Interview with Kristyn Smith

I would like to introduce you to Kristyn Smith, our first Career Advancement Program (CAP) candidate. Kristyn was born and raised on the East Coast, and for the past six years has called Edmonton home. She joined Backwoods four years ago and currently holds the position of Administrative Supervisor in the Matting division.

We had a chance to sit down with Kristyn to learn about her experience in the Career Advancement Program.

1. Hi Kristyn. Congratulations on joining the CAP program. We would love for you to share your experience in the program with others. Can you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I am a born and raised East Coaster, who moved to Alberta 6.5 years ago. I enjoy living here for the fast paced lifestyle and I absolutely adore the mountains! I hold two trades licenses (Cosmetology and Aesthetics) and I am passionate about people and ensuring they are feeling their best, in all aspects. I switched industries approximately 4 years ago with the goal to absorb as many new skills as I could. I began as a receptionist and eagerly wanted to learn more to benefit the team that I worked with, and myself. I have been given opportunities along the way to take courses and learn new skills, which I am grateful for. I am now the Administrative Supervisor in our Matting Division, working with a team who continues to mentor and challenge me everyday. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my partner and friends doing any activities relating to self-care and eating at new restaurants!

2. What does it mean to be a part of CAP?
Being a part of CAP means that I have been selected by my superiors and have been given an opportunity to learn new business skills, gain further knowledge and aid in advancing my career. Working with people who allow you to strive for your full potential is extremely motivating.

3. What excites you most about this program?
I thoroughly enjoy working for a company which recognizes that their employees want more for themselves, and then providing them with mentorship opportunities.  I am excited to continue learning and being able to apply my skills each day.

4. Has this program had an impact in your life? How so?
This program has 100% impacted my life; I have become more disciplined with managing my time and prioritizing tasks. I have gained new skills and outlooks on situations that I deal with daily, at work and in my personal life.

5. What new skill did you recently learn that you see yourself using in your current position at Backwoods?
Influencing skills is a seminar that I recently completed, and I had the chance to collaborate with other professionals to share experiences and learn how to better communicate with people of all mindsets. I foresee that influencing skills will be extremely beneficial to know in my position at Backwoods.

6. Was there any fun or memorable moments that you experienced from this program that you would like to share with us?
I enjoy my bi-weekly meetings with Doug and Jaqueline. They are great mentors in regards to the path I am pursuing in the Career Advancement Program. We have also had CAP participant virtual luncheons with guest speakers and I enjoy these types of events as I get to hear from colleagues at Backwoods that I do not normally get to interact with due to our positions within the company.

7. Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?
In five to ten years, I see myself leading a team with confidence, empowering them and motivating them as my superiors have done for me. I would like to be in an HR role, being a part of a company where I can mentor others like myself. I enjoy employee relations and performance management and I would like continue down that path.

8. What would you say to others interested in this program?
I would tell others to pursue this opportunity that is presented to them – whether they know specifically what they want or not. You can never go wrong with improving yourself!