By Susan Hickman
While 23-year-old Joshua Reyes was pursuing his Bachelor of Commerce degree at Carleton University, he got involved in everything he could—from co-operative education to competitive sports.
“There is so much opportunity at Carleton and I made sure to use it to my advantage. Aside from getting my degree, the co-op program allowed me to work two eight-month full-time terms in a field relative to my degree. And I was a competitive powerlifter for three years. As a Ravens Powerlifter, I created a lot of long-lasting relationships with my teammates.”
Reyes, who graduates this June with a concentration in Information Systems, competed in local and world-level powerlifting meets. The “cherry on top” for Reyes was placing second in the national competition in Quebec this year.
While he started his studies in accounting, by his third year he knew Information Systems was the way to go.
“More and more businesses use technology in their day-to-day operations. And the field of Information Systems [is hiring] and there aren’t enough grads to fill the need.”
As well as maintaining an entrance scholarship to help with his financial needs while studying, Reyes received $13,000 in grants, a mentor and round-the-clock access to office space at Carleton through the university’s entrepreneurial Lead To Win program.
He started his own e-commerce gym clothing business, which he scaled into the American market and tripled his sales.
Now, as an e-commerce co-ordinator for a media company called Shared, Reyes continues to grow his business and pursue his dream of being the strongest powerlifter in the world for his weight class.
About having a successful career, he says: “It’s one thing to get a degree and good grades, but it’s just as important to have a personality, experiences and relationships to be successful.”
Carleton University will graduate about 3,580 students and confer 13 honorary degrees during ceremonies taking place from June 13 to June 16, 2017. Carleton, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has grown from a small college in 1942 to a leading post-secondary institution today, one that has provided a unique educational experience to 140,000 graduates.