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Month: March 2017

Roz McLean and her secrets to success

Roz McLean is an Associate at Burgundy Asset Management and was the talented speaker at our GEMinar Three. GEM interviewed her to find out her secrets to success. Here she talks about her motivations, time-management skills, and passions

-Did you always know that you wanted to work in finance when you were in high school?
-I knew that I was interested in business and economics. The difference between what I do now and what I thought it was going to be like is that the field of business and economics has a lot inside of it. People stereotype that in finance it’s just about crunching a bunch of numbers. At Burgundy, we all work in finance, theoretically. However, there are lots of different jobs you can do here. You can be in relationship management, marketing, IT, or the systems and technology department that works on finding the latest innovations and helping us achieve our goals in technology. There’s a lot more diversity in finance that I think people expect.

-At GEMinar Three, you talked about time-management to achieve our goals. How do you spend your time, balancing work and your personal lifestyle?
-Time-management came home for me when I first started studying for my CFA exam because I didn’t have enough hours in the day to do everything I wanted to do.
I had to stop doing certain things –like spend a less time with social media and with friends. It was hard not going out for dinner with my friends on Friday or Saturday night, but I got through it.
I’m most productive in the morning, so first thing when I get to the office I focus on all the thinking work I need to do, all the decisions I have to make, and all the strategy. I usually work out in the morning because my head’s clear, and I can get all that done. Then in the afternoon, I do more mechanical “I just need to get it done” tasks. I also make sure that I go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Typically, during the week, I go to bed pretty early. You feel more refreshed when you sleep for the same amount of time every night. And I spend Sunday reading. So any reading I want to do during the week, rather than letting it take up my day, I just do it on Sunday morning.
Another part of it is a little bit of multi-tasking. I stopped running as much, and I started working out on the bike, and if I’m working out on a stationary bike at the gym, I can read at the same time as biking. So I’m working out and reading the news at the same time, which normally would take up two different chunks of time.

-How can you work smarter?
-Learning to work smarter is important in order to maximize your hours. One important part of this, and I don’t want to suggest anyone to be lazy, is you have to know when to take a break to keep your mind fresh. Let’s say I’m studying for my CFA exam, or I’m working on one project. I’m not productive if I have been working on it for more than seven hours. It would be more productive if I did it for less time, but focused on maximizing the good time. You need to know when to stand up and go for a walk. You need to know when to grab a healthy snack. You need to know when you need to take a break. And make sure you take them. It’s also important not to be distracted; I always make sure to use my phone less frequently.

-How was your university experience? How do you make the most of it?
-Western is such a great school. There are lots of interesting programs. Student life is really good. There is a lot of diversity, and there are a lot of very interesting people. No matter what program you’re in, consider these two important tips. Don’t overwhelm yourself by joining too many clubs. Join a few clubs that you really want to engage with. Make sure that the club is a good fit, with a mission that matches your values, and is filled with committed people. It’s best to work with people you like and are working towards a common goal. Secondly, make the most of your professors. Go to their offices and pick their brains. My economics professor was the thesis advisor for the guy who now works as the governor of the Bank of Canada, and I’m receiving a similar education!

-How do you motivate yourself to finish tedious tasks?
-My biggest motivator is the people around me. I’ve been really fortunate at work, because I think that I’m inspired at least once a day. When I see people around me do really cool things, I try to see how the tasks I need to do fit into the bigger picture. I imagine how those small tasks will achieve the bigger goals of the firm. So when I’m working on an entire communication, I ask myself: how does that contribute to our bigger corporate goal of treating our clients really well? You have to connect all the tiny things you have to do with the bigger things. Why do I have to do my homework right now? Well, if I do my homework, I’ll achieve high marks and get into the program of my choice. Connect it back to the bigger picture! Essentially, think of your short-term goals/tasks as baby steps to achieving your long-term goal. It also helps to have inspiring people around you. If you want to connect it to the bigger task, but you also see someone else working towards a goal in a different way, it helps.

Sadia Khan: Why become a GEMgirl?

Sadia Khan was one of the amazing GEMgirls in 2015-16. Her mentor was Tara Breckenridge. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program.

 -What did you love about the GEM program?
-I loved the GEMinars. It was very insightful to hear about the different possibilities I had for my future.

-What did you get out of your mentorship relationship?
-I learned a lot from my mentor, especially about professionalism and the pharmaceutical business. I also learned about time management and the importance of working hard. Something that really stuck with me was learning that women are capable of so much. If you don’t give up and try hard, you will succeed.

-How did GEM impact your life?
-GEM was a big part of my grade 11 life. Attending the GEMinars and meeting with successful women really inspired and opened up my eyes to all the things I can do as a young woman. GEM made the idea of being successful more attainable even though the process may be hard. GEM made the impossible seem possible. It also helped me to be more confident. I thank GEM for inspiring younger women and making the world a better place.

-What are you doing now?
-I’m a grade 12 student at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute. I’m on the prom committee, the external affairs committee and I’m also part of the school’s Business Social Action (BSAP) program.

-What would you say to someone who may be interested in joining GEM program?
-DO IT! Apply as fast as you can!  GEM will not only teach you different skills you can use in your everyday life but they will also explain the importance of these skills and how they will benefit you in your future. The GEM staff and participants are friendly. You can be your genuine self at GEM. GEM opens doors for young women who may not have access to these opportunities and it’s important to take part in that.

We’re hiring: Fundraiser (part-time)

Role: Fundraiser (Part-time, contract, option to extend)

Girls E-Mentorship (GEM) is a charitable organization founded in 2012 that offers an innovative mentorship program for motivated high school girls in Toronto, facing socio-economic barriers. GEM’s mission is to equip girls with the necessary skills to achieve their grown-up aspirations and build a diverse network of talented, vibrant women and girls to inspire and support one other.

GEM is searching for a creative, professional Fundraiser that thrives in a dynamic start-up environment and has a broad skillset to execute the organization’s fundraising goals.

The Fundraiser is responsible for securing new sponsors/donors, developing relationships, and growing GEM’s connections within the community.

Duties and Responsibilities
GEM aims to raise $250,000 annually. The Fundraiser reports to and shares responsibility for the achievement of this target with the Founder of GEM and the Fundraising Committee. The fundraiser has primary or secondary responsibilities in the following areas:

Grant Writing (45%)
The Fundraiser has primary responsibility for prospecting, evaluating and pursuing grant funding opportunities, as well as for documenting and reporting on progress at regular intervals. Applications are reviewed and approved by the founder and some are compiled in partnership with members of the GEM Fundraising Committee.

 Major Gifts (35%)
The fundraiser has responsibility for the pursuit of major gifts, defined as $5,000 or more in a single year. A kit and a prospect list has been developed to support this work.  The Fundraiser should be able to maintain existing donors and convert prospects into committed supporters through identification of shared goals and values.

 Admin & Strategy (20%)
The Fundraiser has secondary responsibility for informing GEM’s overall fundraising strategy. In addition, the Fundraiser will need to report on progress at regular intervals; keep detailed logs of all interactions and transactions; take and deliver payment information; communicate with office staff about replies; monitor GEM’s fundraising email account; and fulfil requests from the founder and other staff members.

Skills and Competencies

  • Experience and Interest in fundraising.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Proficiency in MS Word and MS Excel.
  • Working knowledge of relevant ethical codes and legislation including:
    Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and general privacy principles
    The Donor’s Bill of Rights
    Imagine Canada Standards
  • Superior time management and digital organization skills.
  • Progress reporting capabilities.
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a small dynamic team.
  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree and fundraising certificate preferred.
  • 2-3 years’ experience in fundraising.
  • Experience in project management with a proven track record of delivering on objectives.

 

Please send your resume and cover letter to Rochelle@girlsementorship.com by March 31, 2017

Ameera Seiyad: Why become a GEMgirl?

Ameera Seiyad was one of the amazing GEMgirls in 2014-15. Her mentor was Leslie Fullerton. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program.

-What did you love about the GEM program?
-GEM allowed me to have my own ideas. I gained confidence and skills that I use every day. It has impacted me so much and it has also humbled me. GEM also gave me a job! I got hired as a community outreach intern. It was exciting to see and be part of all the planning that goes into the program.”

What did you get out of your mentorship relationship?
-I was looking to gain support from someone who wasn’t a friend or teacher. I found that support in my mentor, Leslie Fullerton. Having an open communication with her gave me confidence, not only in school but also when applying for summer jobs. Sometimes I still ask myself ‘what would Leslie think/do?’ when making decisions.”

-What are you doing now?
-I’m a second-year student at Wilfred Lauirer University. I’m studying Environment and Business Management.

-What would you say to someone who may be interested in GEM?
-Shut up, join it! GEM will give you opportunities that you wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere. Girls need support and the GEM program is a great space to gain that support and start with a clean slate. It might seem overwhelming at first, but just take it day by day.”

Help GEMgirls blossom

Happy International Women’s Day to all the AMAZING girls and women out there!
We love you, we believe in you, and we encourage you to #BeBoldForChange today and every day.

Here at GEM, we work boldly to change and improve the lives of high school girls through mentorship. To celebrate this day, the talented team behind Leaves of Trees is supporting GEM with a one-week promotion that starts TODAY!

Until March 15, $5 from every sale of an Orange Blossom Argan Oil ($60), and $2 from every sale of an Orange Blossom Argan Hand and Body Lotion ($15) will be donated to GEM to help GEMgirls blossom.

Purchases can be made online at leavesoftrees.com (shipping available internationally) or in-store at 177 Queen Street East in Toronto.
“GEM’s purpose, approach, and the positive outcomes for young women in Toronto as a result of their mentorship programs resonates with me and aligns well with our brand, “ noted Dr. Roohi Qureshi, Founder, Leaves of Trees.

“Helping women blossom is integral to our ethos, and to our business principle of committing to kindness.  In both of our orange blossom products that are part of this International Women’s Day initiative, the argan oil used has been hand-pressed by women at a cooperative we support in Morocco.”

About Leaves of Trees
Leaves of Trees is a Canadian brand known for its support of women including the employment of women at a women’s cooperative in Morocco where its argan oil is hand-pressed.

Based out of Toronto, Leaves of Trees takes an artisanal, small-batch approach to making its line of all-natural skincare products, using as many high-quality organic and fair-trade sources as possible. As a member of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program, Leaves of Trees never tests products on animals and is committed to remaining 100% cruelty- free.

#BeBoldForChange #InternationalWomensDay2017 #IWD2017 #GEMxLOT #HelpGEMgirlsBlossom #CommitToKindness #ConnectEmpowerInspire