3 Tips For A Successful And Lasting Career In Finance

How my business degree allows me to pursue my true passion (and it’s not business)


Like many recent graduates, I am looking for a great career. What’s different about my story is that I have turned my back on a very lucrative industry to pursue my true passion.

I graduated from St. Francis Xavier University less than a year ago. I had an amazing time at one of the top schools in the country. I participated in the ingrained and intimate culture. I became a “leader of tomorrow” through involvement in a variety of extra-curricular activities. I studied hard at business and philosophy with a caring yet challenging set of professors.

Eventually, my hard work paid off and I graduated with a BBA in accounting and a minor in philosophy. I was passionate then and I am still passionate now.

It’s just that it turns out I’m not passionate about a career in accounting.

Sure, I could get a CA, CGA or CMA, all of which are more-than-respectable and admirable professional designations. Think of them as being a doctor, but in business. A lot of people would think it’s odd I would work so diligently on a degree I don’t plan on using. This is not the case.

Just because I don’t want a specific accounting degree does not mean that my degree is useless. However, before I tell you about the usefulness of my degree, I should tell you how I learned I did not want an accounting or traditional business career.

Brian knows his business skills will ultimately help him have a successful career pursuing his true passion: media.

When I was at StFX I did a lot of things. Some of the most rewarding things that I did included being involved with the campus radio station, the newspaper and the Leadership Advisory Team. I even ranked as one of the top debaters in Atlantic Canada. By the end of my time at StFX I had a long list of accomplishments and awards, and I realized I had a profound passion for communication.

Whether it’s radio, podcasting, blogs or public speaking, I want to be involved. I am working on a podcast called Well Versed. I write for the TalentEgg Career Incubator, Everyonesvision, and Informed Vote. I love communication. I learned this over my four years at StFX and during a one-year co-op with IBM and the federal government.

I have a significant amount of business experience and now I have enough confidence to know that a career in communication is my dream. In fact, it is all my experience that has given me the confidence I need to venture outside of the comfort of my degree and pursue my true passion and calling.

It is also my business degree that will help me in the future. As I begin to pursue freelance opportunities, my business knowledge will help me market myself. As I get money or need to manage money, my accounting and finance knowledge will help me invest appropriately. Basically, my degree in invaluable regardless of what field I’m working in.

Having a diverse set of skills should be viewed as a valuable asset and not a hindrance. To potential employers I am now a diversified and adaptable candidate.

It’s a scary path to embark upon, but it is a path I wouldn’t trade for anything … except maybe a position in radio. But I can use my business degree to get into a radio job. I can look outside of the box and apply my degree to jobs in the communications industry. I can diversify and explore more options. I can mix my passion with my degree.

The only thing I won’t do is compromise. I know I want a great career and that is what I intend to get.