Invest in Yourself

The 2021 IxL Conference is a virtual mini-series and professional development event that invites you to invest in your education and career with essential self-reflection and leadership skills. The BCIT Student Association has developed this opportunity of keynote speakers, panel discussion, and fireside chat to provide you with a chance to learn directly from industry professionals in management roles and become a leader in your field.

“Self-awareness has been cited as the most important capability for leaders to develop… Successful leaders know where their natural inclinations lie and use this knowledge to boost those inclinations or compensate for them… The one constant factor in all your endeavors is you; understanding yourself is therefore paramount.”

– Esimai Chinwe


January 19 & February 16

Jean-Pierre LeBlanc

Co-Founder of Saje Natural Wellness, Jean-Pierre transformed his pain, suffering from chronic fibromyalgia, into a series of natural remedies and products that are now shared with the world. He has developed a wholistic coaching model to help others live intentionally and in alignment with their own purpose and core values. Leading from the heart, Jean-Pierre is now turning his focus to philanthropic pursuits as he continues to support and mentor leaders at every level of development.

Leadership Coach, The Alchemy Network

Session Title: Know Thyself, Leadership and the Enneagram.
In this session, you will learn the importance of the concept “know thyself”, know what you are truly passionate about, and understand the importance of wellness to leadership.

Make sure to take The Enneagram Personality Test & learn which of the 9 types fits you best.

Rachel Hayek

Rachel is a Leadership Coach who is passionate about helping people tune into their inner wisdom. She helps people overcome the obstacles preventing them from living the life they desire. She believes that kindness, compassion, and collaboration are the keys to effective leadership. Fascinated by eastern philosophy and teachings, she is a life-long student of yoga, meditation, reiki and Zen along with the Enneagram and other tools that promote self awareness. Rachel is a nature-lover who values curiosity, freedom, and adventure.

Leadership Coach, Rachel Hayek Coaching

Session Title: Know Thyself, Leadership and the Enneagram

Sonja Foley

Currently, Sonja is the Director of Intergovernmental Relations Director and Strategic Partnerships with the City of Vancouver where she works with the provincial and federal governments to advance City priorities such as housing, childcare, transit, and other top priorities for the City.

Born and raised in Sweden with an Iranian background and later immigrated to Canada, Sonja is a global citizen who is proud to call Vancouver home. Educated in Sweden, Canada and Spain, Sonja obtained her Diploma in Radio Broadcasting from BCIT, Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Communications from Royal Roads University and a Masters in International Relations from Instituto de Impresa (IE Business School) in Madrid, Spain. She began her career in media working at a number of radio stations on Vancouver Island and Vancouver but returned to school to continue her pursuit of learning and desire to make a change. Passionate about making an impact, Sonja has participated in international events such as the United Nations in 2013, 2015 and 2018. Locally, Sonja was the Chair of the Coast Capital Savings Young Leaders Council in 2013 where young leaders granted non-profits focused on youth up to $1M of granting funds. From 2014-2019 Sonja served as a board of directors on the YWCA Canada board advocating for women and girls in Canada. Most recently in March 2020, Sonja was appointed to the West Vancouver Police Board by the Province of BC. Sonja is a mother of two who is driven to build a more equal, tolerable, compassionate and inclusive world for future generations.

Director, Intergovernmental Relations, City of Vancouver

Session Title: Bet on Yourself
During their chat, Sonja and Behmann will discuss courageous decision’s they’ve made, what they have had to let go of to be where they are today, and what advice they wish they knew then that they know now.

Behmann Gustavsp

A permanent wanderlust and somewhat of a rule breaker, Behmann Gustavsp is a leader with a passion for building soulful connections. Behmann was born in Pakistan and raised in Canada and while his career started in media, it was a desire and talent in bringing people together that transitioned Behmann into a decade long career focused on partnerships, community, and events. Ever the optimistic, Behmann continually seeks and creates experiences that engage and inspire through his position as Community Partnerships Manager at Vessi Footwear.

Community Partnerships Manager, Vessi Footwear

Session Title: Bet on Yourself
During their chat, Sonja and Behmann will discuss courageous decision they’ve made, what they have had to let go to be where they are today and what advice they wish they knew then that they know now.

behmann gustavsp-bio-pic

Register to receive monthly email notifications with new videos.

Feedback Survey

Prizing & Video Submission

We want to hear from you! How have the speaker videos impacted you and what do you plan on doing to ‘invest in yourself’? Students are asked to submit a short video (etc. 30 sec) of how they plan on investing in themselves based on the speaker video they’ve watched. Only students will be eligible for the prize, but Alumni and Industry are invited to submit videos as well.

Submit for your chance to win a $100 gift card each month!

January Release Video

  • Contest opens Jan 19
  • Contest closes on Feb 21
  • Winner announce on Feb 24

February Release Video

  • Contest opens Feb 16
  • Contest closes on March 28
  • Winner announce on Mar 31

March Release Video

  • Contest opens Mar 23
  • Contest closes on April 18
  • Winner announce on April 21

April Release Video

  • Contest opens Apr 13
  • Contest closes on May 16
  • Winner announce on May 19