Faces of Entrepreneurship FT. Marc-André Daoust

Marc-André Daoust, Associate Director of Co-op Programs at the University of Ottawa

Marc-André Daoust has a thirst for tackling many different tasks and leading varied projects, something every entrepreneur can relate to. He studied at the University of Ottawa for an undergraduate degree in Psychology/Management and Public Policies, another in Education. Then he pursued a Masters in Education. His studies in education have helped him carve his career path from former elementary school teacher to University Administrator.

Marc-André worked with the CO-OP team at the University of Ottawa for 20 years in various roles. In his current role as the Associate Director, he oversees all CO-OP operations. It is within his capacity as Associate Director that he has helped create a few different programs that allow CO-OP students to develop their entrepreneurial mindset when either working in a startup or on their own business.

Trying new things and developing new programs that help students succeed are two things Marc-André keeps top of mind in his job. It’s also with an intrapreneur’s mindset that he aims to see what innovative ideas could be next for the uOttawa community.

What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

For me, entrepreneurship is about thinking outside the box. It’s being able to bring creative and innovative solutions to what we do. It’s not only about seeing options or possibilities for change, it’s about taking risks to try and implement that change.

How are you entrepreneurial?

I see myself as an intrapreneur. I’m truly lucky enough to be in a university administrator role that allows me to continually examine what we do and how we do it. At heart, I’m a problem-solver that is keen to propose we “try out solutions or new projects”. If something fails, it’s actually a learning experience. I’ll use that knowledge and understanding to improve the next project.

How does an entrepreneurial mindset contribute to your life?

I believe my entrepreneurial mindset has played a key role in helping me get to where I am today. Trial and error have always been part of how I operate. Although I tend to be very analytical, I’ve learned to rely on that before implementing new ideas. It also helps when things don’t work out as planned as I’m eager to understand why before seeing what I can adapt the next time around. With me, there is always a “next time around”!

*This feature was published as a part of the Faces of Entrepreneurship Campaign, 2021–22.

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