Women as Career Coaches 2018: Adults, Adolescents and Advice

Being a high school student can be tough. There’s homework, tests and on top of that, you have to start thinking about your future, which is pretty nerve-wracking.

That’s why WACC 2018 was the event to catch in regards to career advice. A fun night of food, friends and conversation at the Burlington Convention Centre was a great, non-intimidating way of learning about all types of careers and pathways.

Aside from sitting at a table with three other students and four career coaches, there were also six inspiring guest speakers. They ranged from a TV show host to the owner of Hamilton Main Canadian Tire and made the night engaging for everyone.

Speakers panel ft S. Cuziz, S.  Davies, K. Melanson, E. Hannaford, M Mendoza

Here’s some top advice of the night:


“Don’t be so inclined to do what’s expected of you.”

“Know yourself very well, don’t be afraid to take time for yourself.”

Words of wisdom from Shelly Davies, a welder on the way to a journeyman status.


“Keep your doors open and follow your passions.

Kim Melanson, the owner of Hamilton Main Canadian Tire, gave her two best pieces of advice to high school and university students:


Not only can you chase after your dreams, you can chase them on your own terms.”

Elsa Hannaford, a real estate finance associate, urges us to change the status quo. She managed to achieve her dream and double as a food blogger.


If you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else, you’re there”.

Kim Melanson, when questioned about what makes a dream job.


Other highlights of the night included Shannon Cuciz from GlobalNews sharing her journey from working as a journalist, being behind the scenes on TV to hosting her own show. Additionally, Madette Mendoza, singer-songwriter, author and mental health advocate brought the audience to tears with her inspiring story of dealing with depression and bipolar disorder while finding her love for music. Ending her presentation with a song that she wrote, Mendoza received a standing ovation and more than a few teary eyes.

Everyone took something away from the event. STA student Helena Lee, when asked what her favourite part was said that it was:

“Getting to learn about the coaches’ post-secondary lives up to the point that they are at now. [They] each have a different family, education, and career experiences. It helped me realize that life still finds a way to continue through the mess of work. There are people who live to work rather than work to live.”

To the boys who wish to attend a similar experience, there will be a Men as Career Coaches occurring Thursday, April 19.