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Editor’s Note

CONTRIBUTORS VP Editorial Nandini Chandra


Sara Assaf

VP Art & Design Jazlynn Chan



Vaneeza Asif Kim Tinana Quincy Tran Jacqueline Wong


David Dang Lucia Sanchesviesca

VP Marketing Red Enorme

Social Media & Website Director Melanie Mah

Suits LF David Dang

VP Operations & Finance Jujhar Singh Brar


he combination of business and nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations seems unlikely, but they are getting more and more collaborative as the days pass. A business that wants to engage in a more productive and sustainable relationship with society has to form partnerships at some point with NGOs and other organizations that exist to champion social and environmental causes and bring about positive change. Together, this collaboration can result in three core outcomes: credibility, expertise and reach. Our theme this month is NOT FOR PROFIT, where we want to encourage you to inject a semblance of what it means to be more involved in your community, nonprofit organizations and how it benefits you! We challenge you to look a little deeper with the advice of multiple Peter Lougheed Leadership College’s mentors, on how different aspects of your life come together in hopes of discovering - or rediscovering - your purpose in life. In this issue, we’re going to be looking at how different NGOs function and their credibility in Thought versus Thought, meeting with Jen Tomski, a passionate advocate for international students, get chatting with Alberta Not For Profit Association and so much more! Read on!

Guest Writer

Peter Lougheed Leadership College

Parul Kanwar Editor-in-Chief

Table of Contents






Meet the Team


Thought vs Thought

Melanie Mah Sara Assaf Nandini Chandra

Importance of Volunteering

Operational NGO vs. Advocacy NGO




Student Spolight

Lazy Chat

Club’s Corner

Jen Tomski talks being involved in ASOB, career goals, and advice to aspiring students.

Webb Dussome talks business and shares his illustrious experience with non-profit organizations

The Alberta Non-for-profit Association



Guest Article


Peter Lougheed Leadership College Business, Leadership, Non-profits

How to Overcome the Sophomore Slump



Meet The Team

MEET THE TEAM Hi! My name is Melanie. I’m in my second year of Business, majoring in Marketing. In my free time, I like to read, write, draw, listen to music, and play badminton. According to my Wii score, I’m a pro at bowling. On campus, you’ll most likely find me in the library or at the gym (for the first half of the semester). As the Social Media and Website Director this year, I’m very excited to put pen to paper and join the Marketing team in showcasing student stories in Lazy Faire’s magazine issues! Feel free to reach out and say hello!

Melanie Mah

Social Media & Website Director

My name is Sara Assaf and I am a Business Economics and Law Major at the University of Alberta! I love writing and thought Lazy Faire would be the perfect opportunity for me to engage more in journalism! Using my voice to bring awareness and showcase talented individuals in our community is a passion of mine and I encourage you all to get involved in advocacy as much as possible. I can’t wait for you to read the work we create at Lazy Faire!

Sara Assaf Writer

Nandini Chandra VP Editorial

Hi everyone! I am so excited to write for Lazy Faire this year. I am from India and I have been in Canada for the past three years to pursue an Arts degree in Psychology. I am in pursuit of finding the best clubs and professors on campus and in business. I am in this magazine to know everything about business and gain an insider’s perspective.






ith this month’s theme being NGOs, what better way to highlight their efforts than through conceptualizing the importance of volunteering? Although there may be reputable and possible monetary benefits in partaking in non-governmental organizations and community groups, what most individuals derive from volunteering is the joy of altruism and contributing to society’s greater good by helping the less fortunate and those at risk for disease or endangerment. Volunteering serves to provide a means of the contribution that has no minimum standard. There is no punishment for not volunteering, and often the incentive for volunteering is emotional. Yet, statistically verified hours have served to be another great motivator to get youth involved in initiatives. Most volunteers are motivated by kindness and empathy to represent a decreasing sense of apathy in our communities. One interesting study found that volunteering causes “the happiness effect,” and that the “odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly, 12% among those who volunteer every two to four weeks, and 16% among those who volunteer weekly,” when compared to other American adults who did not volunteer (Western Connecticut University, 2018). Positive reprimand has proven to be a consistent factor in yielding the happiness effect from volunteering, along with the student motive of acquiring hours for graduate schools and scholarships. Many student clubs on campus offer students volunteering opportunities, such as Campus UNICEF, High School Model UN, Debate Club, Helping Hands for the Homeless, and more! Getting involved usually requires filling out a google form, checking out a website, or talking to local leaders. Career-wise, volunteering as a means of community service is impressive to future recruiters and graduate school scouts or admissions officers because consistent long-term volunteer hours identify both a commitment to and passion for humanitarianism and philanthropy. Volunteering is a simple act that signifies that one values another person or thing at risk more than their own time and are willing to put forth the effort to help prevent, aid, or contribute to creating solutions for said objective. It sets forth an example for younger students and future leaders that the community values others’ input, kindness, and teamwork in creating change in group initiatives/settings. Empathy is the hardest of things to promote, but a time-old tale states, “when you have more than you need, you should aim to build a longer table, not a higher fence” (Unknown Author), and student volunteers should venture out with this same mindset. Get involved in your community today; check out BearsDen and your respective faculty’s website for upcoming volunteer opportunities on campus! Written by: Sara Assaf Designed by: Kim Tinana



Thought vs Thought Student Spot-

Advocacy NGO As the name suggests, an advocacy NGO promotes a specific cause and strives to raise awareness and knowledge through various methods like lobbying, press work, and activist events. For example, the America’s Development Foundation (ADF) works specifically to provide NGOs with advocacy training and technical assistance designed to increase citizen participation in democratic processes. As part of a campaign to return and reintegrate populations in Croatia, ADF supported Croatian NGOs advocating for democracy and human rights. This support resulted in 100 NGOs forming a coalition that lobbied for a change in the Association’s Law. The formation of an NGO coalition focusing on the 2000 Croatian Presidential elections

Written by: Nandini Chandra Vaneeza Asif Designed by: Vaneeza Asif

and the development of NGO advocacy campaigns aimed to achieve Croatian public policy changes relating to refugee rights and return issues. There are three primary forms of advocacy: by the people, with the people, and for the people. Advocacy by the people involves those who are immediately affected. They have legitimacy and can negotiate and come to an agreement based on their wants and needs as individuals. Advocacy with the people is where communities and others work together to advocate on similar issues. Finally, advocacy for the people is where people and organizations advocate on behalf of those who are affected by specific topics. NGOs have come to mobilize, articulate and represent people’s interests or concerns. This is prevalent within authoritarian countries, where society is constrained and does not have freedom of speech, making them unable to express their feelings and views.

While some critics may argue that advocacy NGOs and networks have little or no impact on global politics, it is difficult to say that the 54,377 and counting NGOs do not shake the halls of governments worldwide. Due to their widespread presence in twenty-first-century global affairs, advocacy NGOs are setting unstoppable and overwhelming trends. Not only are they mobilizing their power and membership at unparalleled speeds, but they are also assuming positions traditionally held by governments, strategically holding multinational corporations (MNCs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) to account for and alter the standard meaning of sovereignty. In this fashion, transnational advocacy networks work on challenging global definitions and ensuring transparency across all sectors.

Thought vs Thought



Operational NGO NGOs are divided into two classes, one of which is an Operational NGO. As the name suggests, operational NGOs seek to change via operations, such as projects & programs. While other forms of NGOs may design plans, it is Operational NGOs that implement them. As common sense would dictate, an Operational NGO is expensive, and funding is not easy to come by. As a result, the following piece is not a response to “which is better” but rather a response to the question, “how can it be made better.” As noted earlier, funding is one of the biggest challenges for Operational NGOs. How can an Operational NGO ensure its budget is stable? To answer this question, we will first look at how NGOs are funded in the first place and what causes underfunding. How are NGOs funded? In terms of total funding, most comes from private donors, such as Ted Turner’s 1 billion dollar donation to the UN. However, most NGOs rely on small contributions from many people rather than significant contributions from few people. Government grants, private sector for-profit companies, and membership dues also fund NGOs.

Why do NGOs lose funding? Just like any project, the predicted and the actual costs differ. More often than not, the expected cost ends up being lower than the actual price. This can be attributed to several factors, but they can be summarized as the following: NGOs are often in high demand and in unstable regions (pandemics, wars, overall political instability and even weather factors). Due to the instability of these areas, costs can be turbulent and proliferate. Secondly, donors frequently give with an intent. This intent may be in terms of company growth & share price (if they are a private donor), and political gain. A private donor may have a list of commands tied to their donation. Since funding isn’t easy to come by, an NGO risks derailing from its purpose or being too underfunded to fulfill its purpose. And lastly: fraud. NGOs may engage in fraudulent behaviour tied to money laundering and unethical behaviour. A textbook example of this is Haiti after the earthquake, where the term “NGO” became known as a swear word due to fraud, abuse, and other scandals by NGOs.

How can NGOs ensure funding is stable? The reality is that funding is hard to acquire and rarely enough. However, one step seems to be very effective, and that is advocacy. It’s simple; if people aren’t aware of the problem, the Operation won’t get funded. Advocacy ensures that we realize the underlying issue at hand and understand that the project is a bandaid and that a solution still needs more work. An example is the Ebola outbreak and the fact that it keeps coming back. Over many iterations, scientists have learned that it needs to be contained as soon as possible. However, this does not happen because areas where this outbreak occurs lack proper healthcare infrastructure. Despite knowing this, most NGOs start to get funding after the outbreak occurs rather than before to fund healthcare infrastructure. Advocacy here is flawed and could improve with the goal of funding healthcare infrastructure rather than Ebola treatment. The operational side of NGOs is expensive and does not survive without proper advocacy.



Student Spotlight Interviewed by: Sara Assaf Designed by: Jazlynn Chan Photographed by: Lucia Sanchesviesca



azy Faire spoke with Jen Tomski for the March issue. Jen is passionate about advocating for international students in our community. There’s a lot of misunderstanding in how international students explore and address various problems due to lack of education on our part. She describes how critical it is to learn about other cultures and how everyone should be taking steps to reach out to international students to observe and discuss their perspectives to understand one another better and learn from each other. You can check out Jen’s youtube channel at youtube.com/jentomski. She just hit 20K subscribers! TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. Hi, my name is Jen. I have officially completed all my courses at the UofA. I was a finance major, and I officially graduate in June! During my time at the University of Alberta, I spent a lot of time in clubs, doing case competitions, and found out what I’m passionate about, which is intercultural marketing. In the future, I have a job in China, where I will be working in digital marketing.

HOW DID YOU COME UPON THIS JOB IN CHINA? I am in Finance, so I didn’t get to take all the International Business courses even though I wish I could have taken more. I got this position - even though it may sound cheesy - through my own Youtube channel and Chinese social media, where I post a lot about the culture to share the cultures between the West and China. I guess from there, my boss found me!

Student Spotlight SINCE YOU’RE INTERESTED IN PURSUING CULTURAL MARKETING AND SHOW AN INTEREST IN CHINESE CULTURE, DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL CONNECTIONS TO CHINA? I’ve been learning the language for about three and a half years now. I can speak pretty okay, but I guess I’ll see when I get there! I have been to China a few times actually, and I love it there, it’s fantastic! I have been to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Harbin. I’ve been to 10 cities or so; I love it there, it’s so fun! I feel that there is a lot of misrepresentation here in the media about what it’s (China) actually like, and that is why I want to see how we can improve that. At the same time, I’m interested in Chinese consumers’ marketing aspect because they’re the biggest population, and they have a lot of spending power. So, I find that interesting how Western businesses market specifically to Chinese people as they are the future because they are willing to spend more money than people in the West. I guess I’m just passionate about learning how they spend their money!

WHAT DO YOU WISH TO PURSUE CAREERWISE? WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS? Career-wise, right now, I want to get my foot in the door in China. I want to learn more about how their social media works, how to understand their consumers, and a lot more. I want to be able to understand the business market as well. After that, after I work for a little while there, I’d ideally like to be self-employed or working for a media company. If I’m taking my route - I want to start my own business, and I want to be able to provide a platform where any foreigner would be able to find everything they need to know about China in one place so that their trip to China, or their work/study/ travel/volunteering/teaching experience, they would have everything that they need in one place because I noticed there’s nothing like that right now, and it’s something I want to create.

WHAT GROUPS ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH (VOLUNTEERING/COMMUNITY/CAMPUS CLUBS, ETC.)? I’ve been a part of quite a few. Right now, I’m part of the SMO club where I’m VP Marketing, which is fantastic. I love this club so much! I’ve also been VP Logistics for the AIB, and I was also a part of the BSA as the International Advocacy Director.



I love every single one of these roles, and I think every single club can teach you something on campus. I think no matter what, getting involved is so important, and I’m fortunate that I had the opportunity to take on these roles because I’m passionate about every single one of these things. The year before, I was a Team Ambassador, and I got to go as a helper for Team Hong Kong, a lot of fun. You get to learn about different cultures and help out with massive international case competitions. As for the International Advocacy Director, I did something that the ASOB had never done before - I created a WeChat group specifically for Chinese people because they don’t have any Western social media in China. People could be posting on Instagram and Facebook, but Chinese students would not see these posts, so they don’t have access to learning about case competitions or career opportunities. On this WeChat page, I put all of the information and wrote everything in Chinese as well. I’m proud of it because it worked well. As VP Marketing for the SMO club, I am currently creating a massive conference. We’re also collaborating with UAMA. We’re hosting a conference about Eastern and Western marketing strategies, connecting all of Eastern Asia with the Western cultures and how they differ in marketing. So we’re finding speakers in China, Japan. We have a speaker for Korea too! One of the speakers, for example, is going to be talking about helping foreign companies market in China. He helps them set up their social media channels to make Chinese consumers more interested. Another speaker will be discussing what K-pop companies did to make K-pop so big worldwide, both in Korea and externally- all over. Eddie Wong, the international associate dean, will be speaking as well. I’ve finally found what I’m super interested in, and I’m doing everything I can to learn and share my passions with everyone else and educate other people, it’s what I hope to do.

LASTLY, WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO ASPIRING STUDENTS OR ANYONE READING THIS RIGHT NOW? My most significant piece of advice would be to get involved, especially if things are online for a while; reaching out to your peers and other students in your classes is an excellent idea. Human connection, especially in business, is essential and getting involved is one way to do that. If clubs and organizations are recruiting, go and apply!



Lazy Chat

Lazy Chat with

Professor Webb Dussome Professor Webb Dussome talks business and shares his illustrious experience with non-profit organizations INTERVIEWED BY: NANDINI CHANDRA DESIGNED BY: QUINCY TRAN

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your Marketing, Economics and Law, and NGOs background? I am not a career academic which means that although I have been teaching for 25 years, I have had many other work experiences before I came to the University of Alberta. I ran my own company, which was a family business and a full-time venture. My father was involved, and we ran that company for almost 11 years. So, when you are self-employed, you are constantly marketing to get sales, loans, employees. This was my initial experience with marketing. I have also worked in managing products for a software firm, and that was very interesting work. I also spent some time in the IT world working as a business analyst. So, I have worked in the forprofit sector, the government, and the non-profit sector. A couple of the organizations I worked for had government contracts to provide selfemployment training to people who wanted to run their own companies and businesses. I helped them write business plans and did marketing research, essential financial forecasting and budgets as well. That is where my background in

marketing comes from. I have an MBA and also two professional designations in the marketing field. The Not-for-Profit organizations that I worked for were quite large, which was earlier in my career and an outstanding experience. I worked for the Edmonton YMCA and an organization called Edmonton Mennonite Center for Newcomers (EMCN). It was fantastic because there is a good to and a not good to it. The good part is that they don’t have many resources, so I was the person who had to do a lot of jobs because there was no one else to do them. I had the chance to do amazing things within those organizations where I talked to many people, did television interviews, talk radio shows, and all these kinds of things that I would have never had the opportunity to do at that age and in those situations. The other thing that I recognized at the time is that working in the nonprofit sector is a lot about what you value, a desire to serve others, to be community-minded, and that is why many people like myself work in that sector. I have also volunteered in other non-profit areas like boards and committees etc. Unfortunately, the salary differences became such that I had to leave that sector, but I would recommend that to anybody as an early work experience.

Lazy Chat



“Don’t limit yourself in your career because there are lots of things to be involved in where your skills could benefit society.” What motivated you to work and research with non-profit organizations?

develop a unique skill set, but they also develop an appreciation for the non-profit sector.

Another thing from my work experience in the non-profit sector that is helpful, especially as an educator, is that I have done many things, which means that I can speak to a lot of things. I have run advertising campaigns, organized a lot of fundraisers and talked to important business leaders before. I have had a wide range of opportunities during my career in the non-profit sector, which were hugely beneficial in developing my skill set. When I moved to the for-profit sector, I went from managing people, having lots of responsibilities, and doing high-level tasks to having my job description shrink by about 80% and making way more money. It was very unusual for me.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that Marketing students would face if they graduated without experience in the non-profit sector?

What do you think is the most significant advantage of having a business degree in Marketing, Economics and Law and its role in the non-profit sector? Every organization needs a marketer to go out there and make the sales and communicate to the public. When you look at the skills that people have as marketers, it’s a pretty generic skill, meaning that you can do a lot of different things like marketing research and designing advertisement campaigns, to name a few. In many of my courses, I include a Community Service Learning (CSL) component that connects the non-profit sector very directly with my students. As marketing students, they do the organization’s marketing and social media. Regardless of the organization that you are in, there is always a marketing aspect. The goal of this project is also to help students gain experience and realize other perspectives. I always tell my students that they can put this project on their resumes because they completed an actual project for a real organization. This also connects the students with the non-profit sector, and they can have a little more understanding about what that is like. They have to create a marketing strategy with fewer resources. Not only do they

Of all the years that I have taught the Not-forProfit Management course in the School of Business, I have noticed how hard it is to fill up the course. Students are not interested in the non-profit sector, mainly because there is a perception that there are not many opportunities there and you can’t make any money. Part of the reason for making them do a CSL component is to give them exposure because in the future, even if they don’t work for a non-profit organization, chances are almost 100% that they are going to be involved in a non-profit sometime. They’ll be on the Board of Directors of their kids’ kindergarten, or they are going to be on the board of a professional association. Even if they don’t work as a paid person in that sector, I guarantee that they will be volunteering in one way or the other, so I think that it’s good that they understand how non-profits work. A BComm is a very portable degree, so many things can be done with that. What would be the most significant piece of advice that you would give to a student? I remember this book called Good to Great, which asked the reader what they are good at and what they thought they could be great at. It narrows the field to get you to think about what you are good at. I had a career before being a professor. Still, I always felt comfortable in an educational institution. I went to school for a long time as a university student and so on, and I thought to myself that, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?” The other thing is that the world is full of exciting people, so try to get to know them. Not only is it suitable for your career and finding work, but it is also suitable for you as a person. Get out there and network as much as you can. Don’t limit yourself in your career because there are lots of things to be involved in where your skills could benefit society.



Co lubs

Club’s Corner

Written by: Vaneeza Asif Designed by: Kim Tinana

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& Pup




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We are a student group under the Alberta School of Business bridging the gap between post-secondary students and the notfor-profit sector through the diligence of our corporate relations team and our club advisor guiding us regarding our outreach efforts. We connect students with nonprofit organizations to find opportunities -both paid and volunteer roles- and contribute to a cause that they are passionate about. Networking and hands-on experience are two of our top priorities for our case competitions and other events. We want our participants to make meaningful connections with the nonprofits and solve nonprofits’ real-world problems through our competitions. As the only live nonprofit case competition in Canada, we want to make sure that our students have the opportunity to solve real problems rather than just a written case.

“ ... bridging the gap between post-secondary students and the not-for-profit ... ”

Club’s Corner


Can you emphasize the importance of the not-for-profit sector?

How can students get involved with volunteering for nonprofits? First, they should get in touch with ANPA. We are continually holding various events and initiatives to connect students with different nonprofits from multiple backgrounds and industries. We’d also recommend joining ANPA as a member. Secondly, they should reach out to nonprofits and offer their skills to organizations. Due to the recession, the demand for not-for-profit services have skyrocketed, but they are also strapped for cash. Volunteering your skills to an organization is a great way to show initiative and contribute to the community at the same time.

Volunteering your skills ... is a great way to show initiative and contribute to the community

The nonprofit sector is huge - there are over 100,000 nonprofit organizations within Alberta alone. We would argue that nonprofits serve as the backbone of the entire economy. During a crisis, we could not help our working class had it not been for the existence of nonprofits. For students, nonprofits can provide work and volunteer experience to graduates and students in need of expertise but are unable to find work due to the recession. Working with nonprofits can also give the students more real-world experience and knowledge than a corporate environment. Not only that, but the not-for-profit sector is not in competition with the public and for-profit industry, but rather it works best alongside them. Of course, one cannot deny that there are less than helpful organizations out there, but overall, the sector makes a meaningful change to the communities they operate in.


www.anpaualberta.ca anpaualberta facebook.com/anpaualberta anpa@ualberta.ca

What has been your favourite experience with ANPA?


For me, it was the execution of our International Case Competition. Our team spent nearly a year planning and preparing for it. We’ve become so close, like a little family. It’s incredible to work with a hardworking team, and we all come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives and skills. These are all factors that help us create inclusive and meaningful events such as our international competition.


It was the same for me. It was especially great to see all the great solutions that our teams developed for the case competition. I am always blown away by what students can create. And I was happy to see a lot of cost-effective and implementable solutions. In the same vein, our VPs and Directors are also students - mostly in their second or third-year - and I am amazed at how hardworking and willing they are to spend upwards of 100 hrs in planning and prep.



Guest Article

BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, NON-PROFITS By the Peter Lougheed Leadership College What lies at the intersection of business, non-profits and leadership? We asked members of our Mentor Team with experience in the area to share their insights and advice. PLLC’s Mentor Team members are highly successful leaders within their respective fields that want to help young people realize their potential. Read on to find out if this path is for you and how to find success along the way. The reality of working in non-profit is that you’ll never have as many resources as your peers in the for-profit or even public sector, but you will have opportunities they don’t have. You’ll work with community leaders that inspire you, engage you and mentor you throughout your career. The non-profit sector is supported by incredibly successful people who care deeply about their community. Having a business background can help you determine the metrics to measure success for programs and services, and set you apart when approaching funders. The skills you learn in business school directly translate to the non-profit sector and can lead to an exciting and meaningful career. » Michelle Okere, CEO, Compassion House Foundation Best practices in finance, accounting, marketing, and HR have been incorporated in the NGO sector for years. Nowadays, there’s a lot more emphasis on increasing sophistication in quality improvement, information systems, and business intelligence, particularly mobilizing data for performance measurement and decision-making. Because many NGOs operate in fields that are characterised by inequity and unmet needs for vulnerable people, it’s especially fulfilling to know that you’ve had a hand in moving the needle to make their lives less difficult. However, the weight of the issues is often overwhelming, so it’s important to have a dose of humility and accept that there is only so much within your control or scope. » Giri Puligandla, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association Edmonton Region

Guest Article



I would recommend that business students keep an open mind and open heart when working in NGOs and NFPs. Their bottom lines are inherently different. It’s not profit in the conventional sense―it’s an investment in uplifting people. NFP work is fuelled by hearts and smarts, but the metrics are people being supported, elevated, and activated to their full potential. Having a robust business model is critical to an organization’s success, but the business of people is just as high stakes as business for monetary profit. » Sarah Chan, Social Advocate and Owner/Operator, Miss Sarah Music Working for a non-profit organization can be extremely rewarding. A misconception I’ve come across is the idea that the business side of non-profit organizations is not as important as it is for private organizations. This is completely false. Non-profits require strong business skills and contributors so they can continue to provide much-needed services. Successful business operations are an important part of fulfilling the mission and vision of an NGO organization. » Julia Sproule, Director/Governance Chair, Women Building Futures The most common question that potential co-founders, investors or advisors will ask you is “What’s your unfair advantage?” It may make you feel as if you’re not qualified enough to pursue your dreams! I’ve learned that this unfair advantage is supposed to be inside you. It’s not in your degree or not in the name of your alma mater—it’s within you. Success is less about achieving it, and more about growing into it. Having patience and perseverance will see you through the challenges. » Dr. Miral Mehta, Ophthalmologist and Entrepreneur Find a cause you’re passionate about pursuing―one that truly means something to you and motivates you. If you’re working towards something that reflects your values, it’s so much easier to get out of bed and work tirelessly towards what you believe in. The Earth Group has had a chance to create measurable change in people’s lives, simply by selling an everyday product that nearly everyone consumes. I love that we as consumers have the ability to change someone’s world; that with a little bit of research we can find companies that reflect our values and hopes for our world. » Matt Moreau, Founder, The Earth Group

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how to overcome the sophomore s lu mp WRITTEN BY: NANDINI CHANDRA DESIGN BY: QUINCY TRAN

The novelty of the freshman year in college and the excitement of a new school and new environment are eventually replaced by the slump of the sophomore year. Classes get more challenging, stress piles up, and being away from home isn’t as much fun as it was the year before. Unfortunately, life must go on, and college freshmen and sophomores must acclimate to their changing academic environments to prepare themselves for the remaining years of college to come. This challenging period is sometimes referred to as the “sophomore slump.” Depending on who you talk to, the sophomore slump is either “ubiquitous” and “unavoidable” or a total non-issue. If you’re a second-year student who isn’t experiencing it, you should feel grateful. However, if you are in a slump, you’re not alone. Overcoming it can be tricky, but here are some ways you can do so:


Get more involved in your community and on campus:

Getting more involved can provide a refreshing contrast to academics. The University of Alberta has over 450 unique student-run organizations and clubs. There is something for everyone! Every semester the Students’ Union hosts a Clubs Fair where students can explore the various clubs and organizations to find one that caters to their interests, whether academics, athletics, volunteering etc. Another way to find a student group or organization that you might be interested in is to look at the BearsDen website. BearsDen is the database where you can find all the information about any organization on campus. It also showcases all the events being hosted by student organizations that you can go to! Moreover, this can help you develop skills that are not taught in a classroom.


Get to know a professor outside class (and office hours):

Consider your professor an expert in the field you want to pursue, and don’t pass up the opportunity to pick their brain! This is particularly beneficial in finding research opportunities in your chosen field and exploring it outside the classroom.


Find a job shadow program:

Job shadowing helps you find out what works for you and what doesn’t. This enables you to get an idea of the field you are pursuing in the job sector. Moreover, it is an excellent way to network and find contacts that will help you in the future. You can also explore various things that you can do with your degree. The U of A Job Shadow Program matches students with community-based professionals for a 1-day workplace visit. This is an excellent opportunity to develop various skills.


Don’t forget about self-care!

Engage in activities that help you de-stress. Join a yoga class or go on a run! Having a good diet and a regular sleep schedule goes a long way.

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