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From international student to banker and Bow Valley College donor

Coming to Canada ten years ago, Jakub Strycharski had a completely different plan for his life, but… he fell in love with Calgary, Bow Valley College and banking.

In 2007, Jakub Strycharski came to Canada eager to pursue a Canadian education. As an English teacher in Poland, he was thinking about changing his career path and going into banking, as this industry has always been of interest of him. Hearing from friends about the solid reputation of Bow Valley College, Jakub decided to enroll in the Business Administration Diploma with a major in Financial Services. While studying at Bow Valley College, Jakub had the opportunity to attend an information session offered by RBC. After the presentation, Jakub approached the speaker to ask some questions and to express his interest in learning more about banking. They kept in touch and just before graduation Jakub was invited for a job interview with RBC, which lead to a job offer. Starting as a customer service representative, Jakub built his career and is now a successful manager at the same institution. 

Looking back, Jakub reflects that graduating from Bow Valley College made him feel very prepared for his new career. “The Diploma program I took has provided me with such practical, relevant and applicable knowledge” Jakub shares, “and of course I will always be thankful to my instructors at Bow Valley College who were always willing to help above and beyond, and have guided me towards the right direction.”


In 2016, Jakub became a Bow Valley College donor and created the Celebrating Diversity award to recognize students who promote diversity at the College and in the wider community. ”Bow Valley College is my second home,” Jakub shares. ”Without Bow Valley College I wouldn’t have the life I have today and a student award is a little contribution to the place and community that means so much to me.”


To current Bow Valley College students, Jakub would say, “Be patient. We all have dreams and we want to have everything right here and right now. If you work hard and lead by example, things will eventually fall into place.”


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