When you follow your passion for entrepreneurship and leadership, you never know where it will lead. For StFX students Meghan MacDonald and Marie and Meaghan Wright it’s to an exciting national opportunity designed to launch their careers as entrepreneurs.
In May, the trio will join with the successful fellows for five weeks of entrepreneurship training at Queen’s University, before joining a startup company with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship and gaining the experience, network and training to successfully launch their own businesses.
“I couldn’t believe it. I found out on X-Ring Day, with my family and all my friends around. If it wasn’t already the best day of my life, that made it the best day,” says Ms. MacDonald, a fourth year leadership and management student from Sydney, NS, and graduate of King’s-Edgehill School.
“Ever since Scott (Stirrett), the founder of Venture, spoke to our entrepreneurship class last September, I knew it was something I wanted to do,” says Meaghan Wright, who along with twin sister Marie is a senior marketing student at StFX and graduate of Dartmouth High School in Dartmouth, NS.
“I want to be able to make an impact, just as I’ve done during my four years on this campus. I think Venture enables young entrepreneurs like myself to actually make a difference in smaller startups. I was ecstatic when I got the call. It was one of those moments where I took a deep breath and thought to myself, you deserve it.”
Marie says spending five weeks in residence at Queen’s will not only be a great opportunity to learn and grow, but also to network. “This is something that really helps build great skills and knowledge, so that you can start something of your own,” says Marie, who with Meaghan co-founded their own company, Mirror Image Media, a video production company, two years ago.
During the four-phase interview process, 60 finalists were chosen to attend individual and group interviews in Toronto.
“Selection day was so humbling,” says Meghan who noted the high quality of applicants. She says the program’s social change and positive community development focus really appealed to her. “I saw it as a catalyst to get involved in the entrepreneurial community and to get my career going in that direction.”
All three students say they are much looking forward to the experience.
“After meeting most of the fellows at the final interview phase in Toronto, it’s evident that we’re all extremely similar. We all clicked instantly. This program allows me to be around 29 other like-minded, passionate, entrepreneurial, and driven young fresh graduates. I can’t wait to soak it all up,” says Meaghan.
“A group of 30 determined and passionate students all together for five weeks at training camp will be not only extremely refreshing, but also very inspirational. Secondly, I’m very excited to be immersed in a new startup. The startups affiliated with Venture in Halifax have so much potential. To be involved with them is an honour. “
The students have all been active leaders in the StFX community.
Meghan is the business counsellor on the StFX Students’ Union, vice-president of social affairs with the Schwartz Business Society, a campus tour guide, and the campus ambassador for the Great Canadian Sales Competition. She has also worked as the student transition coordinator with the Student Life Office, participated in an international exchange to Australia, and completed a summer internship in Cape Town, South Africa.
For the past four years, the Wright sisters have been team leaders with StFX’s Marketing and Communications XVT student video team, as well as founding their own company. Marie has been involved with Relay for Life, and is one of the coordinators who helped bring the Get Real movement to the StFX campus. She has held the Canadian Scholarship for the past four years, and last year was within the top five per cent of her business class.
Meaghan is also one of the coordinators who brought Get Real to StFX, is the Senior Class VP and recipient of the J.P. McCarthy Scholarship for her four years at StFX. She’s a recipient of the Trudy Eagan Women in Business Award, and has been involved with Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec case competition.
StFX’s personal environment, incredible faculty and staff, and a close, supportive atmosphere make it easy to pursue leadership roles, both Marie and Meghan say.
“I owe everything to StFX. Engraved in my X-Ring is, ‘pay it forward.’ This notion stems from everything that I’ve gained on this campus,” says Meaghan. “Small school, great professors, engaging campus — what more could you ask for? At a bigger university, you could never be a coordinator of a movement, work in the marketing department, be the Senior Class Vice President, and run your own video production company. I credit all my success to the professors who have not only pushed me, but inspired me, to the like-minded and smart people on this campus, and to the community feel that it provides.”