Campus Profile: Q&A with Bianca Ruest-Callam

When I met Bianca for the first time, I thought she was a pretty girl: great hair, great smile and a great style (which she still has!). The more I got to know her, the more I realized there was so much more behind that. She’s one of the most hardworking 20-year-old that I know (take that Ariana Grande!). Her two first years in university gave her a deeper understanding of herself and has been nothing but a self-awareness journey.

Name: Bianca Ruest-Callam

Cultural Background: My mom is Jamaican my dad is from Quebec

Age: I am 20. However, I sometimes feel like a grown woman, you know. It’s the thing about being in your twenties, you can be a child one second and an adult the other, and it does not matter!

Major: Officially, Marketing. But before that I switched on and off from Finance. Actually, I changed my mind pretty often. I’ve wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, and a journalist at some point. I found it hard to choose something at such a young age.

Minor: Sustainability

What groups have you been involved in so far in university? JMSB International association, sprouting mind (high school conferences about earth), Project Nü (using old clothing to revamp them).

If you had to choose a place to live for the rest of your life, where would it be? It’s very hard, because I love to travel. If it’s a “forever” thing, I have to say Jamaica. All my family lived there and I have a very dope large family! Anywhere else in the world would feel lonely without them.

What’s the latest movie you’ve watched? Get Out. I loved it! I love when artists, producers, songwriters, composers, etc. pass a message through art. Just like Beyoncé did with Lemonade. She used her talent and mixed with it with a platform in order to convey a deeper message. She talked about heartbreak, slavery, womanhood and race issues. Get Out follows the same idea. It demonstrates how black people are seen as a brand, not humans. Also, the mood in the theater was great! I loved that diversity in the audience. In these kind of movies, you would be afraid that just black people would show up, but we were so diverse and excited. Just like Lemonade did, it transgressed culture barriers.

Why Concordia? I actually did not want to go to Concordia. My plan was Queens, University of Toronto and even McGill. I had a friend who kept bugging me about Concordia so I decided to take a look. What sparked my interest were the resources, the business oriented programs and the huge diversity in cultures. I love it so much now – I go to school here, I work here and my gym is also here. I can walk in the building in pyjamas. It feels like home!

Would you say that women in marketing are valued? Marketing is very female oriented in terms of studies. I feel like the workforce, whatever field you land on, is filled with barriers. Racial, economic, physical, medical barriers, and our role as minorities and marginalized individuals is to prove society wrong. If by being a successful woman in marketing I get to break stereotypes, I will be honored because that means that I will get to pave the way for other women just like others did before for me.

What’s your favorite thing about Montreal? The mentality and ideas of the people in this city. I have been to other big Canadian cities like Toronto. Although they have different cultural groups, they seem to remain in their own corners. In Montreal, we are a melting pot. There is always something going on, a conference or an event to attend for every taste. I am also very fond of the Old Port!

If you could talk to your high school self, what would you say to her? I would say to her that people are always going to talk. Especially your friends, your classmates, your family and they might mean well, but you have to learn to listen to yourself. Don’t worry about people who are already successful, they all started where you are now. Don’t be afraid to dream big.