Schulich grad Melissa Shin (iBBA ’07) will be honoured for leadership excellence from Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) at its annual awards gala in Ottawa on April 16.
Shin is managing editor of print publications for Rogers Publishing Ltd.’s Advisor Group, which serves the financial advising community. One of seven women CWC recognized for leadership excellence this year, she was cited as a “confident, enthusiastic dynamo [who] is always willing to take on complex assignments and increasing levels of responsibility” and as “an emerging leader [who] pushes the envelope, driving leading-edge creative content – most recently on a project for women financial advisers.”
Shin enrolled in the international business program at York’s Schulich School of Business in part to keep up her French language skills and to study abroad in third year. The program was also “interdisciplinary, which I loved, and obviously practical.” Always interested in English and writing, however, she also joined the staff of The Insider, the Schulich student newspaper, as life editor one year and managing editor of the online issue another. Midway through her degree, she realized “I wasn’t interested in being a chartered accountant, investment banker or corporate lawyer like the rest of my classmates.”
After graduating, Shin was hired as a researcher for Corporate Knights Magazine and soon moved to more responsible jobs as they discovered she could speak French and had management experience. Four summers as a front desk supervisor for York’s housing office had parlayed into a promotion to managing editor.
In 2011, she joined Rogers Publishing Ltd. When she learned about this award, “I made it known to my boss that I wanted to be nominated,” said Shin in a YFile interview. “Sometimes you just have to ask for what you want and not be afraid.
“It was very exciting to win this award,” said Shin. “For women, it is difficult to be self-congratulatory, it is difficult to know when to promote yourself. It seems like bragging. But really it is just taking control of your career.”
At 26, she is already mentoring younger people. “I tell them you can take your formative – even seemingly trivial – experiences and make them into something.”
“I don’t think you’re ever too young to help other people,” says Shin. “You have to be ahead of them by just one thing to be able to help. I see this as a responsibility. I’ve gotten this award that says ‘you are a leader’ and I have to make sure someone else gets this award.”
CWC has championed women’s advancement in Canada’s communications and technology sectors and spotlighted their achievements for 20 years. More than 1,000 women are members.
This year, the organization has named Karen Sheriff, president and CEO of Bell Aliant, CWC Woman of the Year and IBM Canada, CWC Employer of the Year.