Business Leadership in Action: Meet Catherine Dyer
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
Second-year GPRC business administration student Catherine Dyer knows better than most that to succeed, you need to leave your comfort zone. In 2017, after an 11-year hiatus from school, Dyer decided it was time to return to college. “I was ready to get some more education under my belt,” she said. “Mature students have a little more life experience, more independence. I thought I could bring that to my classes.”
Returning to school as a mature student was challenging enough, but in her first two years of post-secondary Dyer has also shone in a series of leadership roles. Her business administration program has been full of opportunities for hands-on, applied learning that took her out of the classroom and into the working world.
In fall 2018, Dyer was nominated by her Marketing Project Management class to be the event coordinator for Peace Country Rising Stars, a reimagining of the long-running student-organized event Peace Country Idol. Using concepts she learned in class, Dyer was able to immerse herself in the world of logistical planning and event coordination, motivating her team to take risks and try new things. After months of hard work and planning, Peace Country Rising Stars was a huge success.
Dyer is up for a new challenge in 2019: the annual Student Business Conference. Open to young people from across the region, the Student Business Conference is organized by students and invites speakers from different fields to inspire and engage attendees. It’s a huge logistical challenge, which happens to suit Dyer perfectly.
Dyer’s experiences in applied learning projects have caused her to change her mind about which career path she should take. “When I first came to school, I thought, ‘I need to be in human resources,’” she said. “I knew I was a people person, and that was where I wanted to go.” But her experience working on projects at GPRC has caused her to reconsider her direction. “I’d never thought of myself as a leader before Peace Country Rising Stars,” she said. “But once I started making executive decisions and going out and getting positive feedback, I got internal motivation from that. It was a lot of work, but a great experience! Now I’m thinking, maybe I can go into event coordinating.”
Dyer and her fellow students are working hard to bring the Student Business Conference to GPRC in March. Dyer’s peer and co-planner Houston Harvey says that she is looking forward to seeing the hard work all coming together on conference day. “I like that this project is a lot like real life experience,” she said. “We’re getting to know and see if we like this kind of work by getting some actual hands-on experience. That’s what I like – you can definitely put this experience on a resume.”
Dyer hopes the work she and her team are doing now will help lay the foundation for future generations of business students. “This is the conference’s 30-year anniversary,” she said. “It’s probably going to be ongoing for another 30 years, so it’s great to be helping create that foundation for future students.”
The Student Business Conference will be held on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. If you are a student in the Peace Region interested in attending, learn more the business conference here.