Noah Maislin sitting on a couch

Management grad Noah Maislin says that after a bumpy start, advice he got as a Dal student, plus perseverance, helped him discover his potential.  

by Margaret MacQuarrie

School never came easily to him, says Noah Maislin (BMgmt’11), describing himself as being more “street smart than book smart.” Getting a post-secondary education was his mother’s goal—not his. “I was hesitant,” says Maislin, “and my mother sat me down and said ‘Not only will you learn a lot by going to school, you’ll learn a lot about life.’”

Maislin chose Dalhousie over his local Toronto options because he wanted the challenge of being on his own and figuring things out for himself. He’d always had a passion for business, so taking the Bachelor of Management program fit the bill.

Except he didn’t do a great job of figuring things out for himself. “I take full ownership of my story,” says Maislin, admitting that in the first year he spent more time hitting the bars than hitting the books and had the GPA to show for it.

A major pivot

The summer after first year changed his attitude, especially when his mother got a letter saying he was facing academic dismissal. “I had to fight to get back into school,” says Maislin. “I was calling and emailing my profs, telling them I was ready to take things more seriously and be a better student.”

That’s when he met academic advisor Margie Muise. “She had sympathy for me and got me back in for my second year—on academic probation,” says Maislin. Margie also guided him to take a major in entrepreneurship and innovation, because it fit his interests. “That was an aha! moment,” says Maislin. “All the classes started to become easier, more enjoyable. Margie set the tone for the rest of my time at Dal.”

Time for business

Noah Maislin travelling in GeorgiaBy graduation, Maislin (pictured right, on vacation in Georgia) had gone from facing dismissal to winning an entrepreneurship award.

He continued to follow his entrepreneurial passions and, after a short stint working for his family’s transportation business, bought into a small minute-taking business. The business had six clients at first, says Maislin, and was more of a side-job for the two lawyers who had originally started it. Two years later, Maislin and a friend would buy them out and eventually grow Minutes Solutions Inc. to over 4,000 clients across Canada and the United States. (The friend has since left the business, making Maislin the sole owner.)

Looking back, Maislin’s thankful for his full Dalhousie experience—the highs and the lows. Perseverance has served him well. “You might want to give up or think it’s too difficult, but it gets easier and more enjoyable,” he says. “Going to Dalhousie benefitted my life in many great ways.”