From Honduras to Carleton University, Aida Alvarenga puts a fresh perspective on being an entrepreneur while pursuing an education

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TIM Student takes to social media on March 14th to tell her story

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Working a full-time job and being a full-time Masters student simultaneously is no easy feat. From meeting deadlines to completing group projects and presentations – juggling between two very time consuming priorities can prove to be a challenge to say the least. Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management (TIM) Program sees students successfully manage these priorities on a daily basis.

Aida Alvarenga, a student in her first semester considers herself very fortunate to work as a Business Development Manager for a start-up (Tarfee Inc.) founded by two of her peers in the TIM Program. Commuting from work to class takes a total of three minutes and that includes waiting for the elevator when students need the extra time to prepare for lectures and presentations. To provide an in-depth look into the experiences of a TIM student, Aida will be hosting a social media take over on Monday, March 14th. All day Monday, followers will see how Aida manages to juggle a hectic work schedule with the demands of being a graduate student. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

Aida began working in the Carleton Led Accelerator (CLA) six months prior to joining the TIM Program. Through her work with Tarfee, Aida became acquainted with a number of entrepreneurs who are also graduate students in the TIM program. It is a daily occurrence to see founders of start-up companies rush into the workspace for meetings, presentations, group projects, papers, and pitch rehearsals. The energy they emanate is contagious. Seeing the time management, dedication and determination to succeed in so many entrepreneurs has helped Aida, as well as many others see that completing a graduate degree while managing and growing a business is obtainable.

In an interview, Aida said “I have stepped outside of my comfort zone by joining the TIM Program, engaging with scholars from diverse backgrounds. The most important lesson I have learned so far is that learning happens outside the classroom just as much as it does within the walls of a lecture hall. I find myself becoming more creative and innovative. I am learning something new every day. I am thoroughly enjoying the thrill that stems from co-owning a family business, studying full-time in the TIM Program, and having a full-time job at Tarfee.”

Aida was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and moved to Canada at age 18 to pursue a post-secondary education at McGill University. Given the precarious circumstances in Honduras and the opportunities in Canada, she resettled here and describes the journey as both bittersweet and rewarding. When asked to elaborate on her experiences in Canada, Aida said “It is the array of experiences I have been exposed to that have built my character and ambitions. I believe that innovation is dependent on diversity; only if we embrace diversity may we evolve. My coworkers at Tarfee Inc. are from Palestine, Armenia, Peru, Jordan, and Vietnam. We are all so different, yet we complement each other and thus, have created a strong, multicultural team.”

Join Aida on March 14th to learn more about her story and begin to understand how this young entrepreneur balances the challenges of being a graduate student with owning a business, working for a start-up, and navigating life in Ottawa, Canada.

In the TIM Program, diversity is prominent; faculty, staff, and students come from approximately 30 different countries. When completing group assignments, fellow members likely come from educational, cultural, and professional backgrounds that vastly differ from one another. Students in the TIM Program are exposed to a variety of academic, theoretical, and practical experiences. The diversity of TIM is what makes it so valuable, and it is what will equip students with the skills necessary to thrive in the ever-changing world that is technology entrepreneurship.

Where to follow Aida and the TIM Program
Twitter- @timprogram
Facebook- Technology Innovation Management- TIM Program
Instagram- emily_timadmin
Snapchat- timcarleton

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Christine Shay
since: 05/2012
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