Interview with Brock Endean, Mentor, In.Business

I am always interested to learn the paths people took to find their career.  My own path was not linear and I think a lot of people’s paths aren’t.  I decided to check out my theory and ask Brock Endean, current mentor in the Pacific Region In.Business Program, some questions about his education and career journey and how they intertwined, because I think it helps youth to understand that you don’t always have a linear path and sometimes it takes a few tries before you settle on a career.

-Koren Bear, Pacific Regional Manager, In.Business

Interview with Brock Endean, Mentor, In.Business, Pacific Region

Tell me a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in the small community of Chase BC, in the unceded traditional territory of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) people and my Indigenous ancestry is Métis, from my mother’s family. From a young age I became involved in many volunteer activities to help my community and this has greatly shaped who I am today as I happily dedicate my time and support to great initiatives locally and internationally. I love to get out and explore our incredible world, be it 3km in the sky, 25m below the sea, on top of mountains, or crammed in the depths of a local food market; I know there is always something new to learn and experience.

Did you go to post-secondary right out of high school?
I went to the University of Northern British Columbia straight out of high school to initially study accounting and business management. However, after my first year I discovered that even though I enjoyed accounting it wasn’t my passion, and the business management courses were good but not challenging enough for me to feel like I was really learning; so I dropped out. I figured it was better to gain some “real world” experiences and identify careers/schooling that better aligned with my values and that would also encourage me to grow.

What did you do after dropping out?
During that break I did some travelling, and I also moved to different parts of the country to do volunteer projects in sectors that I thought I may consider for future careers. My volunteer journeys eventually lead me to Peru where I explored a completely different field of volunteer work and studies including agriculture and environmental sustainability. However, it was when I was working with one of the Indigenous communities that I discovered one of my biggest passions was community development.

Did you return to business studies?
When I eventually returned to Canada, I enrolled at Vancouver Island University for the Tourism diploma program. What drew me to that specific program was that it was part of the business faculty and included many courses that were also included in the commerce program (unlike many schools where tourism falls under hospitality). Since many of my courses were “hands-on” and involved working with community organizations and businesses I also got the opportunity to expand my skills and experience in community and economic development work, something that is a big part of what I do now. 

What do you do now?
I currently own four businesses located throughout North America that provide products/services in the areas of real estate, travel, logistics, and community development. I am also a consultant with a well-recognized Indigenous consulting firm providing services throughout Western Canada. Even though my businesses appear to be disconnected, they all focus around my central values of connectedness, empowerment, and contribution.

What advice would you give to high school students thinking about attending post-secondary, but are unsure?
If you are hesitant about attending post-secondary that’s ok. You don’t need to head to post-secondary right out of high school. Taking time to work, travel, volunteer, and/or attend a workshop are all fantastic opportunities for you to find what careers or sectors you like or dislike. 

If you do go on to post-secondary, look at complementing your course schedule with classes that aren’t part of your main program. This approach helped keep me interested in my studies and also provided me great additional skills that built upon my other interests. 

Though I have no current plans to go back to university, I believe it is important that I continue to learn, so I continually attend workshops, conferences, read books, and take online courses. We live in such a great time where information and opportunities to learn are always accessible, and I encourage everyone to explore the many different options that allow you to make a career out of your interests.