From Here To There: Thomas Turniawan, JA Alumni
Thomas Turniawan, Alumni 2005
Dr. John Hugh Gillis, Antigonish
I graduated from St. FX University with Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration - Accounting, 2009. After graduation I landed a job with St. FX’s Recruitment Department until 2013.
Currently, I live in Vancouver and spent 1 year in sales/operations/marketing for a marketing agency, and now work as an Administrator in the School of Business at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Junior Achievement influenced me in the sense that I was a pure science student in high school. JA’s Company Program was offered for the first time in my Grade 12 year. I joined Company Program knowing nothing about business or having any interest in it. That choice was life-changing! It steered me into my Business Degree (originally slated to complete the Human Kinetics program). I was immediately immersed in the Company Program and helped our company, Kulak, A JA Company, to achieve Company of the Year by leading Kulak in sales. I was also a finalist for Salesperson of the Year and was awarded our Company's Merit Award.
In many ways, JA's Company Program shaped me as a person and my career. I was quite shy throughout most of high school and the sales skills I learned through my position with this Company taught me strong communication skills and to be confident in what I was doing (in this case, selling a product that I believed in).
Switching from Science to Business also changed my career trajectory as I've worked in recruitment, sales, marketing, operations, and now administration in the six year since I finished my degree. After my first year at St. FX, I returned to the program as an Advisor and was able to mentor high school students in the very same program that helped me so much. I also had a passion for advising because many schools do not offer business programs like it. I hoped to influence students positively the same way that I was influenced.