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Business Admin Graduate Follows His Heart from Humber to France

For some people, graduating from college and launching a successful career in one of the top five big banks would be enough – but not for Nicolas Salem.

Nic in France

But hearing from him three years later, not in his dream job, nor in the country, did not surprise his prof, Maria Racanelli. As the Program Coordinator for the Business Administration program at The Business School, she had helped Nicolas make the right connections. These connections led Nic to have breakfast on the 40th floor of the RBC Plaza with a top RBC executive. Not a bad break for a young man from Caledon, Ontario.

Nic at the RBC podium

Nicolas with Deputy Chairman and Head of Global Ultra High Net Worth Clients, Wayne Bossert of RBC Wealth Management.

Maria and Nick

Nicolas with his Business Administration Professor, Maria Racanelli.

Nicolas landed the job, found his wings and even earned a promotion within the RBC. But sometimes, work success just isn’t enough. During his time at Humber, Nic had met an International student from France, Lauren Bocquet. They continued to correspond beyond graduation and throughout the time that Nic was working his way up the corporate ladder. It was during this time that Nic paused for some self-reflection and realized that his journey was not yet complete. Fast forward to the Fall of 2016 and Nic finds himself at the Univeriste Jean Moulin, Lyon France furthering his education by doing a Bachelor of Global Business and Management.  

Panoramic view of France in the day

“It’s an amazing place, filled with beautiful people, outstanding architecture, rich culture and absolutely delicious food," says Nicolas in his email to Racanelli. “I wanted to update you on these past three months that I’ve been in France. University is quite the adjustment from College, although I have been managing well with the knowledge I attained from Humber. I am also enrolled in four hours of French per week. My understanding has improved thoroughly and I am confident when speaking to strangers, store clerks and even the students in my class. I’ve attached a few photos to give you an idea of what’s going on here." 

Nic laying next to the Eiffel tower

Nic and Lauren

Racanelli is not surprised to learn that Nic’s tutor in French is none other than the international student from France, Lauren Bocquet. “I have been fortunate to be part of his journey," says Raconelli, “the connections I helped him make sent him over the moon, but the follow-up letter that I received from him, moved me deeply and reminded me how much we as faculty can influence the lives of our students.”

France at Night


Follow your dreams, wherever they may lead you, from academic success to corporate success and back again. The journey is yours.