Events attended · Inspirations

UBC Wesbrook Talks – 3 Influential Businesswomen in British Columbia

[The original post appears on under the title “Wesbrook Talks – Influential BusinessWomen in B.C: 3 Babaras in the House” on June 18 2014.]

The late afternoon of the June 10th was just sunny and lovely as one could expect a summer day to be. But how it was different from any other days was that I had an opportunity to attend an event at Wesbrook Village where three successful female UBC alumnis gathered for a panel discussion moderated by a CBC’s host Renee Filippone  (CBC News Vancouver Saturday and Sunday). Three beautiful and empowering panelists present were Barbara Brink, Barbara Dunfield and Barbara Kaminsky; hence, three Babaras in the House.

Three most important takeaways on life and career success from these women are as followed:

  1. Be firm and determined.
  2. Love challenges. Push the buttons. Challenge the status quo.
  3. Be flexible.

I learnt about interesting stories these ladies shared about their career paths after graduation. It blew my mind to learn that Babara Brink chose to become a flight attendent upon graduation while Babara Kaminsky did two master degrees.

However what I found particularly intriguing is Babara Dunfield’s story with twists and turns. According to her, she initially wanted to become an interior designer, studied for about a year in Australia but moved back to B.C. to pursue a degree in teaching. Believing that she wanted to teach French, she even moved to France upon graduating but ended up being a skiing instructor, only to come back to B.C. later on to work in the mining industry and become a successful CFO (Chief Financial Officer) for four different companies. It was such a journey and I’m sure these experiences made her life more nourishing and alive.

From my perspecitive, an important question we all need to ask ourselves is

“What am I willing to give up in order to be at where I aim to be.”

This resonates a noteworthy qusetion Babara Brink asked: “what did you give up to be who you are and where you are (in life)?” She mentioned that for most successful women, the answer usually is the family or having children but for her, a mother of three healthy children, it is “friendship” or “friends.”

The whole evening was thought-provoking and inspiring simply from listening to these panelists and also having some conversations with other female UBC alumnis.

© Eimon Yin


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