LSM Alumni

LSM Alumni

Joao Ricardo Becker Scheidegger"Every single one of our Langarans has been excellent hire. What I love particularly about Langarans is the baggage and experience they bring to the table...and hiring from Langara directly impacts on how diverse our team is. (João Ricardo Becker Scheidegger, LSM PDD Business Alumnus).
Emma Whiten Alumna

Post-Degree Diploma in Marketing Management

Tell us a little about yourself and what made you choose PDD Marketing Management.

My name is Emma Whiten. I originally went to school for Anthropology but decided I wanted to find a career in a more creative space. After a year of odd jobs and travelling, I found myself looking for a program to help me achieve this goal. A friend recommended the Langara PDD program and that’s what I went with!

You volunteered as a Sexual Respect Ambassador in Langara. Could you describe what you did and accomplished during that period?

My participation in this program was not very intensive. I sat in a few meetings and volunteered my time where I could. I was an ambassador for only a semester, but it is a great program and an amazing team running it.

What was your favourite project as the Public Relations Coordinator at Jelly Marketing?

It’s hard to choose a favourite project at Jelly! We get to work with so many interesting clients and across so many campaigns. I really love getting to work with our Indigenous clients, such as the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, and the opportunity to provide education to Jelly Academy students.

What was the happiest moment of your career so far?

It’s hard to pick one single moment! Before working at jelly, I worked in the craft beer industry which involved a lot of event planning and organization. Seeing these events come to fruition was a really great moment and is something that I am very proud of.

Which advice would you give to a student willing to pursue a career in Public Relations?

My best advice would be to really make yourself available. Offering up your help to your team and demonstrating your ability to be a self-starter is huge in the industry. When it comes to PR, you need to be able to take initiative and act quickly.

Aaron Bowbyes Alumnus

BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration - Business Management

Hi Aaron, tell us about yourself and how you decided to study business at Langara College?

I grew up in a town called Oakville, ON and have lived in Vancouver for the past five years now. When I arrived here in 2017, I began the management program at Langara because I wanted to begin exploring careers in business and potentially start my own. I fell in love with Vancouver for its mountains and natural beauty and began seeing my life continuing here. I finished my BBA with Langara in May of 2021 while managing to secure a marketing management diploma simultaneously. One of the cool characteristics of the program structure is that you can get a diploma and a degree within the four-year period if you select your courses right. I highly suggest that those pursuing their BBA would consider doing the same.

You are currently pursuing a master’s degree. How do the skills and knowledge learned at Langara College prepare you for this new chapter?

I’m currently doing a master of global business with the University of Victoria. It’s an amazing program designed for students with a passion for international business and travel. Within one year, I’ll have studied in three different countries with the same cohort and completed an internship with an international firm. Langara was a big steppingstone for me to pursue this higher education route since it taught me many things inside and outside the classroom. Written and oral communication is really important in most jobs now, and I had so many opportunities to improve in these areas. Many of the business courses at Langara have presentation assignments, and it’s a great way to improve your public speaking abilities and confidence. There is also a Toastmasters club if you want to take your speaking to the next level. And for writing improvement, there is a writing centre in the library which is a very useful place to get feedback on your work. Learning how to work in diverse teams is also so important, and this was another critical skill I got to work on in many of my classes. Lastly, the technical ability to navigate Microsoft apps is extremely practical as I use either Word, Excel, or PowerPoint daily now. It was really helpful that the program has two BCAP courses which specifically focus on learning these tools because it makes your life so much easier.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Or What is your plan after your graduation?

I will finish my master’s this year and do an internship in the summer. The truth is that career exploration is still an ongoing project for me. I’m slowly discovering what I like and what I excel at, which is working with people, selling things, and thinking creatively, so my goal is to find the right role which can let these competencies flourish. After my internship, I may do more travelling before settling down in a more permanent position in possibly sales or account management. I am still leaving the door open to starting my own business, which would become a large part of the next five years.

Networking is vital in all careers. Could you share a tip of how students can expand or cultivate their network better?

I think that everyone has a different perception of what networking really is, and I think people forget how valuable their current social circle is. My suggestion is that when you begin your search, start asking around to your closest people. Not only are your friends more willing to help you, but they know people. The world is smaller than it seems, and you’d be surprised that you don’t actually have to reach so far out of your social circle to unlock many opportunities with good companies. A specific suggestion I have is to always contact the hiring manager or recruiter. The interviews I’ve landed are from sending a LinkedIn message or making a call to the right person. You can easily stand out more by being the proactive person who contacts the manager to show your interest in applying. Also, feel welcome to connect with me online.

Thanks Aaron. Finally, what was your favourite moment at Langara/favourite group project during your time at Langara?

The best decision I made during my time at Langara was to apply for the Korea and China Field Study. It was a blend of academics and international travel, and it was such a rich experience. The school even subsidizes some of the program costs, so it’s relatively affordable. We travelled for three weeks in Asia, attended lectures at different universities, and ate the most delicious food. There are different field studies available for business students, so make sure to consider it!



Kavita Dhillon Alumna

Diploma in Marketing Management

Kavita Dhillon

Why did you choose to study the Marketing Diploma?
I choose to study Marketing because I realized that it was applied (or needed) within' nearly every industry; which would ultimately allow me flexibility through my career to work for a variety of companies. I also allowed myself to dream about some type of marketing career with Disney, and I was able to experience working for the company through an opportunity as a Coop student at Langara!

Have you found work in the area that you studied?
Yes! After completing my Marketing Diploma, and finding out about Sports Management from students I meant via the Disney International Program, by way of the Co-Op program at Langara, I continued my studies to achieve a Bachelor's degree in Sport Management. Since then, I have been able to fill a variety of roles in the Professional Sports Industry; most recently with the Toronto Raptors, as Manager of Game Presentation, which actually falls under the scope of Marketing.
Did you find your work to be what you anticipated?
I definitely did not anticipate a career in the Professional Sports Industry, when I started my Marketing Diploma at Langara College. However, the Sport Management program I took provided great insights into what to expect while working within the industry. Further though, I had no idea what Game Presentation/Entertainment was about until I was offered an opportunity to be a Stage Manager for the Sacramento Kings; and I fell in love!

What was one of your best memories from Langara?
Some of my best memories were group projects! I really enjoyed getting to collaborate with other students on work that resembled what industry professionals did as part of their jobs.

What are you doing to stay positive and motivated during COVID?
It has been tough, as I come to the end of a contract with the Raptors (in August) and the majority of the sports industry is on a hiring freeze. However, I have invested in self-care activities, such as cooking and yoga. I've also dedicated time to creative projects (video editing and mental health advocacy) and a Leading at Any Level (4-week) program.

Cara Eckert Alumna

BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration - Marketing Management

Alumni-Cara-EckertI graduated from the Langara BBA program (Management stream) in 2018. Since grad, I've been working at Electronic Arts as an Associate Development Manager on the FIFA video game.

Covid-19 has vastly impacted everyone today. What have you and your work environment done to cope with an online environment?
My team implemented no-meeting-Fridays to compensate for the zoom overload a lot of us were experiencing. I think the most important thing we've done however, is continuously collect feedback around everyone's work from home experience, as a lot of our pain points have shifted since we first transitioned home over 6 months ago.

If you were to give a student one or two pointers to help them through this time, what would they be?
Take care of yourself! School is stressful enough in normal times; work hard but don't forget to have some fun too.

How do you stay positive and motivated?
Exercise and fresh air! If I'm starting to get too stressed or discouraged, I know it's time to go for a quick walk or hit the gym.

Shira Gordon Alumna

Diploma in Marketing Management

Shira Gordon Why did you choose to study the Marketing Diploma?
I developed a strong interest in Marketing when I took a Marketing class in high school (way back in 2002!). I wanted to dive deeper into how products and services are marketed, branded and sold. I also was interested in the psychology behind how consumers purchase particular brands.

Have you found work in the area that you studied?
Yes, I have well over 12 years experience in marketing, sales and event management. I applied a number of principles I learned when I was at Langara even though the marketing landscape has changed drastically since I took my diploma (hello digital marketing and social media!). I started off in the marketing and sales coordination side, then moved into event management and now I am in a position that is a combination of event management and administration and I love it!

Did you find your work to be what you anticipated?
Somewhat, yes. A lot of what I learned at Langara was reminiscent of what I was doing at my first full time job after I finished my diploma. I slowly moved into event management which I did not foresee happening when I was in school. I started to do more and more event related tasks in my first job out of school and realized I loved it and wanted to pursue a career in event management. I still utilize my core Marketing skills I learned in school in the work I do almost every day and I don't think I would be where I am today if I did not take the Marketing diploma at Langara.

What was one of your best memories from Langara?
Making new friends and having great conversations related to my area of study at the cafeteria! I also really appreciated how much career support the co-operative education department gave me during my 2 years at Langara (you rock Heather!).

What are you doing to stay positive and motivated during Covid?
Staying connected with family and friends virtually, singing (I belong to a choir and we have gone virtual), working out regularly and my two Corgis (dogs are great therapy). I also decided to learn ukulele and that has been a lot of fun!

Travis Green Alumnus

BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration - Business Management

Hi Travis, could you please introduce yourself? How did you decide to come to Langara and decide on your major?

I decided to come to Langara because of the Co-op program and active student community! I quickly learned from other students in the program that there are many benefits that come from pursuing education while getting hands-on experience in your field. I saw it as a way to feel more confident post-graduation; walking away with relevant work experience and helping me figure out what career path I would take. As for my major, I decided to pursue a Business Management degree because it gave me the flexibility to cast a wide net and learn about many disciplines of business.

You achieved multiple awards while working as a Co-op student. Could you please tell us more about your achievements? What piece of advice would you give to students who want to optimize their learning during their Co-op?  

I was awarded the co-op student of the year award for 2020 after completing three co-op positions with Langara which was truly an honour. In my opinion, the best way to optimize your learning while working is to ask for support when you need it, take healthy risks, and most importantly proactively ask for and incorporate feedback from your manager. I think it can be easy to avoid asking questions and seeking support to prove you're a capable co-op student...but in reality, it will show that you are curious, eager to learn, and will get you ahead in your role.


We know you are currently working as an Account Specialist. What were some of the most practical things you learned in the Business program at Langara that prepared you for your career?

There were many, but the most practical learning for my first role would be learning how to present information concisely while building a compelling argument for implementing solutions. Thinking back to group projects, simulations, and case studies, the practical education that Langara offers made me feel both comfortable and confident breaking into the fast-paced tech world where I am today.

One thing that you wish you knew before starting your career?

I wish I had started getting involved with the student community earlier than I did! In my first couple of years, I was hesitant and to be honest, a bit intimidated. My thinking was quickly changed once I put myself out there by joining clubs and volunteering. Doing so opened up so many opportunities and lasting friendships. In my opinion, the best way to get ahead while you are a student is by being active outside the classroom, too.

Do you have a favorite memories of Langara as a student?

So tough to pick but my favorite memory at Langara as a student would have to be the 2019 International Business Field Study! Visting South Korea and Thailand, the trip was packed full of experiential learning through visits to local businesses, as well as historical and cultural sites. So many cherished memories were made with my instructors and peers on that trip, plus friendships and stories that I will never stop telling.

Manisha Kashyap Alumna

Post-Degree Diploma in Business Administration

1. Hi Manisha! Tell us about yourself and why you chose the PDD in Business Administration?

Hello, I am Manisha Kashyap from India. When I decided to study further, I was looking for a program that can not only help me advance my education but also enhance me as a professional and increase the quality and quantity of job opportunities in Canada. The curriculum of PDD BA is built that way that it makes all the students ready to enter the Canadian job market with credibility.

2. You currently work as a Customer Experience (CX) Specialist. Can you briefly describe your role?

As a CX Specialist, my role involves building a product according to the customers’ needs. I listen to the customers, in order to help them solve their problems. And work with team from different areas, in order to find the balance between what the customer wants and what the company can provide.

3. You had plenty of volunteering time in Langara. How have these experiences helped in your career?

Yes, I have more than 400 volunteering hours at Langara. It not only helped me in building my skills but it gave me the opportunity to make some good friends for life. After graduation when I started giving interviews, I realized that my experience at volunteering is considered as valid Canadian experience and the employers really appreciate and consider it.

4. How do you find work-life balance?

I was able to find my work life balance by creating and religiously following a planner. It included everything from my assignments submissions to office meetings. My planner made sure that my office schedule was never overlapping with my college schedule. The other most important time management technique I followed was Pomodoro Technique. It really helped me finishing my work on time without procrastination.

5. What advice would you give to a Business Student in Langara?

Don’t miss out the opportunities and fun you get on campus. Try to talk to as many people as you can and build your network and friendships. This will surely be fruitful. Never underestimate the power of volunteering as this will not only help you in gaining the Canadian work experience that employers are looking for but will also help you build your skills and connections.

Martina Ondrasekova Alumna

BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration - Marketing Management

Martina OndrasekovaWhy did you choose to study BBA in Marketing Management and can you briefly describe your current role?
When choosing my undergrad major, I was deciding between the Bachelor of Media Arts degree and the BBA in Marketing Management. I went with the latter for entrepreneurial reasons. Marketing is the backbone of any business. If you can attract and keep your customers, you can run a successful business venture. Another big reason for me is people; I was always fascinated by humans, their stories, and motivations. Marketing is one of the few ways to test behavioural psychology in real life. Plus, I love how modern marketing is all about adding value to customers, rather than “being scammy.
Currently, I am a Marketing Manager at a Vancouver-based CPG company Smartbite Snacks. I love what I do because it’s not a typical cog-in-the-machine job. I get to wear many hats, work with different people from all over the world, I learn something new each day and see a direct impact of my efforts. There are lots of daily challenges that need to be solved but I find this kind of work incredibly fulfilling and exciting.

As a Marketing Manager, how do you motivate your team during the Covid-19 pandemic?
It's no secret that employees everywhere have been having a difficult time during the pandemic. A motivational speech or a company-wide email is not going to cut it when life as we know it has been turned completely on its head. To motivate and support my team I’ve been focusing on the following areas:

1) Relatedness: I am big on fostering a sense of belonging. My goal is to make sure that my team feels cared for and know I am always here for them. I do that by making time to listen to their perspectives and making sure they know that they are heard and valued. A few simple practices such as acknowledging and validating their emotions while using the words of encouragement such as: “I know it can be challenging to stay focused, but we’ll figure this out together!” can go a long way. I continue to check in with my team to see how they are doing and always ask how I can help.

2) Competence: People’s confidence (and motivation) will generally grow when they’re given the opportunity to put their skills into practice and show mastery. I involve my team in decisions where their input could be valuable. Asking for suggestions to optimize an ongoing process can help with maximizing their sense of empowerment, progress and ownership. I do that by setting up regular check-ins to discuss progress on individual goals and create strategies to meet them.

3) Autonomy: I also focus on motivating and empowering my teammates by regularly reminding them that they are the authors of their actions and have the power to make choices that are aligned with their own values, goals and interests. To help foster a sense of autonomy I encourage self-initiation and participation by asking: “What part of this project can you see yourself managing?” I know that my teammates are capable and I always encourage them to lead projects to show them that I trust them, their skills and also their judgement.

What 3 skills do you think are essential for a career in Marketing?
There are quite a few but if I had to pick only three I would go with:

  • Creativity:Marketing is in many ways a creative endeavor. Competition is fierce and ubiquitous so marketers should be able to develop unique and interesting ways to market products, promote the brand, and capture and hold the audience's attention. Creativity is very important when brainstorming ideas with creative teams of graphic designers, videographers, photographers, and influencers, evaluating the aesthetic appeal of marketing campaigns, devising creative methods for promoting and distributing products or services, and also planning and executing promo events and activations.
  • Copywriting:This is another marketing skill that goes beyond saying. That’s because a marketer's job is getting consumers to understand why a business or product is so special. It doesn't matter how shiny the design of the marketing copy is if it says nothing. You want your customers to know exactly what you have to offer.
  • Analytics: In marketing, numbers matter. Taking a data-backed approach is the only way to successfully execute marketing campaigns, test new strategies and react in real-time to take advantage of exciting opportunities. Data analysis is a critical marketing skill in this marketing automation age and Google Analytics and social media insights are some of the most important tools out there.

What was your favorite part about attending Langara?
Friendships. It fully hit me when I was attending a lecture at UBC. I found myself surrounded by hundreds of other students while at Langara I was used to interacting with 50 classmates or less. The small class environment gave me an opportunity to collaborate with other students, ask questions, participate in discussions and have a professor who actually knew who I was. It's always nice to be a real person, rather than a nameless spectator in the crowd of a mega-university. And it’s great to feel that you count. The Langara environment gave me an opportunity for one-on-one contact with my classmates, my teachers and also cafeteria staff. Throughout the years I got to know all of them and they got to know me. I made many amazing friendships that last to this very day.

Who are your role models in life? 
Great question. I have different role models for different facets of my life. I am not going to be dropping any specific names because there are quite a few but these are the qualities that I associate with those I look up to: perseverance, courage, resilience, passion, ambition, empathy, positivity, selflessness, open-mindedness, integrity, vulnerability, knowledge, humility, authenticity and self-awareness.
>To me a role model is someone who is your glimmering star among the millions of others in the continuously expanding constellation of people. I am incredibly thankful for my personal glimmering stars because they light my way, they hold me accountable and they inspire me to constantly change, grow and evolve.

Elan Polo Alumna

BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration - Business Management

Elan Polo.pngWhy did you choose to study Bachelor of Business Administration Program and are you working in the field today?
I chose to study business because it is a very practical program that can virtually be applied in any role that you pursue. The knowledge and skills that you learn throughout the program, as well as the methods for applying that knowledge, set you up for a seamless transition into the working world. Business is a very broad field, and I am current working in that field as a Recruiter for the City of Vancouver.

What is the one thing that you enjoy most about working in HR?
I love dealing with people. When I first started at Langara, I was pretty set on specializing in Accounting. The more non-accounting courses I took, the more I realized that I wanted to shift my focus to the people side. Often when you work in human resources/recruitment, the “human” out of human resources gets lost. It is easy to fall into a grind where you are just focusing on the situation at hand, or role that you are working on and not the people involved. I want to be an HR professional to ensure that the “human” stays in human resources, getting to know those I interact with and ensuring they have a positive experience all around.

How did Langara experience prepare you for your career and the real world?
The thing I loved about Langara is the hands-on and practical teaching approach in every class. Many other schools give high level overviews of crucial concepts for your career while Langara takes the time to show you those concepts in action. Whether it was the BCAP classes that taught the critical Microsoft Office skills required to succeed or going through multiple real-life tax return scenarios in FMGT, Langara not only provided me with the foundational tools but also the hands-on experience required to apply my knowledge after graduating.

What was your favorite place/studying spot on campus?
My favorite place to study at Langara was on the first floor of the library. It was a quiet place to get studying done, but also great because you were still surrounded by people!

Do you have any advice for our future students who want to become an HR Professional?
The best piece of advice I can give is explore the different areas in HR and gain experience at different organizations. HR is a very general term and when I first decided I wanted to go into HR I didn’t realize how many options fall under the “HR umbrella.” From compensation and benefits, health and safety, employee relations, HRIS, and of course recruitment, there are so many difference facets to explore. I do also think that it is important to gain experience at many organizations. Each organization has different rules, processes, and strategies and gaining experience in different settings will help you to become a more well-rounded HR professional.

Top 3 goals and/or objectives you have for yourself in the next 5 years
My top three goals and objectives for the next five years include:

  • Increase my community impact
  • Progress my career into a more strategic, leadership role
  • Continuous learning and self-improvement through courses and workshops

Tatiane Procopio Alumna

Post-Degree Diploma in Marketing Management

Tatiane.jpgCould you tell us a bit about your journey before coming to Langara and your current role as a Communications Specialist?
I graduated in Journalism with an emphasis in Integrated Communications in Brazil. Since my first semester, I started working as an intern in different companies and areas, which gave me great opportunities to align academic learning with market demands. In my last year in the university, I was an intern in the hydro company in my state, and I got a chance to become a full-time Communications Coordinator there when I graduated. Since then, I've got great opportunities to work on amazing projects and different areas in corporate communications such as internal communications, external communications, community engagement, public relations, social media management, and crisis management.

What do you like the most about your current position?
I love the opportunity to work on different projects, to collaborate with different teams in different parts of the world, and to quickly adapt and evolve techniques, tactics, and strategies to connect with the ever-evolving audiences and stakeholders meaningfully.

How do some pandemic-related marketing changes affect your work? 
Working in a global company, we get used to different time zones and collaborate online with teams in different countries. With the pandemic, we moved to work from home most of the time, but the company culture already allowed us to work at our best regardless of the physical office space. In fact, we got to connect better with our colleagues, as the mindset of the need for the physical presence to get the work done was evolved as we could collaborate as a team from anywhere.

How did Langara experience prepare you for your career and the real world?
Langara provided me with a great foundation to continue my career in another country. Since, I've graduated in journalism with an emphasis in Integrated Communications in Brazil and have been working in corporate communications since then. I always look to evolve in my career, and constantly learning is one of the ways. Doing the Marketing Management PDD program at Langara was the right choice as I could connect with amazing professionals by engaging with the clubs, volunteer opportunities, and connecting with the staff. Another great opportunity that Langara provided me was to learn from great instructors who became my mentors and were always open to hear me, guide me, and share their experiences.

Do you have any advice for our future students who choose to study PDD Marketing?
Seize all the opportunities presented to you. Engage with the clubs, go to the events that the Co-op promotes to connect students with companies and professionals, connect with your instructors and colleagues, check for volunteer opportunities in the field that you are looking to work in. Langara is an amazing community, and the outstanding staff really wants to help you excel in your career. More than providing best-in-class learning, Langara cares about its students and provides great opportunities for you to become a well-prepared professional to excel in your career. Go for it! Embrace all the opportunities!

Gagandeep Saini Alumnus

Post-Degree Diploma in Business Administration

Why did you choose to study PDD Business and are you working in the field today?
While working in the e-commerce sector back in India, I quickly realized that business studies are important for a professional jump in my career. To get good exposure, I always wanted to study in the North American region. I was looking to do an MBA, but it was way too expensive so I opted for PDD in BA, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. I am currently working in the field as a Business Development Manager – For Best Buy Canada’s Marketplace.

What do you find most excited about being a Business Development Manager?
The most exciting part of my job is to help small & mid-size businesses grow. Every business has a background and wants to be successful, and I feel lucky if I can be part of their journey. Other than that, I love doing special projects from time to time for our marketplace growth which includes training new hires. How did Langara experience prepare you for your career and the real world?
Langara’s courses are designed in a way that focuses more on what’s going on in the outside world. The courses, professors, and activities (like simulation competition) allowed me to estimate my future potential and growth in a very strategic manner. Morning mingles also played a pivotal role in understanding the employer’s needs and challenged me to prepare myself for it.

What was your favorite part about attending Langara?
Meeting friends, attending lectures, and enjoying the overall vibe of the college was something I always cherish. Everyone has a smile on their face and professors are always so welcoming and there to help and support you. Don’t forget the unlimited resources available at the Library, Student Union, etc.

What advice do you have for our future students?
Strategizing and setting unrealistic expectations are two entirely different things. One can make you and the other can create some serious self-doubt in your mind. Whenever you are not sure about a decision, ask for help. Use resources and focus on your mental health.

Who are your role models in life?
The biggest role model in my life is my family specially my dad, grandmother, mother, and my aunt. They really supported me in every up and down in my life and stood by me like a rock. I also admire the late APJ Abdul Kalam sir a lot. His perseverance and uncanny ability to treat even a very complex problem into a layman’s language were unbelievable.

João (John) Ricardo Becker Scheidegger Alumnus

Post-Degree Diploma in Business Administration

Joao Ricardo Becker Scheidegger Could you tell us a bit about your journey before coming to Langara and your current position?
My professional journey started quite a few years before coming to Canada. Back in 2009 when I started a double bachelor in Economics and Business Administration. I quickly figured out that I would need to opt-out of one of those so I could have time to start working. I decided to pursue Business since I saw it as having more work opportunities in the future. After a number of internships, I got hired by a Consulting firm and discovered the "art" of Project Management. Thereafter it was just a lot of hard work and difficult choices to get to my current position. Difficult choices because you have to be willing to give up on a number of things in order to pursue your dreams of having a successful career.

As a VP of Operations, how do you help your team adapt and collaborate during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Having been a Project Manager and a Program Manager for Convergence Concepts for some time, helped me understand what would be the potential conflict points and come up with either temporary solutions or completely new processes and approaches for things that were considered routine. For example, how to deal with daily stand-up meetings remotely? It might seem easy, but once you have a number of ongoing projects, different teams, different needs, it can become overwhelmingly complicated. Collaboration and communication are two of the most important factors when dealing with projects and not having the ability to quickly address an issue or clarify a requirement with the team in-loco is certainly a challenge that we had to overcome in this past 16 months. But due to a number of changes in our internal processes, adaptations of our work routines, technology and some great tools, we were able to overcome those challenges. My current role is to support my teams and make sure they have all they need, when they need it, to get the job done. It's a simple job when you look at it at face value, but it requires a lot of problem solving and soft skills that are hard to learn if not by experience. Management is just solving problems, one at a time.

7 Langarans are working at your company, how has your experience working with them been?
Amazing. Every single one of our Langarans has been excellent hire. What I love particularly about Langarans (more specifically PDD students like I was once) is the baggage and experience they bring to the table. We as a company also pride ourselves on being incredibly diverse, having people from all over the world is a great advantage nowadays, being able to connect with our clients in a much more personal way, having a diverse workforce not only improves productivity but also aligns with most of our client's values and hiring from Langara directly impacts on how diverse our team is.

What top 3 most important skills and qualities do you seek in your employees, within your team?
Besides all the technical skills required for any job in the tech industry, some of the qualities we love to see in candidates are engagement - being willing to go the extra mile, giving that nice touch in their application. Cultural fit is also very important - like we mentioned we are a diverse and open-minded group so it is imperative that whoever we are hiring possess those same ideals. Being a fast learner is also very important, the technology industry will forever be very fast-paced and dynamic, so having employees that can quickly learn new skills and adapt to those ever-changing requirements is a must.

How do you find work-life balance?
I think the best way to achieve work-life balance is by having very clear "limits", this is work time, this is not, type of limit. Unplugging yourself whenever you are not working and connecting to your friends and family. There is no secret recipe for achieving a work-life balance because it varies from person to person, and that is totally fine. It's up to each one of us to find our "limits" and work towards a role or position that aligns with what we want.

Karine Valle Alumna

Post-Degree Diploma in Business Administration

Could you tell us a little about yourself and your favourite hobby?

I'm Karine Valle, originally from Brazil and moved to Canada in August 2020 with my husband and little dog. I'm a food engineer with experience in R&D and Quality Assurance areas. My hobbies include hanging out with my family and friends, watching TV and travelling to new places.

You not only worked as a Student Ambassador but also joined the Langara Project Management Club. How have these experiences helped your career?

Both were enriching and amazing experiences. As immigrants, we always felt a little insecure about our skills, especially because we are communicating in another language, so with those experiences, I could improve my communication skills, gained more confidence in public speaking and developed planning and time management skills. I consider both experiences as gifts, and I'll always be grateful to Langara to give me the opportunity.

You are currently working at Mars, Incorporated. Can you briefly describe your role?

I'm currently a Veritas Functional Expert in Mars North America. Veritas is a traceability system that ensures all the components of Mars products, such as raw materials, product recipe, packaging and others are connected and available on a single platform. This is one way of ensuring that we have a safe product for consumers, guaranteeing Quality, which is the main Mars principle.

What advice would you give to a Langara student seeking the same career path as yours?

One piece of advice would be don't be afraid to try new things and have new experiences. Langara is an amazing place to start because the college provides opportunities to connect with different people from different areas and backgrounds through clubs, events, classes, etc. So enjoy your time at Langara and live the Langara experience. It will be worth it!

Vivian Xu Alumna

BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration


Vivian Xu is a Controller at UA Piping Industry College of BC. In addition to acting as a trusted advisor to the Executive Director, she oversees the finance and administrative departments. Vivian enjoys being an active strategist through effectively managing resources and improving operation processes to build long term success and sustainability. Outside of work, Vivian is passionate about giving back to the community by serving on various NPO boards in the capacity of board member or finance committee chair. In her spare time, Vivian likes to spend quality time with her family and teach her golden retriever Ms. Pickles new tricks. She also tries to travel around the world as much as she can.

Covid-19 has vastly impacted everyone today. What have you and your work environment done to cope with an online environment?
We coped with it really well, as we are a trades training college, the theory portion of the education is delivered online and the practical portion is delivered onsite in a physically distanced manner. Even when pre-COVID I was implementing paperless office environment and transforming accounting process into a digital platform, so when COVID hit, it did not impact us as much.

If you were to give a student one or two pointers to help them through this time, what would they be?
Take it as a rare opportunity to reflect and explore. You are not alone in this, many of the plans may have to be put on pause in the particular time, but we can always make new plans. We will be amazed by how well we adjust and adapt.

How do you stay positive and motivated?
I found efficiency in online conferences. Each month I have 6 board meetings I have to attend and most of them are in the nighttime, being able to log into the meeting from home saves my time in commute. I can always utilize time saved for other work. At the end of the day I end up achieving more by having most of my activities virtually. Another aspect is that since we've already experienced the first wave, I believe we are in a better position than before to fight this.