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Alumni Profiles

Salma Burney

Salma Burney

Pilon School of Business
Year of Graduation: 1992
Program: Business Administration

Offering Businesses the Most Precious Commodity: Time

Wishes can come true. Ask Salma Burney who took a chance that paved the way to her dream job. After racking up years of corporate administrative experience, Salma set her sights on launching her own business as a virtual assistant. Her biggest obstacle: money. Determined to find the funds to take a course on becoming a virtual assistant, Salma entered and won a radio contest that gave her the $900 tuition fee.

Soon she was self-employed, having opened her company, Virtual Girl Friday, in 2004. “I offer business owners more time to work on their companies by taking care of their administrative tasks, on- or off-site,” says Salma. Her services have expanded over the years to include computer training which can also be conducted anywhere, thanks to webcams and the internet. She has offered training to small business-owners in the comfort of their home offices, and to large groups, including the employees of the City of Barrie whom she instructed using a giant screen in the large Council Chambers.

“The main reason I started my own business was to maintain a flexible work schedule, and collaborate with a variety of businesses that I would have never been exposed to otherwise,” says Salma, who lives in Hamilton. The industries her clients represent run the gamut from traditional sales and manufacturing to holistic nutrition and iridology.

Salma’s interest in expanding her working relationships can be traced back to her time at Sheridan. Among the three jobs she held down while pursuing her education was that of a student tour guide/ambassador which gave her an appreciation for the varied disciplines of study within the college.

“Today I’m fortunate enough to work with some very cool organizations,” says Salma who gains new clients mainly by referral. Some of these clients have also become close friends who trust Salma with their home and confidential information. “I have become part of their family which is very rewarding.” Even more rewarding than that $900 windfall which started it all.