Q: What is your name?
A: Milanne Desfosses
Q: What are your pronouns?
Q: Where is your hometown and where are you located now?
A: I’m from Fort St. John, B.C., and now I live in Calgary.
Q: What did you take at OC? When did you graduate?
A: I completed a Bachelor of Business Administration program, with a specialty in finance in 2019.
Q: What got you interested in Business?
A: I wasn’t always sure I’d go to college. Throughout my school years, I studied dance and followed that up with a move to Toronto to attend the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. But after following that path for a year, I took a break to reassess my life. During that time, I had a conversation with an OC alum who spoke highly of the programs at the College and encouraged me to check them out. As someone who grew up around the family business, this felt like the most logical next move.
Q: What is your current position?
A: After I graduated from my program at OC in 2019, I moved to Calgary for a role at Platform Calgary. It is a non-profit, member-based organization that brings together the resources of Calgary's tech ecosystem to help startups launch and grow.
One of the things that helped me get my role at Platform was my experience in the Honours program at OC. My involvement with Enactus and my research with Scotiabank Centre for Nonprofit Excellence was also key. I started as a business analyst intern, doing market research on innovation centres around the world. From there, I moved into fund development, building out different strategies for raising funds for the Platform Innovation Centre, ultimately launching a capital campaign, which was a great experience. Most recently, I’ve moved into a role in the growth team where I am responsible for multiple high-priority, high-impact projects that build momentum within Calgary’s startup community.
Q: How did your training at OC prepare you for what you’re doing now?
A: The Honours program was one of the most valuable things that I did during my time at OC. The program taught me about research processes and methodologies, as well as data collection and visualization. The client I worked with was a non-profit, and for me, it was a great way to learn about the sector.
The program was definitely a highlight of my time at OC. I enjoyed being part of a small group of students that worked together throughout the year and I still am in touch with some of them. I’d encourage people to consider the program because you will learn so much.
Another helpful class was the Entrepreneurship class. We spent time building out a business plan and going through the whole process. We also got to meet some really interesting entrepreneurs who shared their experience with the class.
Q: What was one of your most meaningful memories during your time at OC?
A: The Honours program and getting involved in the community were valuable experiences for me during my time at OC. Enactus was so much fun to be involved in and I recommend others join. Participating in Okanagan College Students’ Union helped round out my college experience.
Q: What do you think has been the biggest turning point for your career success?
A: Through my time at OC, I found a career opportunity that I didn’t know existed. I am really happy in my current position. Studying at OC introduced me to interesting people and offered me a breadth of opportunities.
Q: What advice would you pass on to current/future students?
A: Do the international exchange! Do two semesters, if you can! I took part in a student exchange in Madrid, Spain. I was surprised to find out about the funding available for students. I had studied Spanish throughout school and my exchange forced me to get better at that in a variety of settings. The exchange offered great opportunities to get immersed in the culture and meeting people from different countries.
The second thing I’d suggest is getting involved in extracurricular activities. Get outside of your bubble. That’s where you’ll meet likely minded individuals and discover other interests. Take the Honours program. Learn about research methodologies.
Q: When you’re not working, what are you doing?
A: Rock climbing, hiking, climbing, cooking, dancing or making plans to travel!
School of Business
The Okanagan School of Business provides a career-oriented and innovative approach to education so that learners of various ages, experience levels, and cultures succeed. Our unique business programs have a strong focus on integrating theory and subject-matter knowledge with practical applications through business competitions, community-based course projects and work experiences.
OC Alumni Association
The Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) is a non-profit organization that celebrates alumni by creating connections and opportunities. Founded in 1988, the OCAA aims to connect alumni with each other and with the College, while supporting the College's mission statement of transforming lives and communities.