Lang Students' Association and Guelph Black Professionals host the third annual Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections
Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections is an event run collaboratively by the Lang Students’ Association and Guelph Black Professionals designed to support students who have been traditionally underrepresented in universities. This event aims to support them in their progression into the business world by offering them the opportunity to network with professionals from diverse backgrounds and learn from others who may face similar barriers. The event centers around a formal panel discussion with academic and industry professionals who engage in authentic conversation, sharing advice and personal stories from their experiences navigating different professional pathways. The event also includes pre- and post-panel networking sessions, allowing students to engage in meaningful one-on-one interactions and establish valuable relationships for future personal and professional development.
This year, in partnership with Manulife, Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections welcomed 120 students to hear from 6 panelists. Panelists included industry professionals from Manulife, a partner whose generous support allowed this event to be possible, as well as RBC, the University Pension Plan, MLSE, University of Guelph Faculty, and The Kween Company. Additionally, 17 networking guests joined us, representing several local companies, including RBC, Virani Law, Atilola Real Estate Inc., Ms. Meri Mak Boutique, and Black Talent Initiative.
Over the last three years, hundreds of students have listened to and engaged in conversations that foster optimism regarding topics such as race, identity, and overcoming failure.
Students Cory Pryce and Kavya Vurrabindi hosted this year's event and walked away with many insightful takeaways. A few notable ones include:
- Understanding the self-confidence and power that can come from taking personal responsibility for your outcomes.
- Dedication and hard work are prerequisites for success, a lesson underscoring that commitment to any valuable goal first demands an honest evaluation of one's willingness to make the necessary sacrifices to turn it into a reality.
- The value of recognizing mistakes as growth opportunities rather than prioritizing success as the only valuable outcome.
- The importance of finding a deep sense of purpose in your work, as it will provide the resilience and determination needed to navigate the inevitable challenges and setbacks that will arise along any professional journey.
Every year, Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections has made a tremendous impact and continues to help students develop a realistic perspective of what it takes to be successful in today's world. This event gives students access to conversations that allow them to gain a better idea of the principles and processes they should use to orient themselves effectively during and after their time at the University of Guelph.
Thank you to our event sponsor, Manulife.