My Junior Achievement Experience
Written by Ilsa Baig

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

I started my internship at Tangerine expecting to learn a lot about the career path I want to pursue in the future. I'm going into my fourth year at Ryerson University in the Business Management program with a major in Marketing.

Aside from work-related opportunities and the constant Toronto Raptors buzz at Tangerine, there turned out to be several exciting opportunities I hadn't expected, such as volunteering with other Tangerine employees for Junior Achievement Canada (JA Canada).

Inspired to Connect with Others

JA Central Ontario aims to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy. My role as a volunteer was to deliver the "Dollars for Sense" program and connect with students. “Dollars for Sense" is designed for grade 7 students, to give them insights into their spending and savings habits, what influences them to make purchases, and how they can invest in their future.

Money Lessons Learned

Students learned how they can save now for the future. They compared how much they would have after a few months or a year if they saved part of their weekly allowance rather than spending it right away.

This activity started a discussion about the saving and spending habits of everyone in the class.

Some students said they spent their money whenever they had any, while other students said they save money for bigger purchases. By learning about these different experiences, some students were inspired to start saving for future goals.

Looking at My Own Finances

After spending an entire school day with the students, I can say they were phenomenal. The entire experience was uplifting and heartwarming. The students appreciated what we had to offer and were open to sharing their own experiences.

Even though I was only with them for one day, I learned a lot. Teaching the students about financial literacy forced me to take a look at managing my own finances by making savings goals for myself and focusing more on creating a budget.

A Moment of Appreciation

One of my favorite moments was near the end of the day. Like any other middle school class, the students had their own playful arguments, but when it came time to look back at what they learned, you could see the respect and kindness they had for each other.

Not only did we recap what we had learned about financial literacy, but the students also shared their progress from the beginning of the year to now. They shared stories and accomplishments. It made me realize just how much my friends, my family and I have also grown this past year.

What I Learned by Volunteering

This moment of reflection for all I've accomplished this past year wasn't something I expected to gain from volunteering, but that's what's great about spending time with Grade 7 students: You don't know what the takeaways will be until you've spent time with them.

I'll always remember my time as an intern and as a volunteer. I've learned a lot about my field of interest and benefited from many other valuable opportunities.

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