“I love seeing students grow in confidence as their understanding grows.”
Sometimes your educational path can have some twists and turns. Ben Hellewell knows this firsthand. Though he first earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Ben always knew studying business was part of his long-term plan.
“I was originally only going to do music for a year and then do business, but well…plans changed,” he said.
Ben received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree and has since gone on to complete the Chartered Professional Accounting program and the CPA Canada In-Depth Tax Course (Levels 1, 2 and 3). Most recently, he finished his Provincial Instructor Diploma program.
Since 2017, he has been teaching accounting and business management for students in our Business programs.
“I have an analytical brain and enjoy problem solving, so accounting appeals to that side of myself,” he said. “Though there is a creative side to music, it can also be very analytical and numerical. I’ve found that I’m better at analyzing music than playing it.”
In addition to watching his students grow and thrive, Ben loves having the opportunity to interact with his students and to engage in idea sharing with them. With a diverse group of students in his classes, he has found many opportunities to learn and expand his own world view.
“I have learned about a great many different cultures through interacting with the students we get from all over the world,” he said.
With a music degree under his belt, it is no surprise that music continues to be a part of Ben’s life. When he’s not crunching numbers with his students, you can find him playing guitar – or sometimes piano or trombone, as well as golfing, biking, or cross-country skiing.
Though he’s missed the face-to-face interaction with his students while conducting online courses, Ben has found new ways to ensure his students remain engaged.
“Doing a class fully online without much interaction is hard,” he said. “That’s why I want to make the experience as normal as possible, using Microsoft Teams to hold virtual classes.”
As someone who remembers his own post-secondary fondly, Ben encourages his students to balance really taking in the experience while also looking ahead to the future.
“Being a student was some of the best times of my life. It’s busy and hard sometimes, but it’s important to enjoy the journey,” he said. “I also recommend having a plan for after graduation. Research the types of opportunities available in the fields you are interested in and go for them 100%. It’s ok to change your plan, but you need a plan to start with.”