When Tony Branch enrolled in Yorkville University in the fall of 2017, he was already juggling running his own company with two part-time gigs on the side – but he knew he wanted more for himself and his future career prospects.
“I was running a small electrical construction company with about six guys, and I was also a part-time college electrical professor and an electrical maintenance contractor for Canada Post,” he explained.
“I wanted to advance my career, though, so I actually started looking for a degree program.”
A quick search online landed Branch on Yorkville University’s Bachelor of Business Administration program page, which promised him the opportunity to study a wide range of core business functions – including leadership, strategy, operations, accounting and marketing – while working towards a specialized degree in Project Management.
Fast-forward three years, and Branch said his only regret about his choice to attend Yorkville University is that he didn’t enroll sooner.
“As an electrical contractor, I’ve talked to a lot of my friends and I’ve said the course at Yorkville is something we actually should have taken before we started running our business… that maybe this program should be a pre-requisite as soon as you finish high school, because it was so mind-opening,” said Branch, who graduated in 2020.
“When you run your own business, you have to be an accountant, a secretary, a go-getter, a liaison for the company, a PR man, a billing specialist. And this (program) helped me to redefine all those different traits and hats and summarize it in a better way than I ever thought would have happened.”
Characterizing his on-campus experience at Yorkville as a “unique” one, Branch said he especially enjoyed the small class sizes, which allowed him to really learn from both his professors and classmates, alike.
“When we first started, there were only six students in my on-campus class, so I was able to meet friends from all different fields…and that actually helped me be a better student,” he said, noting that the program’s Accounting and Business Ethics classes were his favourites.
Now working as an electrical inspector with the Electrical Safety Authority, Branch said he’s grateful to his Yorkville education for giving him a fresh new perspective on his career and what direction he’d like to see it go in future.
“The Project Management base really helped me gain a lot more respect for my industry,” he said.
“There are a lot of doors open right now, but I’m really hoping to stay on my current career path…right now, I’m really happy with where I’m at.”