Coming-of-age in Commerce 2015

Hayley Rushford

My time at Queen's was a coming-of-age in the most idyllic university town I could have imagined. To say I loved my time there would be an understatement, and the Commerce Program was such a central pillar of that experience.

It would be difficult to pick out just one memory or story to summarize what studying business meant to me and my path forward, as there are so many special experiences I was fortunate to have. But, as with all stories in life, it is more about the people than the events themselves.

There was one woman in particular that shaped my Commerce experience: Professor Kate Rowbotham. She enriched my academic experience and expanded my horizons through the five courses I was fortunate to study with her. She honed my negotiation skills that I use every day and built my passion for working with people toward productive solutions. But more than anything, she taught me the intangibles. She taught me to think critically, to create positive change in the world, the power of kindness and words carefully chosen, and the importance of self-belief. She was the first person I asked to provide me a reference when applying to law school, and she was one of the most excited when I was accepted. She was a light throughout my time in Commerce and at Queen's overall, and it would not have been the same without her. I'm happy to say, by the end, she became a friend rather than just one of my professors I was privileged to learn from.

Another special woman in the Commerce program is Antonella Furtado. She truly cared about all the students, and always showed me such warmth. She bent over backwards to help me in my second year, and I will never forget it. I am so grateful for her, as she was an everyday hero to me on many occasions.

Queen's is a special place and it will always be my second home. Cha gheill cha gheill cha gheill.