SOUL Spotlight: Jeanne and Betty

Supporting Our University Leaders (SOUL) Mentorship Program, initially launched in 2009, is a student-run program unique to YWiB SFU. SOUL connects driven business professionals from various industries with ambitious SFU students. Each pairing is matched based on the personal and professional career aspirations of the student to foster an educational mentorship.

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Workshop #4: Build Your Story

Spend this Wednesday early evening with us at our last workshop of the year! At YWiB, we strongly believe in the power of being bold and ambitious and rightfully so! Meet amazing women in diverse industries and see the power of the two for yourself. Our final workshop of the year will leave you inspired and excited about building your own story.

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International Women's Day Conference 2014 Recap

This year's International Women's Day Conference was a huge success and the atmosphere was filled with positive energy. Led by our marvelous MC, Lien Yeung, between speakers, Valerie Mason-John, Mia Thomsett and Addie Gillespie from DARE Vancouver, Jill Earthy, Suzanne Siemens, Paulina Cameron and more. They shared their stories of how they got to where they are and their definitions of success.

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By Natasha Jung, SOUL mentor and marketing communications professional Two things people know about me: I love Jay-Z and I love people.

Being a people person, naturally, I get to meet a lot of people. A few times a year, I get invited to meet university students at conferences, speaker series or networking events.

Typical types of questions I get from students:

• What do you do for work? • How did you get to where you are today? • What are some tips you have for finding a dream job after graduating from university? get the idea.

I recently attended a networking roundtable event that brought in professionals across different industries with students from different areas of study. One of the students came up to me and asked me something I had never heard from a student before:

"What are the challenges you face being a young woman trying to work your way up the corporate ladder? What are the limitations or obstacles I should be aware of and prepare myself for?"

While I am certainly aware of challenges women may face in getting to top leadership positions, I didn’t feel qualified to answer her questions, even though she was asking about my own experiences.

Why? There's so much more to the conversation of career advancement for women than what I have personally experienced. Having started off my professional career a few years ago, I had not yet faced any limitations or obstacles because of my gender (at least not that I'm aware of)...and I certainly hope I never do.

We had to switch tables before I could answer, so we couldn't finish the conversation and then the event was over. (Don't worry, I'm going to see if she wants to go for coffee to discuss further).

Where did these questions come from? Had she been doing some reading that had led her to believe these were things she should worry about before even graduating from university? Has she seen or experienced this first-hand? Did someone tell her that she should start thinking about these things as so to 'choose an appropriate career path' or 'set goals accordingly'?

The very next morning, I had a meeting with my Chief Marketing Officer who was visiting from Toronto. She's only 4'11", but by the way she carries herself, she has people convinced that she’s 5'8". This wasn't a meeting about campaign plans or the direction of the marketing group within our firm – it was a discussion of the book "Lean In," written by Sheryl Sandberg,

Facebook's Chief Operating Officer. In this book, Sheryl describes how women unintentionally hold themselves back based on limitations they've created internally, which affect their outward progression in their careers and lives overall. I brought up the questions the student asked the night before and we discussed the issue.

Inspired by the discussion around the table, I ask this of my fellow emerging professionals (females and males alike): If you're ever asked similar questions, I hope you can answer in this manner:

• Many of the limitations we see can often be self-inflicted and a reflection of how we compare ourselves in relation to our male counterparts around us • There will always be obstacles and challenges in our professional lives, but we should embrace and overcome them • We are only limited by what our minds think we can or cannot do • You go, girl! (just kidding...unless it works in that situation)

How's that for a pep talk? As much as I believe in all those messages and strive to live by them everyday, I can't ignore the facts.

Deloitte and Carleton University's Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership conducted a study, Progress in inches, miles to go. The study provides figures, facts and tremendous insight into female leadership across all industries and shows how women are under-represented in those top spots.

I don't have a magic formula to prescribe what emerging professionals (male and female) can do today and tomorrow to help change that. What I can advise to students who are carving their paths though, is this:

• Choose an organization where you have potential to grow • Have thoughtful conversations with people in your network about this topic if you have questions • You can't control external barriers, but you can certainly manage your own internal ones - don't ever limit yourself • Embrace any challenges that may come your way as an opportunity to grow • Ask yourself this question: What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Oh, and where does Jay-Z factor into this? Not only is he married to Beyonce (aka Queen B, who has the entire music industry wrapped around her finger), but he too doesn't believe in limitations. So in the words of Jay-Z, I tell myself this all the time and I hope you do too: "world can't hold me, too much ambition."

Executive for a Day Raffle Prize at International Women's Day Conference

557740_362043540500369_254437157_n At our International Women's Day (IWD) Conference on March 8 at the Century Plaza Hotel, we will have raffle prizes you can enter to win. One you might be interested in is our Executive for a Day prize where you could win a coffee chat/office tour of your desired organization to learn more about the career that interests you.

Organizations and professionals participating will be:

Erica Rizzo Technical Talent Associate Hootsuite
Pam Hernandez Project Manager Telus
Sam Ko Manager, Platform Ecosystems & eChannels Marketing SAP
Jennifer Maloney Co-Founder Yulu PR
Stephanie Shaw HR Business Partner Teck Resources
Sanj Kooner Associate PricewaterhouseCoopers
Pam Sirney HR Manager Holt Renfrew
Caoimhe Bourke HR Manager Smythe Ratcliffe
Sam Dundee and Andrea Yeung Mergers and Acquisitions Analyst/Financial Analyst Deloitte/Telus
Ellen Pekeles Senior Vice President of Operations Vancity

Tickets for IWD are now on sale: http://ywibiwd14.eventbrite.caWe will have more organizations and professionals, so stay tuned!

For a list of speakers and panelists, click here.



YWiB SFU Presents: Mind Your Money

WS2-Cover Photo FINAL Adulthood can be intimidating as we face more responsibilities and expenses. Which is why it is never too early to start planning! Come out to our first workshop of the new year to learn about topics such as debt management, investment opportunities, tax tips, and money saving strategies from a student perspective.

Our featured speaker is Caroline Battista, tax analyst with H&R Block Canada.

RSVP now: Dress code: Business Casual

Already signed up? Don't forget to tweet and use the hashtag, #ywibmoney!

Tips to Help Get Organized Before Tax Season

Filing a tax return is an important part of your financial plan. However, without the proper documentation, the Canada Revenue Agency will not allow you to claim credits or deductions. Keeping track of receipts and slips is important because without proof, your claim may be denied and you may end up paying more tax than you should.

Caroline Battista, tax analyst with H&R Block Canada and speaker of our upcoming Mind Your Money workshop, offers some advice on how to get organized early and outlines what paperwork you need to complete your return.

First, keep all your receipts and tax slips together in one safe, easy-to-access location. It could be a drawer, an envelope, a file folder or shoebox. This will save looking for receipts at tax time. Remember, if you received a receipt in January 2013 to claim on your tax return, it will be at least 14 months later when you actually file in April.

There are many valuable slips students should keep for taxes, including:

  • T2202A form: Provided by your university or college, this form allows you to claim your tuition fees and indicates the number of months you can claim the education amount and the Textbook Tax Credit. It is based on the calendar year.
  • T4 slips: If you have worked during the year, your employer is required to supply a T4 by the end of February. If you have moved, make sure you provide an updated address. You need to include all your T4 slips from 2013 on your return. Not reporting income can lead to penalties and interest.
  • Student loan statements: For government and provincial student loans, you can claim a tax credit on the interest paid during the calendar year. Unfortunately, private loans and credit lines are not deductible.
  • Transit passes and receipts: If you earned enough income in 2013 and depend on transit to get to campus, keep your passes and receipts to claim the Transit Pass Tax Credit. This also includes some electronic tickets if minimum usage requirements are met and weekly passes are purchased for four consecutive weeks. Make sure the pass clearly states your name, how long the pass is valid, the amount paid and the name of the transit authority.
  • Moving expenses receipts: If you have taxable income from scholarships or research grants, you may be able to claim moving expenses. You may also qualify if you move more than 40 kilometres for a summer job. Deductible expenses include travel, transportation, storage and the cost of meals and temporary accommodation for up to 15 days.

No matter how little income you may have earned, make sure you file a tax return. You may not be able to claim your tuition and education credits now, but you have to file the T2202A Form the year you receive it in order to carry forward the credits or transfer them to a parent, grandparent or spouse.

Filing also means you probably will qualify for the quarterly GST/HST benefit, which should help your quality of student life. And once you graduate, your carried forward credits can result in a refund once you start earning.

If you find taxes confusing and could use some guidance, you can use an online tax preparation program like H&R Block Tax Software which walks you through step-by-step tips to identify every possible deduction or credit, calculates your return as you go, and ensures you get your maximum refund. And you may be able to file for free. If you would rather consult a tax professional, drop by the H&R Block office in your neighbourhood. Students are entitled to special pricing and a tax professional will review your previous year’s return for free.

About the Speaker

caroline ywib

Caroline Battista Tax Analyst, H&R Block Canada

Caroline joined H&R Block as a tax professional in January 2008 after leaving behind a career in the film industry. Steadily promoted within her district, Caroline leveraged her acting skills to act as the local spokesperson and community representative for her area.

Promoted to Tax Analyst in 2013, Caroline continues to support the field as a tax instructor and acts as one of the company’s national spokespeople. She provides commentary on tax law changes and regulatory developments as well as translating tax into simple language.

Prior to joining H&R Block, Caroline was an assistant director in the film and television industry, managing the cast and crew for programs like DaVinci’s Inquest.

She is an active volunteer within her community. She represents H&R Block at the Salvation Army’s Dignity Day preparing tax returns as part of their community outreach program. She also serves on the organizing committee for the Oppenheimer Park Christmas Dinner, which serves more than 2,500 meals on the downtown eastside Vancouver.

Caroline studied marketing and advertising at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and economics at the University of British Columbia.

She lives in North Vancouver with her husband, daughter and father.

Rundown: Establish Your Presence Workshop

Missed the Establish Your Presence Workshop with Stephanie Wiriahardja and Jillian Walker? Check out this word cloud summarizing the night. YWiB You Cloud 1

Both Stephanie and Jillian met in 2010 at Beyond Pink. Three years later, they joined forces at our personal branding workshop and shared their stories. Both inspired everyone in the room, teaching our members how to create their personal brand and set short-term goals.

Following the workshop, members lined up for their LinkedIn head shots.

We hoped everyone enjoyed the workshop! We would like to thank all those that donated gently used handbags and purses to Dress for Success Vancouver.

Next workshop takes place in January and will focus on financial literacy. But before we look ahead to the new year, come out to our potluck fun night to celebrate the end of exams and the start of the Christmas holidays!

More info:

Personal Branding: Establishing Your Presence

PersonalBrandingWorkshopCoverPhoto Every year, YWiB SFU hosts a personal branding workshop to give its members the skills they need to develop their brand. This year's workshop theme is "Establish your Presence".

We've got exceptional keynote speakers that will share about how social media and networking can help you establish your presence and brand. This will be followed by an opportunity for all attendees to have their Linkedin headshot photo taken.

Here's a sneak peek of what's in store for you on Wednesday, November 13:

Meet Stephanie Wiriahardja


She believes in the power of happiness and applies this concept to all spectrums of her work. Taking dandelion flowers as her inspiration, Stephanie wants to grow, evolve, and continue sharing her ideas.

She was born and raised in Jakarta, but moved to Vancouver eight years ago to continue her education. Despite her young age (24 years old), Stephanie has a strong experience under her belt as laid out on her LinkedIn.

Stephanie is currently the Community Manager of Higher Education at HootSuite, the top social media management system used by 79 of the Fortune 100 companies and 8+ million people worldwide. She successfully brought 316% of user growth and help hosted 110 events in 43 cities in 2012. Beside working full-time at HootSuite, Stephanie is also the involved in the Marketing team of Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran, ensuring the quality of the collaterals and the story produced.

Just last month, Stephanie gave a talk on personal branding at TEDxKids@BC and was featured as Social Media Guru on Vancouver 24Hours list of Top 24 Under 24. She also received the most votes for her nomination for the Must Follow (on Twitter) 2013 by The Social Media Awards in Vancouver and noted as the Top 1% Most Viewed LinkedIn profile in 2012.

Meet Jillian Walker

jillian walker

She is a passionate, overachieving, girlie girl.

Her days are spent working with leaders to become better leaders and working with employees to become their best selves. Officially, she's a Human Resources Professional. Truth be told though, she likes to do things differently. She challenges past history and pushes people and organizations to grow. Whether presenting to a corporate team, brainstorming with a business student club or tweeting out random thoughts, her goal is to encourage others to think differently.

When she breaks away from her career dreams, she loves to give back to the community. She is proud to be involved with Advancing Canadian EntrepreneurshipJunior Chamber International and industry related organizations across Canada.