BBA 10 Year Celebration: A supportive starts leads to a successful business

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Image of woman standing in front of College of the Rockies main entrance.

As we continue to celebrate 10 years of the Bachelor of Business Administration: Sustainable Business Practices program, we look back at one of our alumnae – Michelle Foster – who started in our Adult Upgrading program before eventually working her way through the BBA and onto owning her own home business.

Michelle Foster’s decision to leave high school in Grade 10 meant she needed to upgrade to meet prerequisites for post-secondary programs. Though she had been successful in her career, she hoped to improve her skills and further her education. Entering into College of the Rockies’ Adult Upgrading program as a mature student allowed her to focus on the specific classes she needed.

“One of my English teachers, in my first year of the Adult Upgrading program, took so much time to help me understand punctuation and grammar,” Michelle said. “I was taught tricks to pull important information from textbooks to help reduce my reading time. I honestly believe that if I wouldn’t have had that initial support, I would not have continued college, let alone be so successful.”

Michelle initially intended to go into the medical field after she completed her upgrading, so focused her studies on sciences. She quickly realized, however, that it was not her forte. Still, she completed an Arts and Science certificate.

The College launched the Bachelor of Business Administration: Sustainable Business Practices program at the same time Michelle was at a crossroads, trying to determine where she should put her focus. With a passion for the environment, and 10 years of management experience, she saw it as the perfect fit.

“I feel that the BBA program gave me the confidence I needed to be a true leader in the business world,” she said. “While completing my degree, I filled a management position at a local veterinary clinic for a few years and felt I had the appropriate tools to implement some positive changes within the organization. I even hired another College graduate as my replacement when I left.”

Approaching graduation, Michelle was unsure of where to focus her career goals. Because she had a toddler at home, she decided a home business may be the best fit. She launched her home-based business in Cranbrook, and five months later, relocated to Sparwood.

“I am confident that the success I have had building my business twice in the same year directly reflects the education I received,” she said. “My degree has given me the knowledge to turn opportunities into reality.”

As she thrives in her new business endeavors, she’s grateful for the start she received at the College.

“You get the best of both worlds, at the College,” she said. “You get a sense of community support and an ability to maintain connections between students and faculty because of the smaller class sizes, yet you still receive a quality education comparable to universities. I have, and will continue to, recommend the College whenever I can.”