Talk sought to illuminate career paths for business students
By Jason GokHo Ing, Contributor
The Douglas Commerce & Business Association (DCBA) has just showcased an event that demonstrates the wide range of career paths a student can pursue with a degree in business.
In this hour-and-a-half lecture, the guest speakers talked about how they began their careers, the lessons they learned, and what they would have done differently if they could start all over.
Steve Davidson, vice president of sales at Cambridge House International, kicked off the event by discussing how he decided on a career in sales when he himself was once a student at Douglas College. Davidson said he fell in love with the idea of working with others after taking a personal selling class taught by David Moulton. Although he doesn’t regret his education, Davidson said he wished he got involved with the professors and student body sooner. He said he believes it is imperative for college students to step outside their comfort zone and network with others in order to develop meaningful connections that will propel them towards success.
The second guest was Kay Kuang, a CPA working as a controller for Fontile Corporation Limited. A naturally risk-adverse individual, Kuang said she decided to pursue accounting as a career after she was offered an internship with Ernst and Young. Having travelled across continents, Kuong said it was hard work and perseverance that allowed her to endure her 12-hour, seven-days-a-week training. The accountant also noted that, in order to overcome obstacles in her career, she had to be blunt, use her authority as an advantage, and actively contribute her own skills to the situation at hand.
The next guest speaker was Dexter Lintag, a financial services representative at CIBC. Lintag described his career path as sporadic, with many twists and turns along the way. His original plan was to become a commercial pilot, but he couldn’t pursue that due to financial constraints. He then went into information technology before realizing the career was not for him. After spending nearly a decade working as a mechanic, Lintag was recruited by one of his friends to start a t-shirt business. It was during his time pitching and selling products to the local Filipino market that it dawned on him that business was the perfect fit for him. Although going back to school in his late 30s was difficult, the decision was worth it, he said. Lintag said he believes that in order to succeed, an individual must find out what they are passionate about and what they are good at.
The final speaker was Dominique Taganahan, a financial recruiter for Robert Half. Responsible for interviewing dozens of college students daily, Taganahan said the ability to create a positive first impression is an invaluable skill to have. Since business is an industry that is based off of “who you know,” it is important to maintain professional presence wherever you may go, according to Tagnahan. After all, she said, the accounting classmate you had a couple semesters ago could be your potential employer in just a few years’ time.