School has always been a priority for Nicolas Therrien.
That should come as no surprise for the former QMJHL defenceman who took home the Marcel Robert Trophy, in recognition of the Scholastic Player of the Year, during the 2010-11 campaign when he captained the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
It was among the many highlights over four seasons with the Sagueneens and Lewiston MAINEiacs before Therrien moved on to McGill University and later transferred to the University of Ottawa, where he pursued a finance degree while also suiting up for the varsity hockey squad at both schools.
While Therrien dreamed of becoming a hockey player, he always emphasized education. After all, most pro players only skate until their late 30s, and there is still plenty of life to be lived afterward. And while Therrien’s NHL dream did not become a reality, many of the same life lessons he learned along the way are applicable for him in the professional world today, most especially the dedication it takes to succeed.
“When you leave the house at 16 or 17, you’re still a kid. You come back four years later as a man. You learn so much about yourself, about being a leader and about life in general,” Therrien told Junior Hockey Magazine as part of its CHL Leaders segment. “You meet incredible people along the way. You’re given all the tools to be successful, and then it’s just really up to you to use them and work hard.”
With a finance degree now in hand, Therrien puts it to use as a financial analyst with Formula Growth, a Montreal-based investment management firm. Interestingly enough, he is not the only former QMJHLer with the company – his boss, vice-president Mathieu Boisvert, spent two seasons with the Sherbrooke Faucons and the Laval Titan College Francis during the mid-1990s.
“It shows you that hockey is more than points and goals. You never know who you are going to meet or what you are going to learn,” Therrien detailed. “In my case, I met someone with a similar background to me and he gave me the opportunity to have a nice job that I like doing.”
And just like at the rink, it’s a company that promotes a team environment, making the position all that more enjoyable for Therrien.
“We’re only about 20 employees, so we’re not a big team,” Therrien said. “I have the chance to do a little bit of everything, from talking to clients to risk management, so every day is different and that’s why I like it so much.”
Listen to Nicolas Therrien’s full interview with Junior Hockey Magazine here.