Spilled coffee, sweatpants, and market segmentation. You might be wondering what these three have in common; that is unless you’re a first-year marketing student at BCIT. If this is the case, it’s likely that you’ve been found in the library — at some point or another — with one of these either making or breaking your Monday morning. It’s almost November, and we now know that you’ve struggled through the brunt of BCIT’s workload while perhaps funding most of the Rix’s coffee sales in the process. But aside from a hectic schedule, BCIT fosters a bustling campus full of activities, tight-knit clubs and new friendships to aid you on your journey.

Our lovely Marketing Association takes up a huge portion of BCIT’s club lineup. It’s one of the largest, most diverse clubs on campus, and we claim that title through our twelve thriving committee options. With all of these opportunities at your fingertips, how’s a first-year expected to find their place in the marketing program? Fear not, your first-year liaisons are here to help!

Armed with the knowledge, passion, and perseverance behind the MA, Kenton Duncan, and Karissa Monachese fall nothing short of impressive. As first-years themselves, these two have taken on the position of liaisons to help their peers in the best way a business student can: establishing connections. They’re the string between the soup cans; consider them as your go to’s for everything from MA event tickets to committee contacts. So, without further ado, let’s meet them!

Questions are in bold, and answers are italicized.

Karissa Monachese

Life before BCIT; sum it up in fifteen seconds.

I did a four-year visual arts degree at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, where I’m originally from. Then, when I wasn’t having any luck finding work, I went back to retail; I was an assistant manager at Payless Shoes. I didn’t really enjoy it, so I decided that I wanted to go back to school. I wanted to switch it up after debating whether I should go for something similar to my degree or branch out to get some experience in a different field.

What made you want to join the MA?

The reason I came here was to make connections, network, and build my portfolio, so originally those were contributors to me joining the MA. I’m hoping to learn as much as I can through the position; I figured, go big or go home.

What inspired you to take on the MA liaison position?

Usually, I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person, so when I joined the MA, I really wanted to go all in and have my hands in everything. I want to make a difference in the club and help it grow somewhere down the road.

If you could choose only one strength of yours to offer to the club this year, which would it be? Why?

Probably my dedication, or my emotional empathy. I’m just so invested in the MA that I’d pretty much do anything in my power to help the first years or the club in general. I have a knack for making people feel comfortable. Whether it’s a crowd of people or a one-on-one conversation, it’s all kind of relative and, in my opinion, an important skill in marketing.

One thing you’d love the MA members to know about you as their liaison?

I’d want them to know that if they ever need help with anything, that I’m totally there. I’m all about unity and being accountable when help is needed.

Who’s your hero? Why?

My grandpa, for sure. He started from absolutely nothing; he had a fourth-grade education, he owned his own hotel, he owned his own hair salon… he’s just done very well for himself for not, you know, coming from much. He’s from Italy, so during World War II he couldn’t finish school, and so he moved to Canada. He’s really inspiring to me.

How do you take your coffee?

Decaf cappuccino all the way, as is, no additives.

Kenton Duncan

Life before BCIT; sum it up in fifteen seconds.


Before BCIT, I lived on Vancouver Island. I did a lot of travelling, spent some time in Hawaii, lived there for a little bit… But when I was on Vancouver Island, I worked construction, did part-time school, and was a surf instructor in Tofino. When I wasn’t teaching surfing, I actually started and ultimately managed a small surfing clothing label that screen-printed t-shirts. I still have the company today, it’s called Selah Surf, and I still have online sales. I’m featured in a few stores on Vancouver Island, which is pretty cool.

What made you want to join the MA?

On the first day of school, I had a chance to speak with all of the clubs, and I found that the MA’s focuses really aligned with mine. Meeting people and really building up equity in those relationships was a big part of their mission statement. They were really forward about their motivation to connect and having fun doing it, and I’m on board with that.

What inspired you to take on the MA liaison position?

I decided to take on the liaison role to better connect with the first and second years. I had a few friends who have done the program in the past, as well as friends who are in their second year. Since they’ve had such a positive impact on my time here, and because of how much I value my relationship with them, I want to be able to help the first years in the same way. I’d like to bridge the gap between the two. As the representative of the first year, in particular, I wanted the position to help manage that gap, and create a more cohesive team throughout the MA.

If you could choose just one strength of yours to offer to the club this year, which would it be? Why?

I guess my strength would be my determination to stick with the organization and really watch it excel. I’m definitely looking into stepping into more of a leadership role in my second year, and potentially working closely alongside Tony. I want to see where I fit into the MA in its long-term goals. Also, just being a very positive figure is a strength of mine. As a liaison, you know, I want to be a very cheerful and likable person to make the club look attractive. Something that I’d hope to bring on is hopefully the ability to help people realize (who aren’t in the club) how fun and nice the people of the MA are.

One thing you’d love the MA members to know about you as their liaison?

I’m excited to be in this position, and even more so to help serve them and meet their needs. As a first-year, I can relate specifically to what they’re going through. For the second years, knowing that I’m thankful to be in this position and what I bring to the table is important to me. I’m very charismatic, and I just enjoy working and learning. I want to share my first-year insight with the club, as well as be there to help with the second years in whatever way that I can — we all know that they’re super busy as well.

Who’s your hero? Why?

Wow, so many… one of my heroes is a guy named Tom Bower. He was the first person to bring surfers into North Korea. North Korea, as you know, is a very communist country, and doesn’t allow outsiders into the nation. Tom was part of a humanitarian organization called Surfing the Nations that were able to get in using the sport of surfing. They distributed skateboards and surfboards, which the people of North Korea had never seen before.He and his team taught the locals how to skate and surf. They took something that we take for granted, as like a hobby, and brought it into a world that had never seen anything like it. I really admire him for entering arguably one of the most dangerous countries in the world to spread, well, just love. And, well, I like Obama too. Especially now that Trump’s in there. Also, anyone that puts up fire memes (I will follow back).

How do you take your coffee?

Extra shot americano. With cream and sugar. Sometimes, if I’m feeling nice, I’ll take an americano misto.

Here, Kenton had to kindly explain to me what an americano misto was. Karissa also allowed me to probe her about her grandfather post-interview, schooling me on how to pronounce their surname (it’s Mona-kay-zee, not Mona-cheese). The patience and passion that these two shared with me throughout their interviews clarified why they’re our first-year liaisons. Congratulations, Kenton and Karissa!

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