Nathan ArmstrongSupply Chain Analyst
Born and raised in South Western Ontario in the small town of Woodstock. I had a very normal childhood, I was the youngest of 3 children. I have an older Sister (4 years) and an older brother (10 years). I grew up playing sports and avoiding school. I was an active kid that just wanted to be outside playing, not inside studying. It's not that I wasn't smart, when I applied myself I did well. I just lacked focus, drive, and direction. On top of sports I loved TV. I developed a sense of humor at an early age which I attribute to countless hours spent watching Seinfeld and The Simpsons. My sense of humor and fashion carried me through school into adulthood and allowed me to develop social skills that would help get me to where I'm at today. When I attended College we were in the middle of a recession. It was the 2008 market crash in the States, and when the States sneeze the world gets a cold. I enrolled in Business Administration. The first year consists of the 4 branches of business (Human Resources, Marketing, Accounting, and Supply Chain Management). After the first year you pick which one you wish to specialize in. I chose Supply Chain Management because I felt it had the most job opportunities and room for growth, development, and financial security. I was right, it has been a great path for me.
I started college in 2005 at Niagara Community College in St Catharine's, Ontario. It was a Business Administration, Co-op program. I spent 2 years at this school before I transferred to Conestoga College in Kitchener. I did this because I was unable to find a Co-op during the summer and without it I could not continue the program. That summer (2007) I applied to Conestoga and got accepted. I moved back home with my parents in Woodstock and would spend the next 3 years commuting to the college to complete my program to save money, instead of renting in student housing. At the time I didn't realize how important this move would be. My older brother died of a drug overdose just 1 month into my first semester back home at Conestoga. It was a blessing in disguise that I transferred. I was able to be at home with my parents and support them through the tragedy that rocked our family. I struggled my way through the next 3 years. I couldn't focus and it was obvious that I was struggling with the death of my brother. I was depressed and using alcohol to self medicate, making it worse. I some how managed to graduate in 2010 while working nights at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and then sleeping for a few hours in my car in the school parking lot before class. I had no idea what that dedication and hard work was building for the future because I did it. I graduated, and 1 month after got my first job in the field and my career was officially off the ground.
When my brother passed away I thought I was done with school. I completely lacked any direction, I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going, and if my program was even getting me anywhere. On top of it I come from a family with very low education. The highest level of education my family has achieved was when I married Katie. So I didn't really have much support there, outside of my parents encouraging me as they would with anything I was trying. They didn't know how to guide me with school and education.
When I was in school I didn't want to learn anything I didn't think I would be. I'm not going to be an accountant why do I need to learn accounting. I constantly deflected subjects and opportunities not realizing that it's all part of a process. You should be eager to learn as much as possible. It's all part of building a foundation for the rest of your life. How to read, digest, understand, breakdown, and eventually solve a problem. In school you're not learning Math or English, you're not learning Geography, you're learning how to learn and that's so important. Ask any adult now what they remember from High School and I bet it's not going to be much. Then ask them about their career, what they do, something they're a subject matter expert in and watch the information pour out. They were able to become those experts because of the foundation of learning and skills they built in School growing up. My advice to myself, and any other distracted kid would be that there is always going to be another game of tag (90's kid, it would be something online now). There will always be another pick up game of basketball, and there will always, ALWAYS, be another party. Create a schedule, divide your time, make a plan, and each day challenge yourself with something different. Embrace that life isn't all about doing whatever you want, whenever you want. It's about working to earn it.
Words of Wisdom:
"Be yourself, everyone else is taken" - Unknown