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Odette Laurie

Sheridan grad Odette Laurie

Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies

Degree: Social Service Worker - Gerontology

Year of graduation: 2006

The Power of Persistence

Many Sheridan students benefit from awards, scholarships and bursaries to help them reach their educational goals. Odette Laurie was one of those students. Determined to succeed, the 2006 Social Worker-Gerontology grad applied for as many financial opportunities as possible, securing about $8,000 in awards over two years and graduating at the top of her class.

But Odette wasn’t always so confident. A 38-year-old single parent of two daughters when she came to Sheridan in fall 2004, Odette vividly recalls her first day. “It was really scary. The place was so big and intimidating to me. I remember thinking, ‘what am I doing here?’”

In fact, Odette threw the first two award applications she filled out in the garbage before making a conscious decision to leave no stone unturned in her life. “I filled out those applications again, thinking, ‘You just never know.’”

Now a highly successful business coach based in Mississauga, Odette teaches others to leave their doubt and excuses at the door to build their dream career. An author and professional speaker, she created her company called Business Women on Top after being laid off from her position in the social services field in 2008. Although she enjoyed community service work, Odette was looking to return to the world of business ownership, following the advice of career professionals, including a business coach. Before coming to Sheridan, Odette had operated a business serving the real estate market for 10 years.

Her first year building Business Women on Top was tough. Despite experiencing extremely limited mobility due to pinched nerves, and the death of both her parents, Odette worked hard to lay the groundwork necessary for success. “Quitting never entered my mind,” Odette says. Such a single-minded approach is bound to bear fruit for the budding entrepreneur, she adds.

“Most business owners do not thrive because they are paralyzed by their own life circumstances. They use those circumstances as an excuse to not go after what they want. Money, skill and the economy are not what make you successful, it’s your attitude.”

More than 50% of Sheridan students seek financial assistance to meet their educational expenses. Please consider supporting our students. Click here to learn more about scholarships, awards and bursaries at Sheridan. To donate, please visit Giving to Sheridan.

More about Odette's business.
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