UCW professor Michele Vincenti PhD spoke to room full of University Pathway graduates and students at the ILSC Vancouver campus on Mar. 24. He told the crowd to realize what they’re good at and to set firm goals.

“You have to prepare and have an idea where you’re going,” he said. “You have to know where you want to go and what you want to do.”

Dr. Vincenti told the students to gather information, and sort out their strengths and weaknesses. When you figure it out, no one will stop you, he added.

“Passion is OK, but you need to realize what your abilities are,” he said, adding that success means different things to different people.

Vincente described some of the challenges he faced when he first came to Canada from Italy.

“When I came to Canada, no one knew me,” he explained. The professor took his schooling in both and Canada and the U.S., where he started making professional contacts.

“The challenge was to re-establish myself,” he said, adding it was a good challenge.

He had to re-establish contacts, priorities and get familiar with his new country. He was almost starting from scratch and even re-established himself in mundane ways, such as taking a test and earning a B.C. Drivers Licence after driving in Italy for years.

He also provided some education and career advice to the assembled students.

“You need to have an education. Undergrad or a master’s (degree) is the minimum,” Vincenti said, but he cautioned that even a master’s degree isn’t the final destination when it comes to learning.

“In the end, it’s a lifelong learning experience,” he said. “Embrace it.”

He told the audience that they were already on the right track with their education, but to be careful. Despite the importance of an education, he said that a degree isn’t everything when it comes to finding a job.

“In life, people (prospective employers) will like you for your attitude and what you can do for them,” he said. Vincenti said a degree won’t make much difference if you can’t deal with people.

The professor was speaking to the students at ILSC’s Vancouver campus as part of the language school’s monthly speaker series. His talk coincided with a class graduating from the school’s University Pathway program.

Dr. Vincenti is a professor at University Canada West, which is located in the heart of Vancouver. The university offers both online and on-campus Bachelor of CommerceBachelor of Arts in Business Communication and MBA programs. The business-oriented university provides students with the experience to succeed in their careers and scholarships to recognize students’ academic excellence.