Transforming Lives: Moving Beyond is a testimonial series written by Athabasca University (AU) students and alumni who want to acknowledge how AU has helped shape their lives.
It’s a space for those who want to thank the people who have helped to support and transform their AU experience to achieve their greatest successes; all while looking forward to their future educational and personal potential.
Their story is worth shouting from the rooftops! Have an inspiring story of your own to share? Email us! We’d love to hear it.
My personal journey
My personal journey landed me here with AU, where I obtained my Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2016, right after the ferocious Fort McMurray wildfire forced nearly 90,000 souls to flee our town. My journey certainly doesn’t stop there though.
My future is bringing my company, Akron Engineering Consultant’s Group Ltd., to the next level. We were recently awarded our first “out of region” project with the City of Red Deer and we’ve been bidding on other projects outside of Alberta and outside of Canada.
I chose AU’s MBA because I have a family and was working a full-time job with Suncor. Considering AU’s flexible learning approach, I wanted to augment my management skills as I was in a management position with Suncor at that time.
Moving on from that position in early 2015, I co-founded Akron Engineering during a difficult economic period in Alberta. Despite being hit with significant losses in 2016 while focusing only on regional projects, Akron’s revenue still was able to surpass one million dollars in 2018-2019. Late in 2019, I took over the company from my three former partners. In my roles as the founder and managing director of Akron Engineering, I utilized the business strategy, finance, human resource, and marketing skills that I obtained during my journey with AU.
Despite the many hats I wear with Akron, as managing director and business owner, I was not precluded from still contributing to my community. I am happy to take a moment out of my busy schedule to give back to the community. I am the president of Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada for their Fort McMurray Chapter; and a Board Member with the Wood Buffalo Community Foundation, the Assessment Review Board, the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, and the Fort McMurray Construction Safety Association. I, and most of my Akron’s team, are active volunteers and members of our local food bank, emergency social services, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, and Habitat for Humanity. Akron also collaborates with the local Keyano College, by supporting their students by sharing Akron’s real-life experiences with the students who are enrolled with relevant programs and giving them opportunities to incorporate them into their graduation projects.
When considering the value of my education, I don’t hesitate to refer my friends and colleagues to AU’s MBA program.