Steven Trottier

Graduation: 

M.Sc. in International Management, class of 2018 

Career: 
Director of temporary recruitment, TAG Recruitment Group

Out of all of the places where you have lived and studied, how did you find Prague? And what made you choose the University of New York in Prague for your master’s degree? 

I am Canadian, originally from Calgary. After finishing a BBA degree in business at Mount Royal University, I wanted to continue my studies at the graduate level outside Canada. This decision partially came to me because of a fantastic student exchange experience in India during my undergraduate years—spending a year or two in Europe was next on my list. While researching master’s degree options, I stumbled upon UNYP. The fact that UNYP’s M.Sc. in International Management was offered in collaboration with the University of Bolton played a significant role in my final decision. I had already been to Prague a couple of times during my travels, and the idea of spending an entire year in this beautiful city was fascinating. I truly enjoyed living somewhere so different from what I am used to here in Canada. During my studies at UNYP, I had a chance to meet and befriend people from all over the world. Even in our relatively small class, we had representatives from almost every continent! I loved the fact that when you walked down the halls of UNYP, you would hear every language and every accent that you could imagine. Prague itself has a diverse multicultural community, and there are many expats. 

How did you choose your specialization? How did you decide to study business? 

Like most people, I started thinking about it early, during my teenage years, figuring out what I would want to do for a living. I didn’t have a particular interest in arts or anything specific, so I settled on business and finance, beginning to take small jobs as early as fourteen. With time, I learned that I am interested in business and management operations. I got a BBA degree from Mount Royal University but knew that it wasn’t enough, considering how competitive the job market is, and especially right now. So when I came across the UNYP M.Sc. in International Management program, it was a perfect match because it allowed me to study business on a whole new level and enjoy living in Prague. 

Could you please introduce us briefly to your current career path?

Currently, I work as the director of temporary recruitment for a TAG Recruitment Group in Calgary. We’re a full-service recruitment firm with all different types of clients, both local and international. I work with employers to strategize what their employment needs are going to be, and then helping to figure out how we’re going to attract and retain that talent—mainly working with marketing positions, logistics, administrative positions, engineering, and AI. I focus on temporary positions filling any role within these industries, meaning that clients need a group of individuals for projects under a year.

What do you love most about your work, and what are the biggest challenges you face?

What I love most about it is how it changes day to day. As a highly adaptable and thriving person, I enjoy the change in various spheres of my life. For example, moving to Prague with no prior connections there was challenging but fun. Same with work—when opening my email, I never know what to expect. Sometimes clients change their plans entirely or come up with new needs, and the deadlines are often short, so I’m always on my feet, and I love it. To sum it up, I love being constantly challenged at work. 

In your opinion, is it essential to have some work experience before pursuing a master’s degree? 

The work experience that I had before I did my master’s degree was on a somewhat smaller scale, compared to my classmate Olga for example. I do personally think it’s a misconception that you have to have work experience before doing a master’s degree. I think it varies depending on the type of master’s you want to do—if you're going for an executive MBA, it’s built into the curriculum and expected that everyone is going to be a board member with XYZ company and have 15 years of experience. But as long as you did your bachelor’s degree in a great place and have some authentic life experience, which everyone who is moving across the world is going to have, I think it’s completely fine to do a master’s straight after a bachelor’s. In my case, I also chose this program because of timing. I was 23 when I moved to Prague, and I could afford one more year of studies before having to actively join the workforce. If I didn’t already have that degree but had my current work experience, I would have gone for a part-time MBA while working. However, my one-year master’s degree experience was enough to learn a ton and to travel across Europe. 

What advice could you give to our prospective master’s students?

Have an open mind, particularly when you’re going to a foreign country. Have an open mind, and when you commit to something, know that it’s all going to work out, everything is going to be okay, and even though it could be super nerve-wracking, somehow you’re going to figure it out, and it’s going to be what you make of it. Go into it, knowing that this is something that’s going to be a fantastic experience. For many of you, studying abroad might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience life in a different country or even a different continent, so try to get the most out of it, and stay positive. The people that go into this experience with a pessimistic attitude, not thinking of it in a positive light from the start, in my experience, were the people that didn’t enjoy traveling abroad. Also, don't be afraid to go somewhere where English is not an official language. Befriend locals, be open to people, help them out, and they will help you. UNYP can allow you to make friends with people from all over the globe—use it! 

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