Sarah Zurbuchen is Senior Director, We School, a parent, a mentor for the Beedie Luminaries program, and a lover of strong coffee. In today’s feature, we dive a little deeper into Sarah’s passion for the greater community, and life as an experienced fundraising professional. As we sift through a variety of questions, Sarah gives us advice, personal anecdotes, and a glimpse into her first job before she dove into the non-profit world.
Life is busy. What inspired you to become a mentor with the Beedie Luminaries?
For Sarah, mentorship is about instilling confidence in the mentee to just take the leap:
I know how important mentorship can be. The power and confidence that comes from knowing your mentor is always your corner – rooting for you, giving much-needed perspective, and nudging you to move out of your comfort zone – that’s what drew me to this program!
Can we get to know you a little bit better?
How would you describe yourself? What are three qualities that got you where you are today?
I’m dedicated, love to learn (anything really!) and my purpose is to give back to my community.
What was your favourite subject in school?
English and French!
What book(s) have greatly influenced your life?
Most recently, Those We Throw Away Are Diamonds. Author: Mondiant Dogon
What was your first job? What was your biggest takeaway from that experience?
I was a cashier in a small-town grocery store. The biggest no-no at this job was standing around when we weren’t busy. We were always told, “do something, look busy!” So I’d sweep the floor, stock shelves, or reorganize my coupons for the 10th time. It was our responsibility to identify what needed to be done, and do it. I learned the importance of always moving forward … even when I all I really wanted to do (at times) was stand around! This Martin Luther King Jr quote is the essence of my first job experience. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
Where is your happy place?
Sitting on my bed under a cozy blanket, gazing at the Douglas Firs outside my bedroom window, sipping a strong cup of coffee.
What is a dream you have not yet achieved?
Learning Spanish and traveling in South America.
Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
I cannot believe I’m sharing this, but as a bonding experience with my dad in high school, I received my ham radio operator license. It was fun learning morse code.
Do you have any advice for post-secondary students transitioning into their professional careers?
It’s OK if you don’t have it all figured out! Chances are even if you do, the plan will change many times. The name of the game is to keep moving forward, even when its incredibly uncomfortable!
THANK YOU, SARAH!
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