Tiffany James graduated from Acadia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Even before she was handed her degree, she was using the lessons she learned to create business opportunities for herself and others. She started Halifax Hair Extensions, a rapidly growing online company that markets hair extension products throughout the Maritimes. Tiffany is also doing part-time business counselling with student entrepreneurs through the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre. “My most major accomplishment to-date occurs every time I get to consult with a student entrepreneur and help them develop their ideas into real businesses,” she says.
While at Acadia, Tiffany won the Toronto Dominion National Scholarship. She also captured first place in the Innovative Ideas Competition, first place at the Wes Nicol Competition, and first place at the Pitch 101 competition.
“I was born in Ontario and always wanted to travel to another region of Canada to attend school. In my final year of high school I received basketball scholarship offers from a number of schools in the Atlantic Provinces. I originally attended Dalhousie University for a year and then opted to make the switch to Acadia after just one visit. Acadia has a beautiful campus, the business program allowed for so much flexibility and creativity, and the community of people made me feel at home so far away from my family.
“The organization that has had the most powerful impact on my professional development was the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre. I first met Lisa Lowthers, my business counsellor, when I wanted to launch my own charity for athletes and local youth. The following summer I worked for the Entrepreneurship Centre teaching and facilitating workshops to local business clients. Lisa continued to teach me how to grow and plan strategically for my own business venture.
“I believe I have developed into the professional that I am today because of my interactions with the Centre and Lisa’s insightful guidance. Much of my academic success occurred after I walked through their doors.
“I would strongly recommend Acadia to students looking for a great community in which to live while they complete their academic careers. The majority of students who attend Acadia are residential students who have come from a different town, province or country. We are all seeking a home away from home and a place where we can ultimately be happy for at least four years of our lives.
“One of my fondest memories at Acadia was the time that my friends and I went sledding down the hill on campus. University administrators put up warning signs every year and ask students not to steal meal hall trays and use them as sleds, but every year the student body gets more creative. There were a lot of students sledding that evening and there was so much laughter because the ground was covered in ice. After the sleds came to a stop at the bottom of the hill, students had to crawl their way to the sidewalk because it was too difficult to walk on the ice. It was a funny sight to see.
“Acadia is special because it is a university town. Not only is this the most beautiful campus in all of Canada, it is isolated just enough for you to focus on your studies without too much distraction and close enough to Halifax that you can make a weekend trip to party and explore. Before you graduate you will probably know all of the local business owners by name and nickname, and you won't be able to walk into town without seeing at least five people you are friends with. The community aspect is very hard to replicate at another university.”
Written by Jim Prime (’69)