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


Kelsy Trigg

Kelsy Trigg is an ultrarunner, Race Director, and VP @SAP. Kelsy’s focus on leadership is woven into her role as the Global Head, HR Advisors; a team that gets the opportunity to work with, support and consult SAP’s 6000 mid and first-level leaders every day. Self-described as “intentionally stubborn in her pursuit of excellence”, Kelsy has a knack for seeing and fostering strengths in those around her and she brings her love of the mountains to everything she does. She is an avid champion of inclusion and the value of sport in developing leadership. This combined with her broad business background including roles in Professional Services, Development, Customer Support, Maintenance Sales, Finance, COO Operations and HR gives her a unique perspective. Kelsy previously ran her own consulting company of one, holds an Honours Diploma in Computer Systems Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and is an MBA mentor with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. @KelsyTrigg LinkedIN –

VP + Global Head, HR Advisors, SAP

Session Title: A Leadership Ripple in Time.
Join Kelsy Trigg in this engaging conversation about a “Leadership Ripple in Time”. Taking inspiration from one of her favourite childhood books, Kelsy weaves together important leadership topics, practical tips, and stories from her mountain adventures. Packed with real-life examples and personal learnings, Kelsy highlights the leadership impact we all have and to quote Simon Sinek, leaves us with “a bit of optimism”.


April 20 Release

Suit Shot

March 22 Release

Jason Cressey

Jason gained his PhD in Social Psychology from Oxford University, UK and specializes in the field of leadership, team dynamics, interpersonal communication and body language. He has taught psychology at the University of Oxford in addition to Athabasca University, University of Calgary and University of Victoria. Since 1997 he has designed and facilitated workshops for a wide variety of global clients to help maximize workplace productivity and well-being.

Motivational Speaker/Consultant, Motivation in Mind

Session Title: Developing Your Leadership Style

What is ‘leadership style’ and how does it differ from personality? Why does it matter, and how can you cultivate the best leadership style for any given situation? Most importantly, how do you ‘read the room’ and switch styles when necessary?

Gwen Gnazdowsky

Gwen Gnazdowsky, founder of “ONE Conversation Coaching & Facilitation” has been helping people resolve issues and achieve personal, professional and relationship goals, One Conversation at a time for over 25 years. Her public-speaking engagements include “Happiness is a Paradigm Shift” for TEDxBCIT; and Speaker Coach for TEDxECUAD. Gwen taught Assertive Communication and Public Speaking Courses at Langara College and Vancouver School Board. She was the National Mentorship Program Developer and Coordinator for two cohorts at the Women in Leadership Foundation. Gwen delivered workshops for clients including: Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, Human-Resources Management Association, Certified Management Accountant Association, University of British Columbia Anthropology and Canadian Women in Science and Technology. Gwen is the Co-Chair of The Laurier Institution a National, Non-Profit supporting Diversity. She began her career in Social Services and as a Life Skills Coach, working with people in crisis, especially Youth at Risk and their families,

Founder, One Conversation Coaching & Facilitation

Session Title: Effective Communication Skills Introduce Yourself Powerfully and Ask for What You Want.
Learn a Template that encourages Clarity, Communicates your Motivation, Differentiates yourself from Others, Incorporates a Call To Action and Takes your Communication to the Next Level. This simple template will help you craft your own powerful professional Introduction and Ask!


March 22 Release

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

February 16


February 16 Release

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.

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


January 19 Release

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.

Continue to invest in yourself! Practice your leadership skills

Peak Leadership

Career Mentorship

Become a Mentor

Register to receive monthly email notifications with new videos.

Feedback & $100 Giveaway Draw

Prizing & Reflection 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) or a written testimony (est. 150 words) 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 reflections as well.

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

January Release

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

February Release

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

March Release

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

April Release

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

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