Cindy Ross Pedersen

Cindy Ross Pedersen
Grad Year: 
Computer Science
Entrepreneur/Strategic Volunteer

Q: Briefly describe your current position and responsibilities, including challenges/rewards. How did you go about your job search upon graduating -- what strategies were most successful and why do you think you were hired?

I am now a Strategic Volunteer after 14 years running my own digital/web company and selling it 2006 to a marketing agency. I started on the accounting path on graduation and ended up in software development instead. Went entrepreneurial 2 years later, started my first company when I was 30 and started my web company when I was 35. I retired at 49 and rather than start another business, I am redirecting my skills, expertise, and contacts towards making a difference in the productive years I have left.

People hired me and do hire me because I can add value to their organizations. Identify your value, package it as an elevator pitch and deliver on it.

Q: List the key positions you have held since graduation, and any post-graduate degrees/diplomas you earned after graduation. If applicable, list any other ways you are involved in your profession or in your community (member of a professional association, involved as a leadership volunteer, etc).

See Entrepreneurial, Digital Consulting, IT, Non-profit.

Q: What personal characteristics/skills are most important for success in your job/field?

  • Perseverance
  • Creativity
  • People skills
  • Communication skills
  • Technical/finance skills, wish my legal skills had been better

Q: During your university career did any key experiences assist you in making your career choices? If yes, how so? (Internships? Extern Program? Volunteering? Student clubs? Summer job? Mentorship?)

In my 4th year I had a unique role on campus of tutoring all first year Commerce students - no marking, but teaching and office hours. It was a huge opportunity and let me build up many skills. Any opp you get to teach/coach/mentor, lead a team, connect with biz leaders, analyze businesses is valuable.

Q: What have been the keys to your success? What advice would you give to students who wish to pursue a similar career path? If you had the chance to plan your studies and your career path again, what would you do differently (if anything)?

A lot of luck. Applied intelligence - creative thinking. Always learning. Following up every opportunity - you never know. Ask for what you want.'s a big driver forward.

I'd have enjoyed school more - more involved in activities. But my BComm was invaluable and my minor in Computer Science set me up for life.