Every May, during Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, she organizes a walk to raise funds for the MS Society of Canada, an endeavour that occupies almost half her year. She and her colleague also work with restaurants to get a portion of proceeds from their most popular dishes donated to the cause during that month.
Before joining the self-help group, Duchastel knew no one with MS and very little about the disease. Now she knows hundreds. She’s a resource when they are first diagnosed and she’s by their side when they suffer a setback and end up in hospital.
“There’s a whole human element to my job that wasn’t there in my previous positions and which I really like. It’s very real,” she says. “It sounds kind of kitschy, but the most rewarding part of my job is definitely helping others.”
While helping your fellow human being isn’t necessarily on an Econ or MBA syllabus, the lessons she learned while studying at Concordia are the reasons she can be so effective in her work. It’s thanks to her MBA that she can understand the financial side of her organization. It’s also at JMSB where she learned to multi-task, to be organized, to prioritize and to develop a good work ethic – all skills she uses today.
“It gave me a good basis to succeed in all the work I’ve done,” she says. “But in non-profit specifically, because you need to be good in everything.”