My high school reunion happened this summer and it got me thinking about my life a decade (whoa!) ago. With first year university around the corner, I was putting final touches on my back-to-school supplies: mostly highlighters in obsessive numbers and Twix bars. But unbeknownst to me, my arsenal was incomplete. It was missing the greatest lesson I’ve learned in my nine years with Vector Marketing Canada – that in all our doing, we should also be listening. First class, first year

It’s easy to get caught up in what we think we’re supposed to do. I always thought I should get a “practical” degree that would land me a good job. My parents, while super supportive, couldn’t afford to help me with tuition. So I did what I thought was proper and applied only to science programs in my hometown of Calgary.

Listening well is crucial in sales. I believe my clients should get what they want, not what I think they want. I have to ask questions and actually pay attention to their answers. Crazy, right? Listening as a social and professional skill is important, but we should also listen to ourselves.

My first year of university was not magical. I felt disengaged in classes, started skipping school and slacking on assignments. My grades fell so low that a scholarship I depended on was not renewed for the next year. And that was when I found Vector.

All I wanted was a summer job that paid well, but I got so much more. Vector has an amazing product in Cutco and fosters an even greater community of people. With this company, I’ve learned to set goals and figure out what I really want in life.

I paid for university with zero student loans through selling Cutco, and could even afford to finish my degree at McGill University. Living in Montreal sure made biology classes more exciting. Since graduation, the flexibility and earning potential of Vector has allowed me to live out other dreams. I’ve travelled all over Canada, the States, Europe and South America. I took six weeks away in Brazil to become a certified yoga teacher. In my spare time, I take writing, painting and language courses – all things I wanted to do in university.

I live in Calgary where most my friends are oil and gas workers, so my job is… unconventional. With it, though, comes unconventional perks like wearing whatever I want and spending my days hanging out with clients. I’m basically a professional friend! While it’s kind of weird to sell knives, it’s also weird to have a job where you’re having fun, learning new things constantly and making great money at the same time. Not everyone can say they have that.

I wish that when I was in my first year of university, I knew to follow my passions and listen to my instincts instead of doing what I thought was expected of me. Luckily, I found this wonderfully weird Vector place to learn the lesson.

Are you starting university or college worried that you're studying what you think you're supposed to be doing, or are you listening to yourself and following your passion? Comment below!