In early 2014, when I was almost finished the second year of my studies at Cambrian College, I was unsure of whether or not I was going to continue on and complete the third year of the Business Administration program. After many conversations with my parents and sitting in on presentations from students who had completed the third year, I decided to bite the bullet and register myself in the Human Resources stream. The main reason that I decided to take the third year was the benefit of receiving the 8-week placement experience in the second semester. What scared me was the fact that I knew that I would have to find somewhere to complete the placement at where there would hopefully be opportunity for employment later on. Now let’s fast forward to June of 2014.
In June of 2014 I was in-between my second and third year of studies working full-time as a server throughout the summer. At this point I was registered for my third year of studies, I had chosen my classes, I knew what I would be taking, but I still had no idea where I was going to complete my placement come January. One day when I was working a lunch shift, I was told that the hostess had just sat two businesswomen at table 29. I did my usual spiel of welcoming them to the restaurant, introducing myself, asking how their day was going so far, and getting their drink order to start. Every time I went back to the table we engaged in a bit more conversation and, when I was bringing them their cheque, they asked if I was going to school and if so, what was I taking? I explained where I was at in terms of my studies and that I was pursuing the HR route. They looked at each other and smiled, one of them reached into their purse (at this point I had no idea what was going on) and then she handed me her business card. The woman to my right explained that she was the founder of a staffing agency that focused on long-term care called Plan A Health Care Staffing Solutions and that the woman to my left was the CEO of the company. They stated that they loved my attitude, my customer service and my energy, and that they would love to have me as a placement student if there was an opportunity for it. At that moment it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I knew that those women were sat in my section for a reason and I knew that Plan A was where I was supposed to go. Those two women turned out to be Sheri Tomchick and Melanie Morin.
Everyone that you come into contact with could, in one way or another, influence your life. When I was in college, one of my favourite professors used to say, “Treat the janitor the same way you would treat the CEO because you never know the kind of influence that they will have on you and your life”. That is one piece of advice that I took with me that I will never forget it. Since meeting Sheri and Mel as the “businesswomen at table 29” I have been blessed with so many things. In the past year of being employed with Plan A I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime by these two. I have an amazing job and life-long career (if they don’t get sick of me!) that I absolutely love. Every day I am encouraged to be my absolute best and to never be scared of trying new things or making mistakes. I’m encouraged to push myself outside of my comfort zone on a daily basis and to be a better person than I was the day before. The morale of this story, as the title suggests, is that you never know who you’re talking to. A kind and pleasant disposition can go a long way. That person sitting next to you on the subway, at the restaurant or in the doctor’s office could be your next boss, colleague or friend. It could be someone with amazing connections that will allow you to expand your network. As I continue to grow in my role and embrace some upcoming changes to my role in the next few months, I will remember this rule and continue to practice it with everyone I meet. Who knows who I’ll meet next!