Skip to main content
Collapse Menu
A professional portrait of a Black woman, Dr. Caroline Cole Power. She is dressed in black and smiles warmly at the camera.

From Laurier to Wall Street, around the world and back again: Caroline Power (MBA ’96) gives back to the community she loves


While Caroline Power’s (MBA ’96) impressive academic career didn’t start at Laurier, she credits her Laurier MBA with opening several critical doors for her. 

“I love all of my schools, because education is important to me, and I have very fond memories of Laurier,” she says.

Power has recently established a five-year bursary, the Dr. Caroline Power Bursary (MBA '96), in support of racialized Laurier students who demonstrate financial need. The bursary will be awarded for the first time in the 2023/24 academic year. 

"We're here to take care of ourselves and our families, and we're also here to help others," Power says. "We can help others in-kind, but I think it's part of our responsibility to also help others financially if we can."

Currently, Power is working in the corporate training sphere, as founder and CEO of Canadian HR Solutions Group of Companies (CHRS), a national provider of corporate training services. The goals of her work are two-fold. First, her company works with organizational leaders to maintain psychologically safe and respectful work environments. Second, her company helps individuals acquire the necessary skills and competencies to grow their careers. CHRS operates through Canadian HR solutions, Inc., Canadian HR Academy, Sensitivity Training Canada, Worldwide Workplace Learning and the CTMP Society of Canada.

Celebrated by RBC Financial Group as one of four national women entrepreneur RBC Heroes in honour of International Women's Day, Power has also been named by WXN to Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100 list. Similarly, she has been named to the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women list. And, she has been recognized by Universal Women's Network with the Women of Inspiration INSPIRE Award.

“My proudest moments are when I hear about, or from, people whom I’ve taught over the years – when I learn about their promotions, the fact that they’re now going to be at the helm of a company or of a function within a company – these are the moments I live for, this is what my work is for,” Power says.

Helping others, particularly at the schools she loves so much, has been an important aspect to Power’s life. She has volunteered her time as a Laurier alumna, regularly leading a “How to Get Ahead at Work” session from 2011 to 2017, giving the alumni address at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics' MBA convocation in 2017 and as an Elevating Laurier Leaders speaker in 2019. In 2017 Power was named to Laurier's Top 30 in 30 alumni list.

Power is keenly aware of the sacrifices many students must make for their education. She sold her car before she moved to Waterloo for graduate studies, meaning she walked to school every day from her student housing near Uptown Waterloo.

“I remember as a graduate student I had to watch my dollars and cents,” she says. “In my mind this bursary is paying it back to a student who might be in the same position of trying to get an education, and for them this financial assistance means that money is one less thing to worry about for a period of time.”

Despite the financial realities of student life, Power shares that she had good relationships and felt supported during her Laurier days. Because the MBA program began two weeks before regular classes, Power was able to connect with her classmates and professors and run a successful campaign for the position of vice-president: finance for the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) early in her first semester – a position she held for the duration of her MBA studies. She also remembers, quite fondly, being selected by the dean of what was then the School of Business and Economics, Alex Murray, to be his research assistant.

 “I was feeling hopeful! I was able to contribute to the GSA, I worked closely with the faculty's dean, I had an office and I was excelling in my studies. It was a time of great promise,” she says.

Power credits Laurier’s MBA program with enabling her to take opportunities she may not have been able to.

“At the time, Laurier had a very strong on-campus recruitment program. Students had the opportunity to work with Career Services to get their application package ready for employers who were going to be on campus to recruit students. So I went out and I bought a suit, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get your resume ready, to get yourself ready,” Power says. “Because I had my package together, I landed a great job and signed back the offer letter with my first post-MBA employer in December of the year before I graduated.”

Having a position confirmed, conditional upon her passing her remaining courses – with two semesters left in her MBA program – meant that Power could double-down on her studies while seizing other opportunities that were presented. “The February of that following year I went to Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) with my MBA class, and I'm glad I did because it broadened my perspective." 

For current Laurier students, Power advises to “understand your why.” Decide clearly what you’re going to school for, set your goals early and most importantly: focus. “I would say that’s even more critical today, because when I went to Laurier, that was in the very early days of the internet. We didn’t have the distractions that we have today. Focus, and do your thing, and always remember to help others.”

To learn more about establishing your own scholarship or student award at Laurier, please email us at



Unknown Spif - $key