“Facilitating learning is allowing me to learn new skills and further develop my leadership abilities in a new forum. It is providing me with an opportunity to give back to society as I help develop the next generation of leaders by sharing my knowledge and experience.”
Irena Stropnik, B. Nursing (’97) MBA (FS) 2012
Irena Stropnik, B. Nursing (’97), MBA (FS) 2012, is currently on leave/sabbatical from her leadership role at Scotiabank. She is using this time to reflect, rejuvenate and continue her learning journey as an Adjunct Instructor at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the University of Lethbridge.
In a recent virtual interview, Irena shared insights that have been gained during this pivotal time of revitalization.
The learning journey continues…
I have discovered that the learning journey never ends, and it is how we choose to pursue this journey that opens new avenues to learning and sharing our knowledge. I have had teaching niggling at me for several years now and found that over the past few years I was steering my ‘banking’ job more towards mentoring, facilitating and teaching. I made the decision to take off the better part of a year from the bank and as I shared my thoughts on possibly teaching with friends and colleagues, doors started to open, and people wanted to help me achieve these goals. I am now at a place where I have my first contracts to teach undergraduate Leadership to business students and to develop and teach graduate level Finance to aspiring health care leaders.
While I’ll be teaching, I will also be learning, and this is exciting for me as I go through this evolution both personally and professionally. Facilitating learning is allowing me to learn new skills and further develop my leadership abilities in a new forum. It is providing me with an opportunity to give back to society as I help develop the next generation of leaders by sharing my knowledge and experience. I fully expect to learn from the students by being open to their questions, thoughts and perspectives on both the subject at hand and the world in which we live. I look forward to the dialogue and being challenged to be creative and effective in the classroom while encouraging the same from the students.
As others have done for me, my motivation lies in the desire to help others think critically about the world they are in and the role they play in that world – help them to be curious, to question, to set high standards not only in scholastic and business results but also in the citizens they are becoming and those that they are influencing by their actions.
I don’t know yet where this journey will take me, but I am grateful for the opportunity and for the people who have been willing to support and encourage me along the way.
Editor’s Note: Irena is a repeat contributor on CEGE Connection and contributed to Dr. Carolan McLarney’s series on Mary Parker Follett. We wish Irena the very best as she pursues an academic teaching career at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the University of Lethbridge. We look forward to updates on her journey in future CEGE Connection posts.