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Alumna succeeds through lifelong learning

November 21, 2016

When she began her career in advertising, Andrea Arient never planned to lead her family’s oil and gas business. Now she is leading change across the company as the third-generation president of Sealweld Corporation.

Recently named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine, Arient is a double Royal Roads University alumna with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication (2006) and a Master of Business Administration (2009).

After more than 10 years working in advertising and halfway through her MBA program, Arient moved from Toronto back to Calgary to help her father at Sealweld, the pipeline maintenance company her grandfather started in 1969. Since then, Arient has successfully led a number of changes in the company including the implementation of an executive management team and an education program for her employees.

Approximately 30 per cent of Sealweld’s employees are enrolled in education programs, including undergraduate programs at Royal Roads, with the cost of tuition and books completely covered by the company.

“We find people have more incentive to do good work if they are working on themselves,” says Arient. “I’m a big academic myself—I can’t seem to stop going to school. I thought, ‘why shouldn’t all of our employees have access to the same perks?’”

Arient claims the MBA program was pivotal for her career.

“What I noticed about myself and other students is the program gave people confidence to transition to different things in their lives—career goals, bigger aspirations,” says Arient. “It’s an in-depth commitment and it’s a difficult program. The confidence that comes with completion is really transformational.”

Arient values the connections she made within her cohorts in both programs at Royal Roads. She also appreciated the flexibility of blended learning and the ability to apply her learning in her workplace.

“The programs enable you to apply what you’re learning immediately as opposed to a traditional program where you’re gathering up knowledge to apply it later,” says Arient. “When you’re working at the same time, you get to apply your learning simultaneously.”

Arient is working on her accreditation to sit on a board of directors and dreams of enrolling in law school someday.

“I’ll probably be in school forever,” she says with a smile.