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Presidential elections for the Business Students’ Society

author: mason sliva | a&c editor

The two candidates/Courtesy of BSS

A look into the minds of the presidential hopefuls

Knowledge is power, and in today’s society, knowledge is frighteningly scarce. Take a read through the policies and views of Business Students’ Society presidential hopefuls Rebecca Perigny and Owen Kot. By being better informed regarding the plans of these young leaders, you can help to bring about the change that you would like to see on campus. Voting occurs on January 24 and 25 on the sixth floor of the Education Building. For more information on the candidates, view their Facebook pages at: “Vote Rebecca Perigny for BSS President” and “Owen Kot for BSS President.” Guess which one is which.

  1. Can you tell me about your background, as well as your involvement in the business faculty? 

RP: My experience as a participant for 5 Days for the Homeless will be one that I remember forever and has changed the way I continue to view the world. I am now excited to be a part of the Business Students’ Society (BSS), and a co-chair for 5 Days for the Homeless which involves choosing participants, planning all the events, and managing the logistics of the event.

In addition to this, just this past weekend I competed in the JDC West 2018 Case Competition. My experience on the team allowed me to gain over 50 new best friends, volunteer over 120 hours in our community, act as a university ambassador, and gain experience and knowledge in all fields of business.

I have volunteered numerous amounts of hours with the BSS and have participated in all events that have been held including Business Dinner, Hill Case Competition, Galas, and many more. These diverse experiences have provided me the opportunity to learn from many perspectives and truly understand what the broader student body wants from their Business Students’ Society.

OK: I am currently a second-year business student. My involvement in the business faculty over my two years has been extensive. In my first semester I was lucky enough to become a part of both the Hill Business Students’ Society as a Breakthrough Director of Corporate Relations, and UR Investing as a mentee. I have been a member of both organizations since, moving into the role of Research Associate for Financials at UR Investing and VP of Corporate Relations for the BSS.

My involvement in the BSS has opened me up to a number of opportunities, and I have been fortunate enough to be involved in every event the BSS has put on in the past 12 months in a direct role. Seeing as the BSS is the largest student group within the business faculty, being a part of the executive team for nearly a year now has allowed me to see all aspects of the business faculty first hand giving me a very keen understanding of those aspects.

  1. What are the core pillars for your presidential platform?

OK: My campaign has three pillars. They are:

1) Work with my student colleagues and faculty members to create further and tangible incentive to become involved in experiential learning opportunities within the Hill School of Business.

2) Enhance our marketing efforts to increase the awareness of our events and fully communicate the value we can provide to all students.

3) Further the BSS’s relationship with the other student clubs/groups within the business faculty and work to create further synergy between our groups.

Through my experience on the executive team of the BSS, I have seen that these three ideas will serve our complete student population very well moving forward. These are three action items that I can guarantee I will deliver on over my term if elected, in addition to the everyday responsibilities of being president.

RP: My core pillars for my presidential platform include a focus on student engagement, academics, and community. My goal for student engagement is to provide opportunities for business students to get to know other students. I will do this through party buses to sporting events, adding positions to the BSS, partnering with other clubs on campus, and starting an entrepreneurship conference hosted by the Hill School of Business. To successfully implement these actions, I plan to partner with other university clubs and local businesses.

My goal for increasing academic experience is to provide students with more support for academic success. I will achieve this by providing crash courses before finals, educational seminars, and improving the Hill Case Competition. This will allow business students access to academic support without the financial burden of paying for tutoring.

Lastly, my goal for community involvement is to provide opportunities for students to become involved in non-profit organizations in Regina through volunteering. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to build their resumes, network, and obtain community involvement experience. This type of experience is often needed to attain scholarships, employment, and for admissions to graduate programs.

  1. What is one specific event or policy that you will bring into effect in the 2018/2019 school year?

 RP: While I have many events that I will bring into effect for the 2018/2019 school year to enhance student’s university experience, one of my favourites is an entrepreneurship conference. The Hill School of Business has an opportunity to host a conference which will give delegates an opportunity to go through workshops to help them build their business plan. At the end of the conference, students will be given an opportunity to pitch their ideas to business professionals and investors.

OK: Work to create a concrete and sustainable relationship between our society and all other student groups within the business faculty. With over 50 positions, 8 large events, and a number of programs, the BSS is simply not in a position to grow. Large growth in our events came two years ago, and I do not see that sort of growth happening in the next number of years.

Instead, where I do see room for growth in student engagement is through the clubs and groups within the business faculty. Groups such as the Hill HR Club, UR Investing, Hill Business Development Club, ICBC, JDC West and Enactus could see membership and engagement double within the next year and the BSS is in the perfect position to help make that happen. I will make this a priority throughout my term not only with increased funding relationships, but also shared marketing, setting up reliable communication channels, collaborating on ideas, and corporate sponsorship referrals. I would also like to add the position of club co-ordinator on the BSS to oversee our relationships with the clubs.

  1. How do you feel that the current Business Student’s Society/business faculty in general could be improved?                                                                                                                                                                    

OK: The overall education and awareness about the value and opportunities that the Business Students’ Society and the other student groups within the faculty could be improved immensely. The BSS currently does a great job of servicing the group of students it does currently. However, I believe the BSS needs to expand its reach. Seeing as the BSS provides a number of social, professional and academic opportunities for students, there are opportunities for all students, the awareness is just not there. I have come to see this as a reality first hand where I have asked classrooms that I have been speaking to if they are familiar with the conference program the BSS provides, and rarely more than one or two hands go up.

I plan to increase this education through informal and informational breakfasts, lunches, and dinners where members of the BSS provide students with a meal and an opportunity to chat in an informal setting. I will also increase our social media following and utilize classroom talks to spread the opportunities the BSS provides to all students and allow them to make an informed decision as to whether they would like to participate or not, instead of not participating simply because they are not aware of the opportunity, through no fault of their own.

RP: The Business Student’s Society could be improved through increased student engagement. By increasing student engagement, students will feel more welcomed into the business faculty and BSS. Adding positions allows the BSS to be more diverse and accepting. Some of the positions I would add include a volunteer co-ordinator, a team for the entrepreneur conference, and more breakthrough positions for students. Another way for students to feel more welcomed into the BSS is by increasing educational seminars. I plan to improve seminars by adding more events such as networking preparation, case analysis seminars, and social media marketing seminars. These would allow students to prepare for the workforce and provide them with some additional skills that they may not learn in the classroom.

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