Business Minor: Denise Ansell
Account Manager at Affinity
“I wouldn’t be where I am right now without having done the Business Minor. I’m really, really happy with my current job. The team that I’m working with is so supportive and I don’t think I would’ve found something like this without doing the Minor.”
For Denise Ansell, the Business Minor was a natural choice. As a transfer student majoring in economics, Denise knew she wanted to study business. The Business Minor program gave her the best of both worlds. Now, she’s building her own client base as an account manager at Affinity.
Denise has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Growing up, she ran her own dog walking and training business before she was old enough to get a job. She loved entrepreneurial thinking and knew business was something she’d want to study.
Having heard of SFU Beedie’s reputation for providing a wealth of opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship, she took the opportunity to come to SFU as a transfer student.
My experience at SFU Beedie
As she was finishing her degree, Denise realized she needed to work on her networking. She reached out to her professors for guidance on how to build a strong business network and found them to be extremely supportive. Denise valued the advice they gave on how to navigate the world of business networking to get her to where she wanted to be.
“I had no idea where to start, so just the encouragement from my professors and the professional advice and support was really helpful,” says Denise. “Things like being prepared with questions—you don’t necessarily think of those things when you’re in school, but having that advice really helped.”
Denise emphasizes the value of stepping out of your comfort zone. “I know that sounds cliché, but it’s very easy to stick to what you’re comfortable with—and we’re all guilty of it,” she says. “SFU Beedie offers so many opportunities, and I think it’s important to push yourself to take initiative.”
During the Business Minor capstone course, students completed a consulting project with Affinity. Working with the company provided an opportunity for Denise to explore potential career opportunities in her desired field of tech sales.
“Tech sales was really interesting to me and I had some questions for Daniel, who’s now my boss at Affinity,” says Denise. “It ended up that they were hiring right when I was finishing up school, and it worked out really nicely.”
Where I am today
After graduating in August, 2021, Denise has been working as an account manager at Affinity. She works with tech companies or the tech departments of organizations and connects them with talent.
“I’m loving it,” says Denise. “There’s not a single day that I’m not learning something new. I’m essentially running my own business inside a business. If I want to grow more clients, I can take that as far as I’d like.”
“Down the road, I would love to start my own ‘something’—but I’m not sure what that looks like right now. Where I am currently, there’s a lot of room for growth.”