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Bounce back

Business student rebounds in a big way after ‘heartbreaking’ failure

Part of a special feature highlighting the student voice, student experience and the range of student supports and opportunities available at Memorial.


By Susan White

It took failing out of university for one Memorial student to discover that setbacks can lead to opportunity.

Stacy Snow is in her final year of the bachelor of business administration (BBA) program and will receive her degree at spring convocation in 2020.

But the road to her degree has been rough, and didn’t start at the Faculty of Business Administration.

‘Big adjustment’

Originally from the small community of Fogo, Ms. Snow entered Memorial as a science student but found the transition from rural Newfoundland to Memorial and St. John’s to be challenging.

“It was a big adjustment. At home, I lived with my parents and my Nan, so I didn’t have to cook, my laundry was done for me, and I didn’t have to clean the whole house,” she said. “Then I moved into an apartment and had to do everything myself.”

Ms. Snow was shy and nervous, hesitant to ask for help from her professors or classmates, and – having easily earned good grades in high school – suddenly realized she didn’t actually know how to study.

“I didn’t really put time into my school work. In high school, I didn’t really study. I just got 70s without really trying. And then when I got to university, I didn’t have good time management skills. I just kind of put it on the back burner.”

Stacy Snow at the Faculty of Business Administration on the St. John’s campus.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

After a series of poor grades, Ms. Snow failed out of Memorial after her second year.

“It was really heartbreaking,” she says. “But it ended up being the best thing that ever happened.”

Unexpected way forward

Forced to pay bills and figuring out what to do next, Ms. Snow got a job as a cashier at Kent. It turned out to be just what she needed to move forward.

“I could see myself doing this.” — Stacy Snow

Soon, she was running daily operations at the front end of the store, was promoted to supervisor and was exposed to some basic accounting.

Due to that experience, she realized that business is where she needs to be.

“It felt good that I moved up so quickly in the company. It felt like I could see myself doing this,” she said.

The road back

After two semesters away from school, Ms. Snow decided to try some classes to see if she was ready to come back. She received As and Bs in courses related to economics, business and accounting, and enrolled in the BBA program in 2017.

“It’s been amazing,” she said about the business program. “You get to do so much group work, so you get to work on your team-building skills and your communication and presentation skills. It’s been awesome.”

She’s also now putting her life and academic lessons to use as a peer tutor at the business faculty.

“Sometimes you don’t understand what the prof is saying, and a lot of students don’t want to ask for help. I didn’t. So talking to another student that’s about your age, it’s a lot easier to ask for help.”

Ms. Snow believes that failing on her first attempt at earning a university degree provided her with important life lessons and a deeper understanding of her own capabilities. She says she learned a lot about herself by leaving and coming back.

“I learned that I can do a lot more than I thought I could, and that I have more skills than I used to think I had in me – just more confidence and belief in myself.”


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