Jessica Franzman is a firm believer in expanding your comfort zone.

Jessica Franzman (Source: LinkedIn)

This past year, the Calgary-raised first-year university student and Student Works operator has truly walked her talk. Speaking with her now, you’d never suspect that she once struggled with self-doubt and uncertainty when she began the Student Works Management Program in January.

Jessica sat down with Chris Thomson on our Leaders of Tomorrow podcast to share the biggest takeaways she gathered from her first summer as a student painter. Rich with insights, here’s what she had to say:

Get Outside of your Comfort Zone

Leaving Alberta behind to attend Dalhousie wasn’t an easy choice for Jessica, but she knew it was the correct one. In fact, she felt that if she stayed in her cozy hometown, she’d never grow. 

Jessica’s evolution since joining forces with Student Works has been astronomical. She went from doubting that she could ever run a business, to overcoming her fears and succeeding as a first year operator. 

Her advice for newcomers to the program?

“Do the thing that scares you the most. Step outside of your comfort zone. If something freaks the hell out of you, go and do it. Right? I was scared as all hell to run a business for the first time and I’ve never been more grateful in my life that I took this risk, because honestly, this will set me up for the rest of my life,” she passionately explained to Chris. 

According to Jessica, getting outside of your comfort zone is how you determine how far you can go as a person. If you couldn’t tell already, she wants to succeed.

Develop Trust

In previous jobs, Jessica felt very challenged whenever she was expected to place trust in team members. A former control freak, she couldn’t muster enough belief in her coworkers potential to stop herself from doing their job for them. 

“I didn’t see the value in building trust with my coworkers,” she expressed. 

However, after many talks with her Student Works district manager about the challenges she faced, she learned that to be a leader, she would need to trust her team. 

“Trust is the foundation of every relationship you’ll ever build.” Bingo!

Nowadays, when Jessica checks in with her team, it’s not to micromanage them. She merely keeps lines of communication open so that everyone on her crew understands that she’s a resource to rely on when things get challenging on the job. 

Jessica serves as an excellent example of the not only professional, but personal evolution that Student Works Management Program participants benefit from. In fact, when asked what’s changed in her life since she began working with us, she notes:

“Everything that comes my way, I see as an opportunity now.”

Are you a student looking to further your development as a leader and enter the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Check out more stories from Student Works participants and alumni on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast!