In one of the most pivotal roles at BCITMA is Victoria Velez. As Vice President of an incredibly active student organization, her schedule is packed – and I mean PACKED!
Victoria is a Yellowknife native but a city girl at heart. She first arrived in Vancouver to attend UBC, and after graduation, returned to Yellowknife for work. A few years later, the multicultural cityscape of Vancouver is again her home, where she is now pursuing her passion in Marketing at BCIT. She is always on-the-go with marketing pursuits, and her quest for excellence is obvious and undeniably contagious.
How did she make time to meet at JJBean at the end of a long, rain-soaked Thursday with a smile on her face? Granted, this was also the week she was preparing for the club’s Annual Report! I have no idea how she made time – but she made it happen! I believe that’s what she’s known for at BCIT – showing up and making things happen. I was all ears as she revealed layers of herself through colourful stories reflecting her vivid personality, her involvement at BCITMA, and her plans for the future. Here is her story, as well as her journey! (her answers are in blue)
How would you describe your role as Vice President of BCITMA?
My role can be best summarized as a supportive role in ensuring all members get the help they need in any area – logistics, operations, planning etc. I’m also responsible for putting together the club’s Chapter Plan and Annual Report. BCITMA, to those who are unfamiliar, is truly a team effort. Each member contributes and each member supports. That is the dynamic, and this dynamic pushes everyone to rely on and support each other because it is the only way for the club to survive and deliver effectively!
What are some of the most fulfilling aspects of your role?
Seeing how excited first year students are and watching their confidence grow! This is a club that gets everyone out of their shell and out of their comfort zone. It has also been an amazing experience to plan various skill-based workshops.
You are almost wrapping up your year as Vice President. How do you feel now, compared to when you first started?
Time flew by! Honestly, I’m beginning to feel nostalgia now. As a club, you want to do more, but there isn’t always time. Looking forward, I want to focus on the transition to the next committee and supporting the next VP in settling into their new role. I want the next committee to be able to do all the things we weren’t quite able to do this year!
Can you describe your experience attending the New Orleans Competition?
Yes, the AMAICC!! This is an incredible experience! It is a case competition in front of a panel which includes some heavy hitters like Coca Cola and eBay. Even that alone is just amazing! There are over 7000 marketers in attendance, and you can network with both seasoned professionals and aspiring students. It is basically an inspiring gathering and an experience not to be missed!
You’re Vice President of BCITMA, a full-time student, an active volunteer, and I’m going to make a crazy assumption here that you also have a social life! With so much on your plate, how do you create a healthy balance?
*Laughter*. Social life – what’s that? Well, you see, there’s time management…and then there’s “BCIT time management”! Jokes aside, I would have to say that I prioritize sleep and health now. I know that having a good piece of mind is key. Get enough sleep, eat healthy (meal prep if you have to), and take time to regroup.
What are your goals after graduation?
I see myself in the area of digital marketing because I love everything about it. I’m also very interested in conversion optimization. I’m fascinated by understanding demographics (like how one piece of information within a massive database is enough to represent so much about any given customer!). I was able to learn so much through my internship at Rogers, and I realized this is somewhere I want to work!
Any quotes or philosophies you trust in getting yourself through tough times?
Yes! *Takes out phone and searches through her Instagram quotes*
Ohhhh found it – here it is!
“If you just gain things easily, they’re not inspiring. Obstacles are gifts. Obstacles are inspirations”
I relate to this quote because in my role, you can plan seamlessly, and you still won’t be prepared for unforeseen issues. You have be able to accept obstacles, see the bigger picture, and adapt.
This all reminds me of a time when something went terribly wrong at a major event, and I kept saying “I can’t even cry!”
You couldn’t cry? As in it wouldn’t be appropriate to cry?
Nope, like I literally couldn’t cry because I was so stressed!!! It was like my body was just numb from the stress and I forgot how to cry. The whole experience taught me something important. You can’t let a setback derail you from your main focus – you NEED to stay focused and keep your stress levels in check. There is time to cry later if you need to *laughs*
Lastly, any words of advice or encouragement for new students considering BCITMA?
Hmmm this is a tough one to sum up because there’s so much I want to say. Thinking…thinking… You saved the hardest for last didn’t you?! Alright, let’s see. It might sound a bit cheesy, but it is always better to have tried something than not at all. Many members wait until second year to join, only to regret that they didn’t join earlier. Get involved right away – don’t waste time!
You learn about yourself through responsibilities and…crisis! Wait, maybe I shouldn’t say that last part, haha. But really, there is something for everyone here. We deliver what you want, and we are always on the lookout of how to make that happen effectively.
Victoria was both inspirational and a whole lot of fun to interview. Through sharing stories of marketing, entrepreneurship, creativity and goals, our sense of time was lost in conversation and laughter. It was already 10pm! As the rain continued mercilessly outside, we parted ways and she was off to her next project. Is it to anyone’s surprise that even a torrential downpour wasn’t enough to dampen this girl’s momentum? Thank you Victoria!