Dreaming “Big”

My name is Alex Staniloff, and I am a student in the new Marketing diploma program at UWO Continuing Studies. Our specific program only spans one year, with eight months of school starting in May, followed by 4 months of practicum starting in January. So needless to say, as you are reading this post, I am in the process of completing the internship portion of my program. Before beginning my time with Continuing Studies, the practicum was most definitely the most intriguing part of the program for me, and the biggest factor in my decision whether to enroll or not. Having completed the in-class portion, I look back and could not be happier with my choice to stay in London as a student after my undergrad degree was finished. I graduated with a BMOS degree in April, and although it was difficult saying goodbye to all the friends I had made over the four years as they went their separate ways in search for jobs and new life experiences, I knew deep-down that I was making the right choice for me.

Let me start off by saying that I am a huge sports fan, and simply the idea of possibly doing my practicum placement at a professional sports team made my heart race. I came into the initial meet-and-greet telling everyone that if given the chance, I would love nothing more than to work for the London Knights OHL team. I was given some positive reactions to this statement, but suggestions of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment were also thrown out, and this got me really excited…It was at that point that I realized the practicum was not limited to London.

After several weeks of telling all my friends how excited I was to be possibly work for the Toronto Maple Leafs, we had our first practicum information session, in which Chris, Aimee, and Heather explained to us the process and the steps that needed to be taken to choose a site. There was a rather comprehensive list of various sites, ranging all industries in both London and the GTA.

The next statement they made likely changed my life more so than anything else I have ever heard until that point…

“This is the list of practicum sites that students have worked at in the past, but if there are others that interest you, please send an email and we will do our best to make it happen. Remember, dream big…”

The speed of my thoughts took over me and I was unable to concentrate on anything else for the next several days. I called my father back home, and told him what I had heard, and he quickly became excited as well.  I couldn’t get the words ‘Dream Big’ out of my head, no matter what I was doing.

It was not a short process, nor an easy one, but eventually I came to the decision that I was going to make the most of the opportunity and use it to work abroad, to gain international experience. I submitted a short list of companies that I researched and were of interest to me, all of which were in Asia (Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore)

I am currently completing my practicum in Hong Kong, working for an amazing company called Walton International Ltd., and I must say, I’m having the time of my life. It is without a doubt, the biggest decision I have ever made, but proving to be the most rewarding as well. I can’t imagine how different things would have been had I never enrolled in the marketing diploma at Continuing Studies, but I know I would not be where I am today.

 

To everyone reading this blog, I can’t stress enough the idea of dreaming big…You can’t achieve something you want if you aren’t willing to try. If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via email at wstanilo@uwo.ca, I would be more than happy to help with anything.

 

Alex Staniloff

Candidate for the Marketing Diploma at UWO Continuing Studies

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One Comment on “Dreaming “Big””

  1. carlyekstein says:

    Alex, great blog post!

    Your experience with the practicum portion of this program truly illustrates the value of a hands on learning experience. Not only will you have incredible life experiences from your time working abroad in Hong Kong, but it will help you and your resume stand out when applying for jobs in the future.

    DREAM BIG – these are great words to live by!


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