I began working well before I started university. I loved working with children and found summer and after- school jobs first as a babysitter, then at a camp and then at a daycare. After high school, I travelled and took courses abroad and came back around the winter semester.
Since I intended to pursue a kinesiology arts degree, I enrolled in courses to become certified as a personal trainer and pilates instructor. I knew it would be difficult to find a well paying part-time position as a student and I realized that being certified would allow me to earn money to pay for my education and also gain relevant experience during my studies in kinesiology.
Soon after I became certified, I was excited to find a job at a local gym. But, when I returned to school full-time, my schedule often conflicted with work and it was difficult to balance both. So I quit my job.
I realized that starting my own fitness equipment and fitness apparel business might be a great idea since it would allow me to create my own work schedule. I did a little bit of further research on how one starts their own business and I discovered that it would require a lot of money, time and space — none of which I had.
Since I always loved making jewelry and designing, I decided that for the time being I would sell accessories. I found several suppliers, designed my website and logo with a major design company, and then launched my accessories business, veredben.com In my third year as a student, I finally felt ready to pursue my passion in the fitness and health industry. I started V2Be, a fitness training program for women and girls. I developed a curriculum and launched an after school fitness program that focuses on healthy living and self- esteem building for children.
It has definitely been a challenge combining school with business, but it is absolutely amazing to have the flexibility of creating my own schedule and deciding how much work I want to put in and when. Although I am only doing this business part-time, I have the option of pursuing it full-time when I graduate.
Most career centres and schools focus a lot on grades, career options and resumés, and usually do not let students think outside the box when it comes to job searching. I think schools should help students see that working for yourself can be a great option.