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Name: Nicole Gallop

Company: College Pro

Position: General Manager

Length of employment: 3 years

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Where did you go to school? What program did you attend?

University of Alberta, with international exchanges at the National University of Singapore, University of British Columbia, and Vanderbilt University. I received an individualized major through international studies with a drama minor.

What drew you to your current field?

The opportunity to develop my leadership abilities, personal growth, and financial freedom.

How did you find your current position?

My brother was involved with College Pro for two years when he was in university and I wanted to be like him. They spoke in my class about the opportunity and I put my name down to find out more information about it.

Tell us a bit about your responsibilities.

As a College Pro entrepreneur, I ran my own business from start to finish. I was responsible for all the marketing, sales, interviewing, hiring, training and retaining of staff, financial management, and production management. There is a lot of training, support, and systems to guide a manager through this but, at the end of the day, the entrepreneur is the one responsible for all this.

What is the most challenging aspect of your position?

For some, it's being able to hold themselves accountable to their own goals and plans; for others it's being able to train and lead their own staff. Universally, the amount of energy that has to be put into your business is extremely extensive and can be exhausting.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

One highlight is when a manager successfully accomplishes all their ÒfirstsÓ in their business: booking their first job, hiring their first employee, and producing their first job. There are also the satisfying moments when everything is working smoothly in your business and you know you created it all.

What skills have you learned through your work experience?

There are infinite skills I've learned: sales, marketing, interviewing, training, priority management, conflict management, business financials. Every aspect of my life has been influenced by running my own company.

What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?

Openness to learning: being open to learning from your business coach, other managers, and being able to assess and learn from yourself. Also, grit: strength to stick it out through the difficult times by knowing the short-term pain will be outweighed by the long-term gain.

Is there one accomplishment you're most proud of to date?

I'm most proud of being the top female in the history of College Pro. I produced $312,000 in my second year as a franchisee while coaching five rookie businesses and taking a full course load.

What are your future career aspirations?

In the long run, I'll end up creating my own startup, as well as investing in and coaching other businesses. I am passionate about helping individuals reach their full potential. We are capable of so much more than we think possible.

What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job?

Get real life experience. Grades are important in order to keep doors open in your future and to develop a work ethic, but employers want to know what you have done. Action is valued by employers far beyond discussions of what could and should be done.