

Relationships:
  • Developed a diverse team of mentors inside and outside of education. This includes senior people in education, entrepreneurs and professors.

 

"The diversity of my mentors often creates internal conflict and challenges. This is a good thing. I see how building a uniform mentor team of people “just like me” can be comforting, but I found it to be a poor strategy. I now use mentors to challenge what I think I know."