What is a Business Toolkit and Why Do I Need It?Business Toolkit

What a great – and completely opportune –  question for this first article! I’m so glad you asked.

This “Business Toolkit” is an online series of articles that I will use to try to impart some of the wisdom that I picked up in my four years of business school at the University of Victoria in beautiful British Columbia, to you dear reader.

​So first things first, who am I? My name is Jordyn Hrenyk. I am a 22-year-old Metis/Cree/ Ukranian/German/Danish woman whose family comes from the Prince Albert-ish area of Saskatchewan. However, I moved to BC as a young kid and, to be honest, I really prefer the winters out here, so I think I’ll stay a bit longer. As I mentioned, I recently graduated from UVic with my Bachelors of Commerce degree on the Dean’s List (which means I was academically in the top 10% of my graduating class). (Side note: I didn’t tell you that I was on the Dean’s List just to brag, I just want you to know that I really did pay attention in school and I really can be a good resource for this sort of academic stuff, if you need a hand with it.) I chose not to specialize in my degree but instead decided to use the credits that I could have used on a specialization to conduct two Directed Studies projects with awesome professors. This allowed me to find great professors to be my supervisors and to conduct brand new research with them on whatever topics we chose. One of these projects became a published journal article (which you can read here) and the other one I presented at this business conference. So you could say – like I do – that I specialized in business research, but it doesn’t say that on my degree, that’s just something I say to people at networking events.

Anyways. My mandate with this article series is to write about business from an Indigenous perspective. I am no ambassador for the Indigenous community, in fact due to my family history, I grew up outside of my Indigenous culture for the most part. Although I have spent a lot of time working in the Indigenous realm and have spent a lot of time getting to know my culture as an adult, I am still just a single Indigenous person with a single perspective on business and a single perspective on Indigenous culture. I am bound to make mistakes and to mess things up. I can’t promise that I will accurately or fairly represent everyone’s experiences or beliefs about Indigenous business in Canada, but I can offer my perspective and it is an educated perspective. My goal with this series is to take business concepts important to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians and to teach them in an approachable, non-intimidating way. I want to take the high-brow business school concepts and jargon that people throw around in business meetings and courses and bring them to the level they need to be at for people to actually be interested in learning them!

This isn’t to say that business school isn’t interesting or that it isn’t worth going to – it really is. I loved my time at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at UVic, but I recognize that:

a) Not everyone who is interested in business wants to attend post-secondary school, and
b) Not everyone who wants to go to business school can go to business school.

Thus, I, a recent b-school graduate, have been asked to sort of bridge the gap between actually attending some kind of higher schooling for business people/leaders/entrepreneurs and just looking things up on Investopedia frantically in the middle of meetings, trying to keep up in the conversation.

I don’t want to ruin the suspense, but some of the things I am looking forward to writing about include: crowdfunding, work-life balance, goal-setting, band offices, resource-based businesses, burnout and self-care, community-owned organizations and financial literacy. Furthermore, I am looking forward to profiling some amazing entrepreneurs and some amazing business professors. I loved my time at business school and I hope that through these articles and I can pass on some part of my experience to you. I don’t promise to provide a full business education but I promise to help make the business world a little bit less intimidating and – with any luck – a little bit more fun for you.

I hope that through this series I can be helpful; if you’re interested in business, if you have – or want to have – your own business, or if you just love learning, then I think we can find something to chat about. Follow along here for articles, assignments, interviews and other tools for your Business Toolkit.

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