Business Analysis Student Embraces Change

Larissa Featherstone, BA and Change Management student
Larissa Featherstone, Business Analysis and Change Management student

In Continuing Education, we’re always inspired by our students’ stories and achievements and decided to share them more widely.

Larissa Featherstone is our Student Spotlight story for July. If you look up at our blog masthead, you’ll see a photo of Larissa and fellow Continuing Education student Jeffrey Jones. They were both highly recommended by their instructors.

Larissa, born and raised in Calgary, graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2009 with a Bachelor of Management degree.

“In third year, I participated in the Integrated Management Experience Program as well as the KPMG Business Case Competition. It was the second time in the history of the competition that a third year team made it into the finals. We went on to win the KPMG Business Case Competition,” she says.

Larissa soon found herself working on the business analysis team at Devon Energy in the heart of Calgary’s oil patch. Larissa enrolled in MRU’s Business Analysis Extension Certificate, completing it in 2012.

“I found the classes to be a good size and appreciated the networking opportunities,” Larissa says. “And the class schedule was great – Thursdays or Fridays, and Saturdays. My manager allowed me to attend classes during work time and I gave up my weekend time to go to class. So that worked well.”

One aspect of the Business Analysis program that Larissa was surprised to find she really enjoyed was the people side of the business analysis process, particularly relating to organizational change.

Devon Energy’s Canadian conventional oil and gas assets were acquired by Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) in February 2014. This was a major change for the organization, so Larissa put her newly acquired knowledge of change management to work.

She enrolled in MRU’s Change Management program to further her skills in this important area, completing it in June.

Larissa enjoys living and working in downtown Calgary, and loves getting outdoors. It was an uncharacteristically rainy day when we caught up with her at Devonian Gardens in the Home Oil Tower. “I couldn’t live in Vancouver,” she noted.

Larissa grew up taking dance classes, and still dances in her free time. She’s a supporter of the San Jose Sharks and a die-hard Calgary Roughnecks fan, even cutting a recent vacation short so she could attend playoff games. Larissa also enjoys visiting with her little niece.

Down the road, Larissa could see herself as an enterprise-wide change management consultant. She’s interested in our Leadership Development certificate and may earn a Masters of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University 10 or more years from now. She would even like to explore teaching change management in the future.

Hear more about Larissa’s experience.

— by Karen McCarthy

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