Rosalyn Cua, BA’06
What was your first job after graduation?
My first job after graduation was working as an Audit Analyst and Communications Officer in the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue of the Province of British Columbia. There I was, an Arts graduate with some co-op experience in marketing and communications roles, working amongst tax and accounting professionals. I remember attending meetings in the boardroom and listening to my colleagues speak in tax and accounting jargon. It was like I landed in a foreign country. I discovered that I could learn just about anything on the job (including how to audit corporate tax files with no prior background in tax or accounting), do very well and climb the professional ladder quickly. But I also discovered that I didn’t make a good “employee” – I couldn’t imagine doing it for more than a few years. In many people’s eyes, I had a “good secure job” – permanent and well-paying with good benefits – but my spirit was suffocating. After two years working the provincial government, I decided to take a leap of faith and transition into creating a career that made me come alive.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Leaving a “good secure job” that most of my newly graduated peers only dreamt of was the biggest career risk I took as a young professional. I spent the next few years following my multiple passions in marketing and communications, social activism, coaching and entrepreneurship. As a result, I have carved out a very unique career path, just like when I designed my own undergraduate degree because I couldn’t find a degree program that suited my interdisciplinary interests. I’ve had the great fortune of creating and developing some of the most pioneering programs in diversity education and women’s empowerment, as well as growing trailblazing business ventures in educational technology, international trade, and personal development for niche markets. In 5 years, I see myself as a multiple 7-figure entrepreneur, best-selling inspirational author, sought-after speaker that touches thousands of lives, an impact investor growing socially conscious ventures and mentoring young entrepreneurs, and a philanthropist contributing to causes I care about.
If you weren’t in your current job field, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t in my current field, I would be a professional foodie. I started my food blog, rozzypie.com, as a hobby, and I have formed a Food Soul Mate Club™. Once a month, I find a new place in town where I take my friends on foodie adventures. My “dream job” would be to get paid to travel the world and experience the tastes of the best of that culture’s cuisine, then write about it. As Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are the best people.”
What was your ‘aha’ moment?
My ‘aha’ moment was coming to terms with the fact that most people in this world are not living up to their full potential. Most of us are running our “programming” of limiting beliefs from our parents or from society on what we “should” be, what kind of job we “should” have or how we “should” live our lives. Most of us look to outside authorities to direct our lives; very few of us look inside and have the courage to express who we really are in our personal and professional lives. I discovered that people are only afraid of what they do not know – the unknown. In my transformative work as a consultant, trainer and coach, I use this wisdom to change people’s relationship with the unknown so they can move through their fear and step out of their comfort zone. As the saying goes, success happens outside of our comfort zone.
What was the best advice that you received?
The best advice I have received about entrepreneurship or creating a non-linear career path is to find something that is the sweet spot between what you’re passionate about and what pains you. What we love is often a genuine expression of what we value, and our greatest pains often result in our greatest strength and impact. Have a compelling vision and hold on to that vision. Be laser focused in seeing that vision come to reality and have the courage to rise from your disappointments and failures. Create a world-class support team – you’re going to need it. Be aware of your competition, but also recognize that when you bring your true self to the table, you will rise above your competition because no one can truly copy your essence. Do business with integrity. It is more important that your intention is pure than your goals accomplished. When your vision is clear, your intention is pure, and you put in the hard work, you have a winning formula for success.