This blog was originally posted on the SFU Economics Community page on June 22 2021.
When she first arrived in Canada as an international student, Audrey Radstake felt uncertain but hopeful about the future. Confident and focus-driven, she is graduating from Simon Fraser University (SFU) this June with a bachelor's degree majoring in economics, and a wealth of volunteer and co-op experiences under her belt.
"Being in a new environment, it can be hard to meet new people but with such a diverse community here at SFU, there are many opportunities to connect with others," says Radstake. "By getting out of my comfort zone, I was able to grow personally and professionally, and I was able to meet people from all over the world."
Born and raised in the Philippines, Radstake has spent her undergraduate degree enriching her university experience engaging with the community. Among the many initiatives she has been involved in, Radstake served as president of the Economics Student Society (ESS), a mentor with the Mitacs Globalink program, and a RBC student ambassador.
As president of the ESS, Radstake was instrumental in growing the student society—she doubled their event offerings, increased student membership, and expanded their external partnerships. Most notably, Radstake co-founded the virtual Women in Economics: Coffee and Conversation Series to help female identifying economics students build meaningful relationships and receive guidance from leading women in the industry.
By being actively involved on-campus, Radstake dove into opportunities connecting her with the community, gaining support from her instructors, and leading to several successful co-op placements with organizations such as U-Bicycle North America, Sierra Wireless, and RBC Global Asset Management.
Throughout her co-op placements, Radstake gained valuable work experience and skillsets complementing her background in economics theory and data analysis. "My volunteer and co-op experiences definitely helped me discover what skills I am good at and what I wanted to continue doing," says Radstake. "Co-op not only helped me widen my skills but my options as well."
When asked on what's next for her, Radstake has big plans on her horizon. "Right now I'm focused on finding a career fit to build on my technological and analytical skills," says Radstake. "I would love to get further understanding on how to bridge the gap between business and technology so I can move towards one day leading my own projects and making a meaningful impact in my community."
As Radstake reflects on her undergraduate journey, she feels immense gratitude to her instructors and advisors who she credits as integral to her personal and professional development, "Before starting university, I had no experience so I am grateful to this day for the opportunities which gave me a chance to grow and learn."