Sometimes a little push is all you need to get going in the right direction.
That push came in the form of joining Project Beyshick in 2005 for Patrick Cheechoo, a Constance Lake band member.
He had been working in youth sports and recreation development when he decided to return to school to get more training in management skills.
He graduated from Lakehead University’s business administration program in 2005.
"When I graduated, I started looking for employment opportunities," Cheechoo said. "I heard there was an open position at Matawa. I was asked for a proposal on how I would meet the goals of the position."
After following through, Cheechoo had everything ready to go but decided against submitting it. He didn’t feel ready.
The next summer, he went to Project Beyshick and worked and observed alongside a national director in customer relations at FedEx.
"It was a great opportunity," Cheechoo said. "It gave me a great boost of confidence and I felt ready for this job."
He submitted his proposal to Matawa and landed a position that later became what he currently does – manager of financial advisory service.
He assists the nine Matawa member communities with community governance and management development.
He finds the work very rewarding.
"When I work with the communities, developing codes and policies, when they are implemented, it feels like I make a difference," Cheechoo said.
Among the work Cheechoo has helped communities with is pandemic planning, sick leave policies, accounting and computer use policies.
For youth considering a career similar to that of Cheechoo, he suggested several skills which are key to success.
These include presentation skills, public speaking, computer skills, researching and simple accounting.
"We have a need for individuals with accounting designations," Cheechoo said.
Band managers and accountants are other options, he said.
"I would encourage youth to take business administration and accounting as a school goal," Cheechoo said.