By: Patricia Seaton, College Pro Alumni
When I got involved with College Pro, I knew nothing about running a business. I was a science student with plans to pursue veterinary medicine. I was drawn to the entrepreneurial nature and autonomy this opportunity had to offer and, of course, the earning potential, but had no idea what owning a business entailed and whether or not I would actually enjoy it.
Turns out, I loved it! College Pro’s extensive training program taught me how to run a business and I ended up operating a franchise for five summers throughout my undergraduate degree. This experience helped me develop invaluable life skills, form some of my favorite memories and develop lasting friendships. When it came time to apply to professional school, all of my friends were looking for ways to help set themselves apart and differentiate their applications from all of the others. I felt I already had it; who else could say they had run a painting business with gross sales of over $800,000 servicing 400+ customers and leading 50+ painters over the course of five summers? The College Pro experience didn’t fall into the traditional extracurricular experiences that most other students seek out when planning to apply to veterinary school, but, even if the admissions committee didn’t fully comprehend what I had accomplished, the experience helped me get my foot in the door. I could draw on a College Pro experience to answer almost all of the questions on the applications I was preparing and felt my responses had real world substance when I had to describe the most difficult thing I’d ever done, outline an ethical dilemma I’d faced, or discuss an experience that demonstrated my ability to form team relationships. In addition, College Pro allowed me to develop the necessary communication and people skills that helped me feel prepared and comfortable during the interview process.
I am now in the veterinary medicine program at the University of Guelph and can say that College Pro was a life changing experience that I am grateful to have had. It allowed for significant personal development but has also shaped my career aspirations. My goal is to combine my two passions of veterinary medicine and business down the road to become a veterinary practice owner. In the end, it didn’t matter that I was science student without a shred of business knowledge; College Pro helped enrich my university experience and gave direction to my career path.
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