So I am new to this whole “blog” thing. This is the first time I have ever “blogged” and I am not exactly sure what I should be talking about. So, I will start by introducing myself. My name in Ann Terese Doucette, and I am the newest member to the Purdy Crawford Chair team. My title is “Marketing and Aboriginal Student Support Specialist”. I will be working for Cape Breton University for the next few months in this role.
I have been fortunate enough to be granted a leave of absence from my job with the Membertou Band Council to take on this role. It is a big change for me. I have been working for Membertou for the last seven and a half years as a Finance Officer and now I am working for the Purdy Crawford Chair doing marketing. I don’t know if most of your know this or not, but the two fields are not very closely related in any way, shape or form.
You may ask: what is she doing here if all of her experiences are in finance? Well, when I graduated from university my major was actually in marketing. However, we all know what the job market is like here in Cape Breton and when I graduated and moved back to my childhood home, Membertou was nice enough to offer me a summer job in their finance department. I accepted the job with a plan to find something more suited to my educational background during this three month term, however, all did not go as planned and my three month summer job turned into a seven and a half year permanent job with the Membertou Band Council. Even though finance and accounting may not have been where I would have seen myself working, I do not regret staying for one second. The amount of connections I made, experiences I have gained and friends I have made were all worth it. It gave me real appreciation for the other aspects of business, which are not marketing, and I learned that finance is the backbone of all business related fields, whether you realize it or not.
Two and a half years ago, I was approached by the Purdy Crawford Chair. They were looking for young Aboriginal’s with degrees in business. I just happened to be all of those things. They asked me if I would be a mentor for the new program they were starting, the Business Network for Aboriginal Youth (BNAY). This meant that I would be one of 6 people who would mentor a group of 30 high school students and teach them about business and the benefits of pursuing it as a post-secondary option. They wanted me to be the mentor for the Marketing group and I jumped at the opportunity.
So as the BNAY program and the Purdy Crawford Chair expanded their horizons and starting looking towards a national program, the team decided that someone was needed to handle the day-to-day marketing and a job was posted a few months ago. I applied and low and behold, got the job. Obviously, this was the opportunity I had been waiting almost eight years for, so I took it. As much as I love working for Membertou and love all of my co-workers, I felt that I owed it to myself to try this job out and finally see if marketing was really what I wanted to do. Luckily, my boss was a very nice man and gave me the leave of absence to fulfill this job.
So here I sit in my new office at CBU, writing this blog to introduce myself to you as the newest member of the Purdy Crawford Team. This change has definitely been a good change and I am still getting used to it. There are a few things, however, that I do miss. I miss my front row parking at the Membertou Band Office (on the days I have to park in front of the Sullivan Field House and walk across campus to my office in the Shannon School of Business). I miss my co-workers, but really like the company of my new ones (and their appreciation for my craftiness). But, I love that I have finally been given an opportunity to do something that I am passionate about. And an added bonus, the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies has a satellite office in Membertou where I will get to spend part of my time, so I am not far from all of my old co-workers and it usually has front row parking.