“This is Vanessa, Valérie Beauregard’s daughter.”
My name is Vanessa Aronovici and I like leaving it as just that. Though I am proud of my mother’s family name, it often makes people judge my position before knowing me.
When I was younger, my grandfather seemed bigger than life, and not only because of his height. I knew he was an important man without knowing what he had accomplished. I didn’t comprehend that he was the best PR practitioner in the world, as the Globe and Mail wrote when he passed away. I knew he worked in a building downtown with a corner office and a great view. I also knew my mother worked at the same company. As I grew up, I learned more about RES PUBLICA, now AVENIR GLOBAL, and began to understand my mother’s daily job as being more than just “a businesswoman with her own desk” as I so often said to my peers.
I wanted to start my own journey, discover my interests on my own rather than follow the family trend; I had interpreted that as being an easy route or a prediction that I wanted to overrule. At McGill University, I studied Cultural Studies and then added a Communications minor. I was still set on finding my own path. Nevertheless, the Montreal office is close to the McGill campus, so I often visited my mother for lunch and to run errands. I knew where the room with the couch and yoga mat was, and I found my way to the storage rooms to scope out the famous gel pens; I began to see the office as more than just the eighth floor of the Sun Life Building.
When COVID-19 hit the world, I continued to visit my mother at the office for lunch, when possible. The two floors were mostly empty. I began offering my assistance, something to keep my mind busy and entertained between my online classes and deserted downtown streets. From learning names in the office, conversing with colleagues at home on Teams, and understanding the layout of the office, my "baby box" sender, employee bag-maker, disinfectant spray holder, and other COVID-related tasks filled my gaps between classes.
The following summer, as colleagues slowly began to refill the hallways and the offices became more occupied, my eagerness to help remained and I was offered the opportunity to join a special mission taskforce. I was entrusted with various projects throughout the summer and the one to follow. As those projects were coming to an end, I was being noticed as more than just “Valérie’s daughter.”
Ten years after my grandfather passed away, I contemplated working fulltime. I had not imagined myself taking this path and the idea of “nepo baby” (as they say in Hollywood) and entitlement to the job was at the forefront of my mind. People had noticed my organizational and project management skills, and as the Firm grew there was a natural fit formed with me and the business integration team. After working as an intern throughout the academic school year, we began to discuss my permanent full-time position. Though my mother was thrilled, I was sure to clarify that I could not work with her—professionalism and boundaries would be broken on my end. I was also keen on creating my own space in the Firm, which luckily everyone understood.
I formed my own relationships, discovered my own niche and interests, and naturally fell into my position as a project coordinator in the Business and Technology Integration team.
I am proud to work here at AVENIR GLOBAL. Thank you, Jean-Pierre Vasseur, for seeing my potential. This is the company my grandfather built 47 years ago, my mom is the executive vice-president, and I am the proud third generation representative!
From being entrusted with four different offices across two floors, I have found my place with my multi-city team. Though my journey to AVENIR GLOBAL had some unexpected turns, I have become part of the team from more than just a blood relation.
I hope my hard work and positive energy will prove that my place here is more than just being “Valérie’s daughter.”
Thank you to my manager, Aigerim Ng, and my amazing team for making me feel welcome and appreciated.
To mom, see you at the office tomorrow!
Collage submitted for the Firm's photo contest. The theme was: Show us your colours!