The Hub Kris Schinke: My journey
Transforming Lives: Moving Beyond

Kris Schinke: My journey

By: Kris Schinke

Transforming Lives: Moving Beyond is a testimonial series written by 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.

I attended AU when packages were mailed to potential students; before the days when email was common.

I read and re-read the contents and kept this package for years. Yes, years! Finally, when my timing was right, I began the application process and followed through with my MBA. AU was the ideal choice for me since I was a busy professional with young children. The support was excellent and now, 15 years since graduation, I still have friends who I met on-line or at commencement.

The next level

My MBA propelled my career to a vice-president role in the financial services industry. I also became a mentor to many aspiring professionals who wanted to climb the corporate ladder and achieve the same success as I did. To this day, I continue to mentor within my own consulting business and feel my MBA and subsequent career success has qualified me to do so.

I was involved in alumni groups both in Edmonton and Toronto and attended when ever I could. I feel these groups are a great way of staying in touch with like-minded individuals I have also attended and presented at AU Information Sessions and love networking through the Ten Thousand Coffees group.

Put me in, coach

My passion is mentoring and coaching individuals and start up businesses. I have been active in the for-profit and non-profit sectors and have also volunteered for many years. I love sharing the wealth of knowledge and experience with those who have the ambition but perhaps not a strategy to get going. A common phrase I use is “unleash your potential” and I feel anyone can do it with the right direction and support.

I ended my nine-to-five career with the Department of National Defense, Moral and Welfare Division recently but could not shut down my business mindset, hence the Consulting Business. I feel AU gave me a quest for ongoing knowledge and information, so I continue to take business courses when ever a topic interests me. I recently completed a course at Harvard Business School, LinkedIn Learning and Norquest College.

My coaching credentials apply to sports too and I am an avid equestrian, both rider, horse trainer and coach. This has been a life-long pursuit and I cannot get enough. While an AU student, I always took one day off to spend at the stable. That much needed break was like getting therapy and I still use a one-day off a week strategy to leave business, work and projects behind for a short time.

Advice from her dad

My biggest accomplishment was writing my book. The book is a small business reference guide based on my father’s extremely successful equestrian establishment. Although I wrote the book, every chapter contains the advice he would give today’s entrepreneurs. We spent 18 months working together on this project and considering he is 90-years old, and we live across Canada from one another, he learned how to email and text so we could communicate daily. My MBA at AU gave me the confidence to pursue anything, regardless of whether or not I felt totally qualified or competent. Even if it was the worst book ever, I did it!

Kris is a past vice-president in the financial services industry and current president in the non-profit environment. Her experience involves business, coaching and mentoring, public speaking and the love of anything equestrian. After 10 years of considering a master’s degree, Kris got started and attributes her MBA from Athabasca University for changing her life. She gained the confidence to further pursue her skills and became a public speaker. She would encourage everyone to always continue learning; one never knows how it can change a life!
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  • June 19, 2020
Guest Blog from:
Kris Schinke