BCom students

M Clarke

Gage Bergez, 3rd year BCom student

Gage Bergez

3rd year BCom student

"The reason I chose to come to Gustavson was because of the school's international focus and the option for entrepreneurship specialization. My opinion is a global mind set is required for the aspiring entrepreneur to be able to keep up with industry innovations and to stay competitive. Gustavson’s commitment to international study and strong entrepreneurship specialization make this a perfect fit for me and other future entrepreneurs. 

My hometown is Chilliwack BC and I found moving to Victoria to be effortless! Victoria is a perfect city for any university student as there is so much to do, and something for everyone. For me it was nice to have the beach so close, as I frequently go to Cadboro Bay to relax and hang out with friends. 

My experience at UVic and in the BCom program has been nothing but positive. In my first two years I have made an effort to get involved with the Commerce Student Society (CSS) and the Gustavson JDC West team. Both of these organizations have been paramount in building the relationships I have made with staff, faculty and friends. The many opportunities at Gustavson to get involved make your time at university more rounded and a lot of fun.”


Windy

Windy Zhao, 4th year BCom student

Windy Zhao

4th year BCom student

“Through the dual degree program with Soochow University, I found the Gustavson BCom program very attractive. The cohorts are very cohesive, which gives me a chance to explore western culture and make friends in an easy way. I also find the project teams a most interesting part of the program. Being assigned random team members enables me to take a close look at different cultures and get to know people in many ways. Lastly, the various events helped me to understand the importance of making connections to people and of learning from experienced professionals.

My hometown is Yangzhou, a historical city in China which is famous for its gardens. My city's climate is very similar to Victoria but I have more opportunities to be exposed to nature here. I tried hiking, climbing and skiing around Victoria. I am so happy to be surrounded by flowers and outdoor activities in Victoria. Life here is great!

Before coming to UVic, I spent my time studying, taking part in competitions, and dancing. I like marketing and communicating with people. Back in Soochow University I received awards from marketing competitions and I started to operate my own dancing club called "Fox Dancing Club". I was busy giving performances and cooperating with local dancing companies. To sum up, I led a colourful life at my own pace. But life at UVic has been totally brand new and exciting for me.”


jameson langlois

Jameson Langlois, 3rd year BCom student

Jameson Langlois

3rd year BCom student

“I have had a fantastic experience at Gustavson and UVic thus far. Initially, I was drawn to the unique professional growth that the co-op program allows, however in my time at UVic I've come to realize that the personal growth that comes with international experience has been just as valuable. I'm originally from Phoenix Arizona, and the transition to Victoria has been amazing. Public transit in Victoria is excellent, and the mild weather is great all year. Gustavson School of Business has provided an excellent experience as well: there are plenty of events and resources provided to you to ensure that you are getting the best university experience possible.”


Kristin Draper

Marina Hutton, BCom '14

Marina Hutton

BCom: Class of 2014

Marina Hutton entered the Gustavson School of Business in her third year, transferring into the Bachelor of Commerce program from Concordia University College of Alberta. Her first two years were spent exploring political science, philosophy and international relations.

Marina’s Internet search brought her to the University of Victoria’s business school website and she felt an immediate connection. She chose to enter the program for two main reasons: its international mindset and social responsibility/sustainability focus. She sees taking business as a way to gain skills to implement and empower positive change, whether through entrepreneurial endeavours or working in the not-for-profit, public or private sector. The University’s beautiful campus also appealed to her. Another personal draw: her grandparents also live in Victoria.

What stood out most to Marina about business school at the University of Victoria was the “integrated and holistic approach, and the emphasis on critical thinking rather than memorization.”

A self-described creative problem solver, avid traveler and environmental enthusiast, Marina knew the University’s application process was based on more than academic achievements. Because she was determined to get accepted into the program, Marina made sure the admissions team knew of her extracurricular activities and past experiences including time spent abroad volunteering in Vietnam with World University Service of Canada and helping to coordinate We Canada’s cross-Canada tour “Dialogue and Action for Earth Summit 2012”, followed by attending the UN Earth Summit (Rio+20) in Brazil.

Marina tells us “the School of Business has a reputation for attracting a particular type of student. A student who likes to have their preconceptions and opinions challenged; A student who thrives on adventure, loves to travel, is very motivated and a self-starter.”

Marina chose to take advantage of the international exchange program and spent a semester at ESCA Ecole de Management in Morocco with the intent of pushing herself out of her comfort zone. She believes the extent of exchange options is a differentiator between the Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of Victoria and other similar Canadian institutions. 

Says Marina, “This is a completely immersive experience where, as a student, you are expected to manage your academic course load, attempt learning a new language, adapt to a new culture and learn through experiences outside of the class. It challenges your preconceptions, blows through barriers and teaches you a new way of communicating. I am still processing those experiences.”

A recent graduate, with a specialization in entrepreneurship, Marina is exploring her options and is digesting all the experiential learning that took place during the past two years.

Marina believes the strong (and fully practical) business foundation, the access to resources and the real-world, on-the-ground training she received through her two co-op sessions – one of which was for a United Nations Environment Programme in Washington, D.C. – will help her choose – or create – a career that brings together her two loves: social enterprise and environmental sustainability. 


Kristin Draper

Kristin Draper, BCom '13

Kristin Draper

BCom: Class of 2013

As a recent graduate of the Entrepreneurship specialization within the BCom program at UVic, I am now working full-time with a local and rapidly growing start-up and couldn’t be happier! There are so many highlights of my BCom experience, namely, the exchange program, Co-op and JDC West. The experiences afforded to me through my 4 months of academic exchange in Switzerland were unbelievable, and unmatched. Co-op not only allowed me to test the waters of various fields and industries of interest, but it allowed me to graduate with relevant experience on my resume. Being a part of the JDC West Entrepreneurship case competition team was a completely unique experience with a huge learning curve. I would do it over and over again if I could. Academically, my final semester in Entrepreneurship was by far the best of my undergraduate career. The skills, tools, and advice I learned along the way from my professors and peers have been absolutely pertinent, and allowed me to build a solid foundation for my career and life moving forward. The people I’ve met, and experiences I’ve had in the last 4 years are largely owing to the Gustavson School of Business and I will forever be grateful for my education here!


C Lansley

Craig Lansley, BCom '12

Craig Lansley

BCom: Class of 2012

Craig Lansley, BCom '12, came to Victoria straight after graduating from high school in the Lower Mainland. Our mandatory co-op work terms and the exchange program were the deciding factors in his choice to attend Gustavson. Craig comments that the, “whole point of co-op is to experience things you wouldn’t otherwise do.”Craig made his love of golf, snowboarding, soccer, any kind of sports really, work for him He’s strategic says his co-op coordinator, Marguerite Casey-Wolnicki. “He thought about building his skills and competencies.

Originally considering a career in sports management or tourism and recreation he decided to specialize in Service Management. “I chose it because it’s applicable to everything,” he says. “Seventy-five per cent of businesses in Canada are service businesses.” Is first co-op job was at the Seymour Golf and Country Club in his hometown, a solid link between his passion for sports and his career goals. That stint as a back-shop manager taught him supervisory skills that helped him score his next co-op placement as community cruiser ambassador for the North Shore Auto Mall. Organizing a charity event there gave him event planning experience – a perfect fit for his next gig as special events manager with Epicure Selections, located just outside Victoria. “I met a lot of people in different industries, like catering and entertainment,” he says. He also enjoyed many opportunities to learn. In turn he provided stellar service and earned a full-time position with the company. (Business Class fall/winter issue 2012.)


D McComb

Daniel McCombe, BCom '10 and MGB '11

Daniel McCombe

BCom: Class of 2010

Figuratively speaking Daniel McCombe, BCom '10 and MGB '11, jumped off the school bus and onto commercial aviation giant Airbus Group. He works as corporate controller assigned to support the corporation's fledgling business in India’s defence sector. He’s working in Bangalore, a city of nine-million inhabitants and home to what Daniel calls the “who’s who of multinational technology companies.” His work is intense, but he spends what little free time he has with “enLIGHT,” a corporate citizenship project he founded in 2012. “Along with other Airbus employees worldwide, we will be constructing an Integrated Energy Centre, in one of Bangalore’s urban slums.” The centre will provide portable LED lights to over 150 households and host education programming for the most disadvantaged youth. “With luck we’ll be supporting these young Indians through their greatest challenge – gaining literacy and graduating from the public school system.”  Read full story on page 30 of Business Class Magazine.