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My Gateway Into the Corporate World

Hi everyone! My name is Pavi Dhiman and I am a grade 9 student at Turner Fenton Secondary School in the IB program. Today, I had the pleasure to attend the National High School Business Conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about during this incredible conference. I’ve never taken a single business course in my life therefore, this was my first exposure to the corporate world and I don’t think I would’ve wanted the primary experience to be any different.

This conference taught me that there’s a lot more to the business community than just banking or insurance and the fact that grades aren’t everything. Every single successful leader has their 6 soft skills and without them, they wouldn’t be where they are today. Our world is changing and although being intelligent is vital, every single one of us can pick up a textbook or watch a youtube video and gain a strong understanding about a concept. However, your communication skills, leadership and how you present yourself isn’t a formula that you can follow. Instead, they’re skills which need constant development and these skills will determine your success in your career. I also learned that the CPA designation would be a great way to improve these skills; however, I am far from doing that at the moment and so by participating in different conferences and putting myself in new situations, I can very easily improve these characteristics.

The keynote speakers and post secondary panel were very insightful and led to many questions being answered. We heard how Mark was a forensic accountant and it blew my mind after hearing him talk about his job and the cases he encountered. It truly surprised me that a science and business role exists. Solving those mysteries by using business knowledge was very interesting and we almost got a sneak peak of his occupation through the CPA Ontario Challenge. The four panelists were also very helpful since all high school students are constantly thinking about their futures and universities. McGill University is one of my dream schools to study at after my Undergraduate degree so hearing from Lia was a pleasure and it was very interesting as we had the same whiteboard technique to stay organized! I also learned from Cindy, Alexander and Vanne that the transition will be difficult however, it’s very normal and you will get back up!

NHBC was much different than what I initially thought it would be since it greatly exceeded my expectations! Overall my favourite part about the conference was the mental fitness workshop. Learning about the saboteurs and how to control them really showed me how important your reactions can be. One of the speakers had mentioned “if you’re ever put into an uncomfortable situation, rather than reacting, tell yourself to take a deep breath, step back and answer with one of the two phrases. ‘hmm I’ll see’ or ‘hmm that’s interesting’”. Might I say that was truly interesting! Reactions are a large part of who we’re perceived to be and when we allow our saboteurs to get the best of ourselves it doesn’t always result in the best outcome since you’re responding with negative emotions. However, taking a step back and giving yourself some time to think before you react is crucial to stay mentally fit. It’s vital that you think before you speak but it’s pivotal to think before you react. Having these conversations can really change your perspective on a lot of things and that happened to me during this conference! It was a true eye opener and allowed me to reflect back on every moment and see how I reacted and whether I let my saboteurs take the best of me or allowed my sage to take control.

As I mentioned earlier this was my first time being exposed to any sort of business and one of my main takeaways and reflection points from this conference that will help my development would be to stand out and do what I like. Ever since I stepped foot into high school I’ve been thinking about universities and what my future holds. To be honest, I don’t even know what field I want to go into yet however, it’s time to explore those fields. NHBC introduced me to business and I fell in love with it. Finding new opportunities is the only way to develop my mindset which is crucial to survive in this ever changing world and that begins with risk-taking and stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m definitely going to remain in Illuminate and continue to explore the corporate world. Who knows, maybe this can lead to something incredible!

- Pavi

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