Beedie School of Business News

Will Mitchell didn’t come by his decision to attend business school lightly. As an 18 year old, he was pouring lead slag into a furnace for a living at a lead-zinc smelter in Trail, BC when he decided to heed the call of higher learning – from Simon Fraser University.

Mitchell, whose parents were both teachers, grew up in the scenic West Kootenay communities of Trail and Fruitvale. Geographically, he was hundreds of kilometres from the West Coast and the top of Burnaby Mountain. Psychologically, the distance was even further.

But the lure of SFU was neither dulled nor diminished by distance or geography.

At the time, Simon Fraser University was a young institution with a reputation for flexibility and radicalism. The young Mitchell couldn’t resist the mix – and in a matter of days he had made the transition from the smoke-belching smelter to classes in political science, sociology, anthropology, English and math.

“At SFU,” he says, “you could do very interesting things.”