The Business Management program really helped foster my ability to work with teams, I know there is a running joke that BCIT stands for ‘Being Crammed Into Teams’ and it’s 100% accurate, but it’s 100% true and for me it really teaches you how to work with people, how to compromise with other people, how to be supportive of other people, and that is something that will help you out for your entire career because you will always be working with people. I also think the fast past, jam packed course structure really forces you to be able to learn quickly and at times you are taking seven to eight courses and you’ve got shifting priorities, so it really teaches you to be agile and that is an important skills to have in the industry.
The stand out moment for me was definitely the consulting project, which is essentially the capstone project for the diploma program. How it works is you go into an office two to three days a week, you work on a real business problem for a company and it really allowed us to showcase what we learned over the past two years. I was super fortunate to do mine with my childhood dream company, the Vancouver Canucks and I actually went on to work for the team for four years immediately after graduation. For me it was an easy transition and the capstone project really enabled me to do that.
BCIT differs from a traditional university in a way that BCIT is super fast paced and condensed. That’s one of the things that actually drew me in was the ability to finish a two year diploma program with sufficient skills to enter the workforce. I was also able to finish my BBA degree in three years.
The faculty at BCIT really supported me throughout my education. Almost all instructors had decades of experience in their respected fields and in some cases they were still working their field, so they really provided students with great insight, great knowledge that was relevant as well. They also had a passion for the topic they were teaching that really translated into the classes.
After two years with your same set or cohort at BCIT, you really develop some life long friendships. I’m still friends with people that I met at BCIT today and now that we’re well into our careers, it’s really a good network to rely on.
Somebody should choose BCIT if they want something that’s practical, that’s relevant, and will get them ready to step into a job within two years. I think when you do graduate from BCIT and you step into your first job, you’ll find that you’ll have all the necessary skills and knowledge to do well, but I think you’ll also come out with those soft skills, like working with people, managing your time efficiently that will help you excel and really succeed in your first opportunity.
About Jacob’s job at lululemon athletica
I work with our demand forecasting tool at lululemon athletica, which allows planners to ensure we have the right types of product, the right styles, and the right amounts in our stores and online. We use a range of tools, a bunch of spreadsheets, and an online forecast engine that is pretty dynamic. For me the most rewarding thing is when a planner says “Oh, you fixed this problem, everything is moving more smoothly for our team and stores”. The Business Management program at BCIT taught me a variety of different business skills that I was able to apply to my business career directly. I think the more important things that you get out of it are really the soft skills, working with teams, and managing your time. That has really helped me succeed in my career.