Ellis Odynn '12: The Value of Networking in Business

Mr. Moffat’s Grade 12 International Business class welcomed Ellis Odynn ’12 as a guest speaker this week. Ellis shared her career journey and advice for students interested in working in business.
Ellis is the Executive Director and Chief AI Officer of the Digital Finance Institute (DFI), a global technology think tank. She heads key initiatives such as building partnerships, supporting innovation development, growing the Canadian FinTech and AI communities and managing international affairs. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2016 with a degree in Psychology (read more).
Ellis explained how various job experiences and networking connections led her to the world of FinTech and her current position. As a consultant on FinTech to various organizations, she consistently works with different people and companies where every day is a new learning opportunity. She advised students to take advantage of networking opportunities which can make a huge difference in their career and where they want to be. It’s a valuable practice to go up to people and introduce yourself, finding ways to make the conversation memorable and make authentic connections by finding areas of common interest. Finding individuals with similar goals or seeking mentors who were in a similar position to yourself is key to surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded people, which is particularly important in a business career. Ellis also encouraged students to maintain connections with the people they know, reach out to LCS alumni who work in the same industry to build their network, and use teachers as both a resource and reference opportunity.
One of the values of an education at LCS is the opportunity for students to learn with peers from across the globe. This experience reinforces the value of working collaboratively with people from different backgrounds and, particularly after graduation, having the benefit of network connections worldwide. Ellis’ story demonstrates how exploring a variety of opportunities, being open to learning new skills, taking on leadership roles, and surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded people is invaluable for future success.
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Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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