Alumni Stories: Valentine

“In a roundabout way, I did get to my dream–it just wasn’t being a doctor as originally intended.”

After graduating from Hudson College in 2012, Valentine Casali headed off to Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia to study Biology. At the time, she was set on becoming a doctor, a dream she had carried with her from high school; but she was soon going to help people in an entirely different way.

It wasn’t until the end of Valentine’s university career, after she had taken the MCAT and two GREs, that her parents introduced her to working at their company, Guidelines Advertising Inc. “I was waiting to do my MCAT again and I thought I could do some basic data entry on the side,” she explained. “I ended up excelling at that, and then doing a lot of bookkeeping, and then from that, I started doing payroll on my own.”

Since then, Valentine has taken over a lot of the human resources work at Guidelines Advertising Inc. Though reading resumés is a huge part of Valentine’s job, that one task doesn't scratch the surface of what her work really entails. Overall, Valentine feels like her job in human resources has actually incorporated much of what she originally wanted out of a career while she was studying Biology and pursuing medicine.

Valentine particularly likes that she has the ability to help others, and think analytically while working in human resources–both soft skills she developed while studying biology. “I’m doing payroll. I’m handling invoices...I’m being very analytical with what I do,” she said. “I’m writing policies and I’m also helping people. It’s really satisfying to have these interviews, hire people, and help them through their time here.”

Eventually, Valentine hopes to buy into the company and take on a larger role.“I love the responsibility, and I really love what our company does,” she explained. “All I want to do is improve my skills, get better, take on more responsibility, and just grow in the company.”

Reflecting on the turns in her career so far, Valentine said, “In a roundabout way, I did get to my dream—it just wasn't being a doctor as originally intended.” Starting with her time in high school, Valentine said, “There was just so much focus on the archetypal career paths that I didn’t think to look beyond what people were suggesting I do. I also did well in biology, so choosing doctor as a career path for me just made sense at the time.”

Despite not pursuing medicine, Valentine believes that she achieved her dream of having a career that would see her helping people daily, and making a difference in their lives.

“Through working in HR, I am constantly trouble-shooting and having to come up with solutions to issues that work best for employees while still having the company’s best interests in mind,” she explains. “I have to make myself available every day to people who want to have a serious conversation with me about issues in their department, a death in their family, or mental health issues that are impacting their work performance.”

Valentine also works in writing policies to improve operations and company health and safety, as well as always working to make sure morale is high.

While Valentine admits that it’s difficult to change career paths, she’s very happy that she kept an open mind. “I wanted to be a doctor for so long and I’d even have relatives that would call me Dr. Casali. It’s hard to then be completely straight with them and tell them that's not what you want to do anymore. Anyways, I love where I am so I’m thankful.” We wish Valentine the best of luck as her career progresses!


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