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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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.



Overcoming the Silent Stigma with Kristin Bower

Kristin Bower - Headshot

Coming up at our Cool, Calm and Collected workshop on Feb 20, we will feature Kristin Bower, HR professional from Vancity, as one of our guest speakers to teach us how to manage our stress effectively.

Inside and outside of the office, Kristin is an advocate for mental health and awareness, as well as author of the blog, Adventures of a Survivor!. After overcoming a personal depressive episode two years ago, Kristin started her blog and wrote to work through her feelings and experiences.

“I was at a point where writing was therapeutic for me,” she says. “But I also wanted to make the leap into advocacy work. Having been through two major depressive episodes, at that point in my life I felt strongly that I could leverage it to make the experience perhaps less scary and lonely for other people also experiencing mental illness.”

During the dark times, Kristin faced many challenges while she learned more about herself, mental illness and her workplace.

“I made a commitment to be honest and sometimes that is a fine line,” says Kristin. “For work and my personal life, being honest has come at a cost. I have lost or ended friendships because that person couldn’t understand or show empathy. And I do feel that my career has stalled at times because of my illness. But at the end of the day, I made a choice and it’s one that I have never regretted.”

Although overcoming her challenges was difficult, Kristin frequently reminded herself of what her values were and what was essential to her well-being. She wanted to surround herself with people that lifted her up and says being honest with herself and others was key in conquering her obstacles.

Aside from her blog, Kristin is also a community correspondent with Partners for Mental Health, a national not-for-profit dedicated to awareness and elimination of stigma associated with mental illness. In addition, she works with the Vancouver/Burnaby branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association and plans events at work in support of Bell Let’s Talk Day and Mental Health Awareness Week in May of each year.

With mental illness becoming more common today, affecting Canadians of all ages, cultures and educational levels, Kristin advises students to challenge their beliefs and assumptions regarding mental health and awareness.

“Open yourself up to learning more about the topic,” she says.

Hear from Kristin and others at YWiB SFU’s Cool, Calm & Collected workshop on Feb 20th. Registration is exclusively available on our Eventbrite: - don’t forget to share your posts about this event with #ywibcalm!

Also, check out Kristin in the National Post.


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.

YWiB SFU and KPU Presents: Potluck Fun Night

Potluck Fun Night v1-01 Finals are over and now it is time to celebrate the holidays! This is an opportunity to bond with your YWiB SFU and YWiB KPU sisters through fun activities, board games, and Christmas crafts. Furthermore, remember to bring a main dish and/or dessert of your choice for our potluck dinner!

When | Tuesday, December 17th from 7 pm — 9 pm

Where | SFU Surrey Room 2740

Dress Code | Holiday Comfy (pajamas, sweaters, etc)


PHILANTHROPY COMPONENT: Help us give back! Join us in decorating candy canes and creating ornaments during the potluck which will be donated to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre and Laurel Place which is a residential care home. Following the potluck, on Dec.21st, we will be visiting Laurel Place to spread the holiday spirit and to spend some quality time with the residents. Find out more at the potluck from our philanthropy team on how to get involved!

COFFEE CHAT OPPORTUNITY: Connect with our lovely  Co-executive of Program Development, Jenny and IWD Chair, Sasha  before heading to the Potluck dinner. They will be at Blenz Coffee : SFU Surrey Campus from 6:00 pm- 7:00pm on Dec 17th. Come chat with them about school, YWiB, career opportunities, anything!  Other YWiB SFU members will be in attendance too.

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.

Why You Should Be a Mentor

Supporting Our University Leaders (SOUL) Mentorship Program, initially launched in 2009, is a student-run program unique to YWiB SFU. SOUL connects SFU Alumni from various industries with talented SFU female students based on the personal and professional career aspirations of the student in order to develop an educational mentorship.

As mentioned in a Forbes article, there are benefits in how becoming a mentor can boost your career. You can:

  • Better understand the business

  • Better understand how people perceive you

  • Create a larger network

  • Help solve issues

  • Gain personal satisfaction

SOUL gives an SFU Alumni the opportunity to gain those benefits. More importantly, the program provides SFU alumni the chance to contribute back to the SFU community, to meet and be inspired by passionate female students, and receive a rewarding experience of making a difference in someoneʼs life.

“SOUL is a supportive environment where both mentees and mentors are encouraged to grow and learn from one another and gain different perspectives on life,” says Sally Lee, co-executive of SOUL.

Both Sally and her co-executive, Fiona Kwong, were part of the program last year and the experience has profoundly impacted them.

“The SOUL Mentorship Program has added enormous value to my university experience,” says Fiona. “Prior to joining the program, I was lost and greatly restricted by my uncertainties and self doubt. My mentor liberally shared her personal experiences, and offered me valuable insight. Her encouragement and support helped me gain confidence that allowed me to step out of my comfort zone to take on opportunities, and achieve the goals I've set out to attain.”

As for Sally, being both a past mentee and a current executive has allowed her to develop long-lasting, meaning relationships and an understanding of SFU alumni who are passionate about giving back.

“I find SOUL to be refreshingly unique from other programs in that it is able to foster genuine and long-term relationships for each individual mentor-mentee relationship,” says Sally. “ I am so appreciative of how the program and the mentors are able to raise confidence and initiative for every mentee, including myself. I hope to have another successful year for the 2013/2014 term!”

*The duration of the program is from November to April. Deadline is August 31.