Shannan Schimmelmann, Prep Academy Tutors of Interior BC, Kelowna

WeBC May 16, 2023
Shannan Schimmelman

Having started her first business at the age of 17, Shannan has always been an entrepreneur at heart.

“Entrepreneurship suits my lifestyle, and my personal and professional aspirations. I love connecting people and volunteering in my community.” 

Shannan’s current start-up, Prep Academy Tutors of Interior BC, is a franchise she launched with her business partner Rhona Stanislaus during the summer of 2022. Prep Academy Tutors of Interior BC provides academic support, one-to-one and small-group tutoring, and career coaching to students across all grade levels and subjects.

Additionally, both Shannan and her business partner are moms.

“So many women entrepreneurs are also working moms. As moms, we are often the caregivers for our family. We are nurturing others all the time and sometimes we feel like we can’t step back from that, and do something for ourselves. I know I have felt that way. Being in business for yourself is a full-time job, and running your business can take over your life.”

Shannan is very active in her community, volunteering with multiple organizations and committees across the Okanagan. Prior to launching Prep Academy Tutors of Interior BC, Shannan was consulting and managing projects for other organizations and businesses, including WeBC! As a prior WeBC Ambassador, Shannan has also participated in several WeBC programs including Taking the Stage®, team resiliency training workshops and peer mentoring.

Credit: @patineriorbc on Instagram

Mentee Q&A

Q: What inspired you to join the mentoring program?

I am a passionate advocate for mentorship and believe in the value of having both formal and informal mentor relationships. I have been part of the WeBC community for many years. More recently, I was drawn to the peer mentoring program to expand my network, share ideas, and learn. I discovered that being part of a small group of women in business supporting one another is tremendously beneficial to my business, and personal development. I recommend that everyone reach out to them.

Q: What’s the biggest lesson(s) you learned from your mentoring experience?

I learned there are many different solutions to every situation. Having a positive attitude and expressing gratitude makes a world of difference. I have various people I consider to be mentors in my professional network, and the biggest lesson I learned is the importance of playing to my strengths. The WeBC Peer Mentoring group increased my confidence and inspired me to keep striving for a better work/life balance.

Q: What personal growth have you experienced since participating in the program?

I have taken more time to appreciate and nurture my unique strengths, skills, education and work experience. I have learned how to activate my personal and professional network to support my business goals and growth.

I learn best by DOING! I make a decision, I take action, I look at the result, and I move forward. This NEW learning informs my next action, and so on.

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you have learned on your entrepreneurial journey?

I have come to realize that learning and leadership do not need to be formal. It can be sharing a story, reading a book, searching the web, reading a blog, or having an experience with colleagues, clients or community members. The key thing is to reflect on what you can do with the learning experience, and to focus on your strengths. 

Q: Has your community played a role in your business’ success?

My community and network have been very supportive in a variety of ways. First I receive tremendous encouragement and support, and they cheer me on at every opportunity. Several organizations I volunteer with have generously promoted my business services, provided an opportunity to write educational and informational blogs, and have also provided client referrals.

Q: How do you plan to continue to advance in your leadership journey?

I plan to increase and elevate engagement of my community by setting up a small advisory board of mentors to help guide my business decisions and provide valuable feedback on my leadership approach that will enable me to reach my business goals.

I believe courage and connection are key to my leadership style. I get excited about opportunities for networking and making new connections, relationship building, and collaboration.

I ask myself: how can I embody courage and connection as an entrepreneur, mentor and leader? I am committed to being positive and passionate, and I like to use interesting anecdotes from my experience to bring what I am working on to life! Clients and colleagues love real stories; that are vulnerable and relatable.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice based on what you have learned or experienced, what would it be?  

I like to remind myself that we are never the finished product! We are forever learning and evolving through continuous improvement.

I do my best to celebrate all team and individual achievements. It’s good to be alive, work can be fun, and no matter what the setbacks, we must never lose our sense of humour. 

Credit: @patineriorbc on Instagram

Where to find Prep Academy Tutors of Interior BC


Instagram: @patinteriorbc

Facebook: Prep Academy Tutors

Twitter: @prepacademytutors

LinkedIn: Prep Academy Tutors

About WeBC

WeBC is a not-for-profit that has been supporting women business owners across the province for over 25 years. Working with our regional partners, we’ve provided thousands of entrepreneurs with business loans and expertise, training, resources, and peer network support to help businesses grow and thrive.

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