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Sandwiches for Syria Page 6



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Winter 2017

This year’s IMPACT magazine focuses on the entrepreneurial spirit of the students and faculty on campus. It is an exciting time for new ideas and groundbreaking innovations. Everywhere people are revolutionizing old processes and putting forth solutions that also make a difference in their communities. The editorial team wanted to showcase how the growing trend of entrepreneurship has inspired our faculty and students on a smaller scale. As you read through and discover the stories of our entrepreneurial faculty and students, we hope it will inspire the entrepreneur in you.


Anne Servidad, writer • SJ Silva, managing editor • Sankhi Liyanage, graphic designer



































Everyone thinks that being an entrepreneur means starting your own business. But that definition doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of what it really means. Entrepreneurs aren’t just business owners—they’re innovators and risk-takers. They are the kind of people who carve out their own paths and challenge themselves to be better by going beyond the status quo. An entrepreneur spots a need, then comes up with a creative and practical solution to solve it. By this definition, the students at UTM can do almost anything to be considered an entrepreneur. You can start a club, a movement, or even tweak a process to solve a problem.

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR? Here are eight qualities that all great

entrepreneurs share in common:



Being an entrepreneur means making a difference. From the second they decide to pursue their idea, every decision and action they take is a step towards making that change real. Successful entrepreneurs aim to change the world for the better in one way or another.



“The only great way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” - Steve Jobs






Creativity is what fuels entrepreneurs. Being creative inspires them to develop new ideas or improve on existing processes. It’s their insatiable curiosity that always has them asking questions to figure out why things are the way they are. Sometimes, they even go as far as defying conventional wisdom. To thrive in a competitive environment, you must be at the forefront of innovation.




To stay ahead of the game, you need to adapt. Entrepreneurs are experts at leveraging their surroundings, even when it changes. Limited resources, tough competition and ever-changing technology mean that you have to be willing to discard a good idea for a great one.

Self-confidence and assuredness are traits universal to all entrepreneurs. You have to believe that what you’re doing is exactly what the world needs, even if others think you’re crazy. You have to believe in yourself and in your vision. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for moments of doubt, but you won’t let the opinions of others overwhelm you. Great entrepreneurs exude confidence in everything they do and they don’t allow minor setbacks to throw them off track.

The key to staying adaptive is to not allow yourself to become too emotionally attached to your ideas. Our egos prevent us from staying truly objective and spotting better opportunities. It’s easier said than done, but once you master this skill, it will set you on your way to becoming a game-changing entrepreneur.


Entrepreneurs are forward-thinkers. They’re in a world of their own and steps ahead of everyone else. They have an eye for spotting opportunities when others don’t. It’s how most of them begin their businesses. They’re able to imagine a concept and effectively communicate it to investors and customers. But they won’t pitch it unless they’ve carefully considered current and future trends of the market. Entrepreneurs see the future before the future plays out.

The most striking thing about entrepreneurs is their passion. Ask them about their journey and what they have done to get to where they are. Their eyes light up, and they’ll speak with a conviction unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Entrepreneurs follow their dreams and achieve the impossible, no matter how hard it gets. It’s the fire in their hearts that drives them to build their empire. Nothing will stop them from trying to accomplish their dream.




“Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” - Angela Duckworth



Building a strong network is an absolute must for an entrepreneur because success isn’t achieved alone. It’s through the efforts of your team, mentors, peers, and financial partners that you achieve your entrepreneurial goals.

Entrepreneurs possess grit — perseverance and passion — for their long-term goals. They enjoy taking on the impossible, and overcoming challenges. To be an entrepreneur, it’s not enough to start something. It’s the commitment and resilience of carrying out this dream that characterizes entrepreneurs. Much of the journey is dealing with failure over and over again. Success depends on whether or not you have the strength and determination to get back up, dust yourself off and continue onwards.

Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of different skills in leadership, business development, public relations, marketing and more. Having a close network of people with a wide range of skills can help bridge the gap in knowledge and experience and significantly improve the speed at which your idea comes to life. So brush up on your people skills and start building those relationships!

It’s also important to be self-aware enough to know your limitations. Often, setbacks aren’t necessarily failures, but signs that we’re meant to do something else. It takes just as much grit to know when to cut your losses and move on.




SANDWICHES FOR SYRIA Change is a movement. The idea for change stems from an individual but it can’t be accomplished by that person alone. It involves a group of people coming together and contributing their time and skills to make a difference. Entrepreneurs are the driving force that inspires this change in others. They use the group’s collective efforts to power a movement.


n September 2015, the Syrian refugee crisis was at its peak. It was on every news channel, social media outlet, and in newspapers. It weighed on the hearts of many, especially those who had family back home.

“We then wanted to engage all of the Mississauga stakeholders and so we approached my high school, Thomas L. Kennedy, and UTM,” said Manar. “The idea was to increase the number of people who were engaged in these efforts,” he explained. “So I took the lead at UTM and approached student clubs on campus to help with the event.”

“I’ve worked at a Mediterranean restaurant called Tarboosh for nine years, and it’s like family to me,” said Manar Agha, a fourth-year Accounting Specialist. “At that time, a dead Syrian boy washed up on a beach, and that’s when the owner, Bassam Esbeit, and I both agreed that we couldn’t just stand here and do nothing. We felt an obligation to give back and help our community.” The Tarboosh staff decided to sell falafel sandwiches with 100 per cent of proceeds put towards sponsoring a refugee family. Customers who bought falafels wrote their names and contributions on a sheet of paper, which made it easier to track the donations and progress of the initiative. Once word spread, people repeatedly came back and donated extra in addition to the amount they paid for the sandwiches. The sheets were then put up on the walls of the restaurant as a way to thank the supporters. The campaign was called Just Being a Human.

The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) was first on the list. Manar approached a UTMSU representative, Nour Alideeb, and pitched his idea to fundraise money that would be used to bring over a Syrian family to Canada. Nour was more than ecstatic and agreed to collaborate with him in his journey. The same was said for the President of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), Maleeha Baig. “Falafel sandwiches are also known to be food for the poor,” said Manar. “It’s why we had sold it in the first place; there was a connection in trying to provide for those who had less.”


When it came onto campus, the idea of falafel sandwiches expanded and involved selling other nonvegetarian options to suit the dietary needs of the students. Anyone could buy a falafel, a shawarma, or provide a small donation. The first sale happened in November of 2015 in the Student Centre. Tarboosh employees would come and drop off 100 fresh sandwiches for those who wanted to purchase them. The campaign was called Sandwiches for Syria.

Mohammad Amin, a fourth-year Finance Specialist, was also an advocate for the cause and assisted in volunteering efforts to make the campaign a success. He had the idea of catering at business events and got in touch with TD Branch Manager, Andrew Ostos.

“After I told Andrew about Sandwiches for Syria, he arranged for a corporate function at Tarboosh. All the proceeds from the dinner went to the fund. He had also given us a $600 cheque in addition to that,” “Entrepreneurship is about creating change, added Mohammad.

Volunteers kept sheets not just creating companies.” of students’ names and Eventually, the goal of - Mark Zuckerberg contributions so they could $30,000 was reached. keep track of their donations. In November 2016, volunteers from the initiative At the end of the day, more than 300 sandwiches were were invited to come to the airport. Bassam Esbeit sold in less than two hours which equated to more than became the legal sponsor and key supporters such $1,200 from the first sale. as Manar, Mohammad, Nour, Maleeha and Tarboosh employees, came to greet the Syrian family on their “In total, we had five sales before the winter break. Each first day here in Canada. time we would sell out of about 200 to 300 sandwiches,” said Manar. “I think part of the success was being able to Entrepreneurship comes in many forms but one idea connect the student community together, collaborate, remains the same: it’s change that gives us hope and and co-ordinate with each other.” spurs us on to make life better. To sponsor a refugee family the minimum requirement was $30,000. After the sales at UTM, Manar and other student clubs managed to raise roughly around $17,000.




STARTUP LIFE MARKETING Sania Haider, a fourth-year Marketing Specialist, has been experimenting with her skills ever since she was in grade seven. At the age of twelve, she taught herself how to use one of the most complex design programs, Adobe Photoshop. It’s what started her passion for graphic design. After taking marketing courses in high school, Sania knew she wanted to pursue a full-time career in the marketing field.

At the end of her internship, she wanted to focus on creating businesses solutions based on real-life problems. Later in September, she formed a team with IMIC members and competed at Schulich’s RISE competition. In her last year at university, Sania will be taking the new IMI400 course, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, to better understand what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.

In her second year, Sania accepted an internship at the Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre. RIC is a business accelerator that provides services to startups in the Peel Region. There, she was introduced to startup life and worked with various companies on many design and marketing communication projects.

“Entrepreneurship and marketing are similar,” explained Sania. “There’s always a new challenge every day. There are so many possibilities and roles you can take on.” For Sania, entrepreneurship is a learning process. She’s managed to see what the startup life is really like and what entrepreneurs do on a day-to-day basis.

“To start your own company, you have to be dedicated,” said Sania. “The entrepreneurs I’ve met are always in their office working long hours, perfecting their idea. They’re always making connections, searching for partnerships that will help their business.”

“From my experiences thus far, I realized how important each and every individual is to a startup business. Entrepreneurs truly appreciate any help they receive and it makes your work feel more valued.”

This experience fuelled her interest in entrepreneurship and led her to a four-month internship at one of ICUBE’s clients, KWEchild.

HUMAN RESOURCES Aqsa Safdar, a fourth-year Management student, is currently experiencing what life at a startup is like. As part of the MGT480 Internship course, she’s required to find a placement in the field that interests her. Since January, she’s taken on the role of a human resources consultant for the on-campus accelerator ICUBE.

“I managed to talk to students and recent grads about what type of positions they’re looking for,” said Aqsa. “It was great having a chance to talk to them one-onone and to be on the other side.” After the fair, Aqsa focused on creating job postings for ICUBE. Recruiters do a lot of work in the background to help companies hire the right people. For Aqsa, it included a lot of research on past postings to include the right qualifications and set the right tone.

“Human resources is a field that I would really like to explore,” said Aqsa. “It plays a very important role in entrepreneurship and I want to know what it would be like to work at a place like ICUBE.”

“The role merges the responsibilities of a program co-ordinator and a communications lead,” explained Aqsa. “You have a limited amount of space to outline responsibilities clearly to attract potential candidates.”

Aqsa comes in two times a week for her internship, and is expected to complete 110 hours of human resources duties for the duration of her semester.

Once Aqsa finished creating the job postings, it was up to her to decide where to place it. She posted it on job sites like LinkedIn, AngelList, and the ICUBE job page. Since then, she’s received more than 100 applications from undergraduates and recent grads. Aqsa is currently reviewing resumes and deciding which candidates will be interviewed.

In January, her efforts were put towards the Get Hired Fair, an event hosted by the Career Centre. Aqsa’s duties included preparing brochures and pamphlets for the fair to support ICUBE in scouting for raw talent. Aqsa was not only looking for potential candidates to hire for upcoming positions. She was also looking to raise awareness for the on-campus accelerator and inspire students to be entrepreneurial in their field.

In March, Aqsa hopes to work with ICUBE’s startups one-on-one to help them build their own human resources policies and job postings.

KWEchild has developed a smart app that connects parents with students, and encourages higher engagements of learning and student development. Sania focused on long-term projects such as building and creating a marketing plan for the company. She found ways to strengthen the brand presence online through social media and blog posts, and came up with creative ways to garner interest. “I’d always heard that ideas are easy, but implementation is hard. I saw this first-hand working with a company who was in their initial stages of rolling out their product. This was a great learning experience in terms of getting real experience on creating and implementing a marketing strategy to introduce a brand-new product.” Sania Haider


Aqsa Safdar






he Institute for Management & Innovation (IMI) hosted their fifth annual Countdown to Success on November 24, 2016. The keynote speaker was Manjit Minhas, a successful entrepreneur and a Dragon from CBC’s Dragons’ Den. With her brother, Ravinder, the self-described “beer baroness” owns Minhas Breweries & Distillery—the tenth largest brewery in North America. Minhas Breweries & Distillery is a micro-distillery that produces over 90 beers, spirits, liquors, and wines. The products are shipped across Canada to provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. In addition, they are also distributed to other countries including the U.S., Brazil, Costa Rica, Finland, and Norway. The company generates more than $155 million in revenue annually.

FREELANCING 101 Entrepreneurship promotes the idea of being your own boss, but so does freelancing. Many people are quitting their nine-to-five jobs to make money on their own time by doing what they love. It can be hard for a student to build their own company without any seed capital, so why not start with something as simple as freelancing? Freelancing allows you to monetize your hobby and build on your strengths. It allows you to view your skills and experiences as bankable, valuable resources worth paying for. You can help someone with the skills that you already have - whether that’s design, writing, or even bookkeeping. The earlier you start, the more chances you get to sharpen your skills and become a specialist.

Where to Start Rustom Patel, a 2015 B.Com graduate who now works as a Volume Licensing Manager at Microsoft, started his own freelance business in 2008 called Rustom Patel Design. He helped clients with their design needs, including everything from logos to websites. Here are some freelancing tips from Rustom:

Minhas has learned many lessons over the course of her entrepreneurial career. But one that has contributed to her success was the importance of finding the right mentors.

“Mentors in life help guide you,” said Minhas. “It is so important to get support from people who could affect the trajectory of where you could go.”

Any venture sparks from passion or a unique skill. However, when you’re trying to monetize it, that’s when the downside of operating a venture is uncovered. Be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses. Mitigate those weaknesses early on to focus on your core business and what you love doing.

Minhas’ father was a mentor in her early career. Manjit and Ravinder got their start in 1999, producing private label spirits for their parents’ liquor stores. He guided her to set goals about what they needed to attain, both professionally and personally. It helped her create the bigger vision and create a workable structure for it. Because of her father, she learned to build a business plan and identify a revenue model. “In order to be successful, it’s very helpful to have mentors and people around us that support and believe in us,” emphasized Minhas. “We win and lose as a team, and we have to be involved in each others’ lives and in the community in order to benefit from these mentors.” Mentors are one of the most valuable resources for an entrepreneur. They give you a kick-start on the path to success by combining the knowledge and experience of those who have already gone through similar experiences. They’ll be the ones who will guide you along your journey, no matter how confusing and difficult it is.



Know what you like and dislike

Your network is bigger than you think

Be bold and confident in how you socialize with your friends and family because customers can come from unlikely places. Setting up a website, search engine optimization, and paid ads are essential for capturing customers, but sometimes it’s easier to get the word out through the people you know best. Peer referrals continue to be a proven method of strong customer acquisition and a great way to quickly grow your portfolio.


Land your first customer

Whether it’s a small business, sole proprietorship, freelance, or partnership - the initial challenge is the same. Building credibility with a real customer is important because it demonstrates and builds confidence in your brand and how you sign up future customers. A good first customer will set you up for success the next time around. You can lean on past testimony, share an example of quality of service, gain experience in negotiating, and figure out the aspects you like or dislike about running a business.

“Nobody can be successful in life without a support system.”






Ready-Set-Market (RSM)

In the spirit of entrepreneurship, ICUBE collaborated with HackerNest Mississauga for a fun social at the Blind Duck Pub. HackerNest is a Toronto-born nonprofit organization that has built local tech communities around the world. They host networking nights and provide the opportunity to build connections with individuals and their local tech communities. It was the last tech social for 2016. More than 150 attendees came to connect with other professionals in the industry.

Every October, the Student Management Association (SMA) and the Undergraduate Commerce Society (UCS) host Ready-Set-Market (RSM), a day-long marketing case competition with workshops and networking. This year, the keynote speaker was CEO of Splash Effect, Hamza Khan, and the theme was entrepreneurship. ICUBE was the main sponsor for the event. Participants came up with an innovative marketing plan to dramatically increase ICUBE’s reach to students and faculty across campus. Firstplace winners, Own the Market, received a cash prize of $1,000 for using Blackboard as a cost-effective and efficient solution to increase brand awareness.

IMI Debate Team

The Debate League Mississauga (DLM) is a new initiative where teams representing 12 UTM departments debate topics such as economics and finance. It was founded by several students who were looking to develop their critical thinking skills. After approaching the head of each department, the planning process lasted a year before the Dean approved the new initiative. The debates began in January, and happen every Monday and Tuesday. Team members representing the Institute for Management & Innovation (IMI) are Ethan Lee, Jonathan Mirecki, Zohair Tabsh, and Raymond Tang Jr.


IDEcAs is the first competition that blends together elements of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. In November DECA, ICUBE, and LIFELINE at UTM joined together to create an event that tested the participants’ critical thinking and creativity skills. More than 60 delegates attended to take part in workshops and activities throughout the day. They presented to judges from companies such as SunLife, KPMG, and Investors Group. The top three winners in each category received medals for their presentations.

5 Days of Giving

5 Days of Giving is a charity initiative in its second year. It was started by UCS, SMA, Business Consulting Association (BCA), UTM Rotaract, and the Residence Council. The objective is to bring together the student community through donations of various items. This year UCS partnered with student organizations like the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), Helping Hands, Free the Children, and Residence Council to continue the spirit of giving. Every day for five days, each club focused on a drive and collected donations for their charity of choice. They collected two big boxes of non-perishable food, over ten bags of clothes, countless toys and over $600 in donations.


Show Me the Green (SMG)

Show Me the Green (SMG) is an environmental sustainability conference open to university students across Ontario. Every year SMG receives applications from schools like Waterloo, Schulich, Western, and Laurier. Only 25 teams are selected to pitch their ideas and present to judges. Out of this pool, the top four teams will be picked to present. This March marks the competition’s tenth anniversary and includes office tours and other exciting new initiatives.




SURVIVING T H E UP S & D O W N S O F STA RT U P L IF E In startup land, you can do only so much to ensure a smooth ride. And then the unexpected hits.


lmost everyone has dreams of starting their own business, but few have the passion and dedication to actually pursue it. Sahil Multani, a 2014 BBA Management Specialist graduate, has always been enthusiastic about investments and entrepreneurship. Sahil’s first step into the business world occurred at the age of 15. “I got the idea to start a coupon printing and delivery business that summer,” said Sahil. “After I saved up $1,950, I bought my first iPod on my birthday and invested the rest in Johnson & Johnson stocks. I still have them in my portfolio.” Before attending university, he competed in the Nipissing Stock Market Challenge and placed fifth in Canada. During his years at UTM Sahil worked as a receptionist, a work-study, and a part-time pizza delivery boy to save up money for his portfolio. In total, he managed to collect $20,000 and used that capital to invest in exchange-traded funds and equity stocks. After graduation, Sahil’s portfolio grew to $57,380. “It was my dream to work in investment banking,” explained Sahil. “Once I graduated, I managed to get a job as an analyst in the investment sector.” Although he was able to land a job in the industry he wanted, he felt as though there was something missing. As much as he loved investing, he relished the chance to build something that would help others. “The idea for Uptik Technologies came to me when I read an article about millennials and their struggle with saving money,” said Sahil.

After consulting with his friends about the issue, they encouraged him to pursue his entrepreneurial idea. That’s when the concept for Uptik Technologies was born—a mobile application that would round up customers’ purchases and use the spare change for investing. To pursue this idea, Sahil left his job at OTT Capital and continued on his entrepreneurial path full-time. The first step was to find a developer for the app who would be the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the company. “I asked my contacts on LinkedIn for any introductions to any engineers,” said Sahil. “Through them, I was able to bring on a senior engineer from Qualcomm.”

Much of what they did involved learning and understanding the needs of their target customers. Sahil and his partner had to figure out specific details of their business plan, such as how much customers are willing to pay, whether it was considered a need or a want, and a map of their go-to market strategy. Soon enough Sahil ran into another problem, but this time with the Canadian financial landscape. After the mobile app was created Sahil was ready for its release. But to do so, Uptik Technologies had to be registered with the Ontario Securities Commission, become a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Because of these technicalities and a lack of funding, Uptik Technologies ceased operations in December 2016. “The lesson I learned was to read up on the regulations in the financial industry and to always consult a lawyer,” said Sahil. “That way, complications won’t arise once the product is built and ready to be released.”

The second step was to refine their idea and value proposition. They both had to build their own business plan and strategic financing roadmap. All the elements of a real company were surfacing but they felt they had insufficient resources to continue, so they applied to ICUBE.

Since then, Sahil has taken on consulting projects to raise seed money for his next venture. Both Sahil and his partner (the same CTO from Uptik Technologies) have decided to launch LandEasy by the beginning of April at the Unlock Your Big Idea Pitch Competition hosted by ICUBE at Humber. The premise for this idea is to allow people to apply for a mortgage in less than 10 minutes with the lowest interest rate possible.

“Our time at ICUBE has been exceptional,” said Sahil. “We immediately went to work and refined our pitch deck. We learned to simplify our idea.”

“Entrepreneurs create startups to change lives,” said Sahil. “They have limited experience and resources but they have a great idea that will help others.”

ICUBE was able to provide them access to a mentor who helped them navigate through the obstacles of starting a business, and others who would be instrumental to their journey.

Sahil Multani

“We built a vast network with industry leaders in the fintech space,” said Sahil. “ICUBE really helped us navigate through our entrepreneurial journey.”





ICUBE: Inspiring the inNOVATOR in You



he Institute for Management & Innovation (IMI) focuses on creating a collaborative environment that encourages students to push beyond the standard. For the winter semester, IMI has introduced a new course that does just that. IMI400: Innovation and Entrepreneurship explores the field of entrepreneurship and dives into the mindset of a successful entrepreneur. The instructor, Professor Charles Plant, incorporates new learning styles and encourages students to be inventive and practical.

In addition, he encourages workshops that focus on certain topics such as design thinking. He presents the class with a business problem and their objective is to solve these issues in an entrepreneurial way. Even when it comes to participation, Professor Plant accommodates those who are too shy to speak up in class. The students use an app called Poll Everywhere so they can still contribute to the discussion by typing in their answers online and sending it to the poll administrator.

Professor Plant is a former entrepreneur who started a telecommunications software company, Synamics, and ran the business for 15 years. After working as “I’m trying to incorporate new ways of presenting an investment banker and accountant, he later spent information and getting them to look at things in new four years as Managing Director of MaRS Discovery ways,” explains Professor Plant. “They’re looking at District. There he developed numerous programs for things in the perspective of the customer.” entrepreneurs such as market intelligence, and found ways to foster mentorship. In addition, he created a Students are required to come up with a feasible and variety of educational practical business idea of “To succeed you must understand your programs including the their own by the end of world’s largest repository customers, their pain, and their priorities. the semester. There are of online videos and These are the most critical things for a three major assignments articles for entrepreneurs. that make up the grade successful entrepreneur.” Professor Plant is of the course: designing becoming more involved an infographic, creating - Professor Charles Plant with the University of a video, and generating Toronto, teaching at the St. George campus as an a PowerPoint presentation on their business idea. instructor. He is also a Senior Fellow for the business accelerator called the Impact Centre. “The hardest thing to do is to figure out the product market match,” says Professor Plant. “The reason most IMI400 is not your typical lecture-style course at UofT. new ventures fail is because there’s no market for The emphasis here is about thinking outside of the those products. To succeed you must understand your textbook. Instead of handing out written case studies, customers, their pain, and their priorities. These are he brings entrepreneurs into class and encourages the most critical things for a successful entrepreneur.” his students to critique and give feedback about the company and its predicaments. -16-

Many universities are implementing innovative accelerator programs to help students develop their entrepreneurial skills. At the University of Toronto Mississauga, ICUBE has found ways to help students be more creative, experiment and grow their skillset. Mobey

MGT480: Internship

Mobey Day Toronto is a flagship fintech event that brings together international top-decision makers and influencers from the financial services industry. On December 7 and 8, Mobey Forum and Carta Woldwide partnered to bring global fintech innovators to discuss payment innovation. Companies like Paypal, Wealthsimple, and Visa attended to see how new technology and consumer behaviour were changing the financial services landscape.

Nothing looks better on a student’s resume than real-world experience when applying for entrylevel jobs. Employers like to see that students also have the practical skills to back up what they’ve learned at school. Luckily, fourth-year students have the opportunity to gain experience while fulfilling their degree requirements. As the instructor for the MGT480 course, Professor Sonia Kang helps students find internships in fields like accounting, finance, marketing, and management.

ICUBE was one of the organizations that attended, giving tickets to several UTM students. Visa sponsored the Bank of the Future UI/UX competition, where teams of four to six students and developers were invited to design a banking app.

“I am pleased with how the internship is progressing thus far, and am grateful to provide such a creative and innovative internship thanks to ICUBE,” said Professor Kang.

The winning team, Hasta La Visa, included Lien Chueh from U of T and his partners, Fruzan Nijrabi, Eric Lavigne, and Kimiko Yamaguchi. They created Piggy Wealth, designed to target millennials, students, and young professionals who are looking for budgeting tools, rewards, investment and tax knowledge. It allows users to aggregate multiple financial accounts into one place and create budget plans, while rewarding them for achieving their financial goals through loyalty points. Visa presented them with the first place prize, $15,000. “There were many individuals that said that they would actually use this app. Hearing our idea be validated and desired is a really amazing experience,” said Lien Chueh, a fourth-year Accounting Specialist.






s the old adage goes: “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” With limited resources and tight time constraints, it’s the people who can grow through a combination of applied knowledge and trial and error who end up being the most successful. Students know this all too well from their uphill battle of applying for jobs and internships. It takes a persistent soul to scour popular job sites like Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn for those coveted positions. But oftentimes, job descriptions will list “previous experience” in their requirements section in an attempt to filter out those who are deemed “unqualified” for the role. Resumes with practical experience will always outshine those without. Associate Professor Phani Radhakrishnan understands the crisis that students face when it comes to the job market. As someone who specializes in various topics surrounding Human Resources, she aims to bridge that gap between education and the expectations of the real world. “I’ve taught many HR classes at the Scarborough campus, and I always try to teach it in a way that incorporates a lot of practical aspects,” explains Professor Radhakrishnan.

“I wanted to make this experience meaningful and hands-on for the students in my class.” In the fall semester, Professor Radhakrishnan was the instructor for MGM464: Recruitment and Selection. The course places you in the mind of the recruiter and dives into what the hiring process is really like. She was able to incorporate practical learning by using computer-based hiring simulations in the course. She also encouraged her students to work on their LinkedIn profiles, and helped them be seen as valuable prospects in a competitive job market. Her other topics range from best hiring practices to determining which individual is most qualified in a pool of applicants. But what better way to learn about recruiting, than playing the role of the recruiter yourself? “A lot of these students want to know what it’s like on the other side of the interview,” says Natasha Walli, Career Development Officer at the Professional Development & Learning Centre. “So Phani and I decided to come up with an experiential learning opportunity, as opposed to just having a regular inclass assignment.”

In early November, the 20 students who enrolled in MGM464 played the role of the recruiter by sitting alongside Natasha in 30-minute mock interviews, interviewing their peers who were admitted into the MGT480 internship course. Prior to the interview, they were given job descriptions for the positions, and were encouraged to create and tailor interview questions according to the descriptions. As hiring managers, these students had the opportunity to observe, take notes, ask questions and provide feedback at the end of the interview. “The mock interview assignment was a great way to enhance student engagement because it was set in a real-world environment; it encouraged us to ‘think outside of the books.’” said Noor Hafeez, a third-year Human Resources Specialist.

“It would be wonderful to see this form of learning in our other courses,” she said. “I even talked about it in an actual job interview, because the company needed someone with prior HR and recruitment knowledge,” she added. “They liked that I already conducted an interview and evaluated candidates. I ended up getting the position as a recruitment intern at a staffing company.” The true value of education is recognized when students can confidently apply their knowledge in their fields, and create a learning opportunity out of it. Often lost in the competition of “who has the better GPA,” students forget that the best learning is done on your own using the skills and knowledge that you possess.

Natasha Walli





RISING TO THE OCCASION IMIC PLACES FIRST AT SCHULICH’S RISE CONFERENCE AND COMPETITION You’ll always find entrepreneurs at the forefront of innovation. They’re driven by new ideas and generating solutions to everyday problems. It’s in their blood to be forward-thinking and practical, because in their minds, it’s the only way to overcome the difficult challenges they face on a daily basis. IMIC members Sania Haider, Ethan Le, Ahraniya Ragavan and Sarah Sultana displayed this kind of mindset at Schulich’s RISE Conference and Competition in October when they competed against 400 other students. The competition was comprised of four main disciplines: Finance, Strategy, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. Out of 100 total proposals, the top five proposals for each category were selected for the next round. “All of us had already won a marketing case before, so with the spirit of learning, we decided to take on the new challenge and compete in the entrepreneurship division. Coming up with a business plan was the ultimate way to apply all our knowledge learned in school,” explained Ethan. After three days of brainstorming and more than 20 ideas for their proposal, they decided on Tempo Ink, a temporary erasable ink. It’s a line of stationery products that includes pens, highlighters, and markers. These bright minds targeted the used textbook market by solving a big problem that sellers have long been facing.

“Tempo Ink stationery products transform two different industries - office supplies, where innovation has remained constant, and the used textbook industry. Now students can rent textbooks without the worry of additional charges for marking in it. If they do buy the book, they can resell it at a higher value,” says Sania. “The used textbook market can benefit greatly from our revolutionary product, disappearing ink.”

OUR STUDENTS ON THE CASE York’s Next Billionaire

The York Marketing Association (YMA) hosted a competition at the Schulich School of Business. The case was based on the struggle of the telecommunications industry and how popular streaming services such as Netflix are causing more people to cut the cord. The team High Fibe consisted of Ahzam Ahmed, Mohammad Asad, Raman Jutla, and Sarah Sultana. After presenting their idea of social sharing on televised content, High Fibe placed first in the competition.

Out of those 20 proposals, the IMIC team managed to place in the top five in their discipline of Entrepreneurship.

Dash for the Cash

The Western Accounting Association presented their second annual accounting case competition, Dash for the Cash. Delegates were given a managerial accounting case that focused on the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) billing model. In groups of four, teams presented their idea to judges from accounting firms such as PwC, BDO, and EY. Members from the IMIC team consisted of Michael Ezzat, Ethan Le, Laureen Madani, and Ahraniya Ragavan. After presenting an activity-based costing model, they won third place.

“The judges were most attracted to our product because it was a feasible idea that was both simple and marketable, which were two factors essential for success,” says Ahraniya. “They also appreciated that we had created a well-thought-out and detailed business plan.” It’s the practicality and simplicity of their idea that allowed them to place in the top five in their division. After a 15-minute presentation to a panel full of entrepreneurs, IMIC exceeded all expectations and placed first in the final round.

“Entrepreneurship is about believing that things can be done better than they currently are, then creating a plan to make it happen.” - Sarah Sultana


University of Waterloo Stock Pitch Competition

The University of Waterloo Finance Association hosted their fifth annual stock pitch competition. Students from across Ontario were encouraged to participate and sign up in groups of three. They were required to pitch a long equity investment idea on a North American exchange. The Gordon Investment Research (GIR) team was composed of Manar Agha, Anwar Khan, and Waseem Manan. GIR conducted in-depth research about Nike and prepared a 10-minute presentation. They presented to a panel of judges from CIBC and won second place.

CFA Institute Research Challenge

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a global equity research competition. Teams are assigned a publicly traded company to research, prepare a written report, and present their findings to a panel of judges. Omar Mansour, Valentin Nigmatullin, Zuwei Sheng, Kunwar Singh, and Harry Zou placed among the top four teams at the local level. They will continue onto the regionals and compete against students from other universities to reach the global level. -21-



P SD P: S HA RPE N IN G Y O UR P R O F E SSI O N A L SK I L L S The best investment you could ever make is in yourself. Successful people exploit the skills that they have and work to acquire the skills that they lack. Innovators would not be where they are today if they didn’t put in the time and practice to grow their talents. Professional Skills Development Program Building skills doesn’t have to start when you graduate, it can start right here in school. The Department of Management aims to expand your learning outside of the classroom and enhance your practical skills through the Professional Skills Development Program (PSDP). The program is broken down into six main categories: Know Yourself (4pts) Industry (6pts) Academic Development (10pts) Develop Skills (15pts) Build Relationships (5pts) Job Search (6pts)

The sessions for the 2016-2017 FASTrack program included: FASTrack # 1 Seeds of Leadership Joel Hilchey The speaker created a light atmosphere by doing magic tricks and created a unique definition of leadership along with the students. Students learned what it takes to be a good leader and through a self-assessment test, they learned about different kinds of personalities in a group and how to lead them effectively. The speaker also emphasized the importance of taking initiative by being a part of academic societies, case competition teams or other leadership roles on or off campus.

FASTrack # 3 Networking with the Best Murali Murthy At this session, the speaker discussed “Three Ways to Network Effectively to Build Career and Professional Connections” which include the informal approach, the formal approach and the digital approach. Students were given great tips on how to create an elevator pitch at networking events. The speaker also talked about networking online and helped students create a headline and profile on LinkedIn. FASTrack # 4 Accelerate Your Career Leslie Hughes FASTrack 4 placed an emphasis on personal branding and how one can bring out their individuality to connect with potential employers on more of a personal level. As most students have similar technical skillsets, in order to stand out, the speaker emphasized the need to incorporate personality into online profiles such as Linkedin. Examples and templates were shared during the session. Attention to detail is also something that students learned, such as personalizing connection requests which will help them in nurturing stronger relationships with their connections. Attending these sessions over the four years of university gives you the chance to develop soft skills, make meaningful connections, and learn to capitalize on opportunities that will further your career. Once you’ve attended enough sessions and collected a total of 46 points, you’ll be eligible for a notation on your official transcript that reads, “Completion of the Professional Skills Development Program in Management.” Future employers will understand how committed you are to succeeding in the workplace because it shows the amount of time and effort you took to build on your skills.

FASTrack # 2 Resilience in the Workplace Carol Bisnath Through this session, students were able to learn ways to cope with stress and to bounce back from adversity when things get too hard. The speaker had tips on how to combat hardship, and learn from it. Students also discovered more about themselves as they took the colour personality test and worked with others during a case study while the speaker emphasized the similarities and differences of each colour.






Rabeeyah Jabeen


“During high school, I developed a passion for the sport of archery. Entering my first year of university, I realized that UTM didn’t have an Archery Club anymore as the old club dissolved when its members graduated. With three other friends, I planned the creation of the club, organized its implementation, sought out certified coaches, and led the club as the Founder and President for three years. Now in my final year, I can confidently call myself an entrepreneur and hope that I will one day make an even bigger impact after graduation.”

Joshua D’Lima


“Growing up as a child, I heard the quote, ‘Logic can take you from A to B. Imagination can take youJoshua anywhere.’ D’LimaHaving this quote at the back of my head over the years has allowed me to use my imagination to achieve great things in life. Recently, I’ve joined the on-campus business accelerator, ICUBE, to launch a startup I’m working on. I’m really excited to have ICUBE as a mentor that’ll guide my imagination in the right direction.”

Nikita Parin


“I came up with the idea called ‘Orange Box’ in the beginning of the school year. The project’s main idea is to unite students and provide opportunities to win prizes (like electronics and gift cards) by investing a minimal amount of money. When I was designing the Instagram page, coming up with rules and rewards, and introducing the concept to students, I realized that even a small idea requires a substantial amount of work and dedication.”




Rabeeyah Jabeen








Our students and graduates never cease to impress. Intelligent, well-spoken, globally aware, and now, more than ever, entrepreneurial. I can see it in the resumes I review and in the conversations I have with our graduates. More than ever, our students and graduates are creating their own jobs and as a result, living life on their own terms. It’s an exciting development in the world of work that so many see working for themselves as not only a viable option, but their preferred one. This year’s IMPACT is dedicated to all things entrepreneurial, whether it be a startup company, a new initiative, or even an entrepreneurial approach to a challenge. It’s all about creativity and looking through a lens different for that which you normally use and seeing the possibilities. Many of our students have excelled in this area this year and each story is inspiring. So, enjoy their stories, celebrate their successes and maybe even learn from their example. The possibilities are there, if you’re prepared to look for them!

We are coming to the end of academic year 20162017 — my fourth (and final) year as the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the Department of Management. It has been a great honour to work with the amazing team in the undergraduate program office, with the student leadership in our undergraduate student societies and to represent the Department at a variety of events throughout the year. Earlier this year, we established a Curriculum Review Task Force to consider changes and updates to our curriculum in both the Commerce and Management programs, including new courses we will offer to students in these programs in future years. The business world and other business schools are continually changing and improving, and like any entrepreneurial enterprise, so must we constantly reflect on what we are doing and how we must change to keep up and excel! This year we saw approval for a new Minor in Business, Science and Entrepreneurship for science students at UTM. Our IMI Competition group achieved several successes during a particularly active year. We fielded a CFA team that, for the second consecutive year, acquitted themselves really well, and were a regional finalist. Congratulations to our graduating students and best wishes to all our students as you head into exams and then summer activities. All the best and thank you to our faculty, staff and alumni for another successful year. -26-


CHAIR, DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT It is a pleasure to report on all the remarkable achievements our students and faculty at the Department of Management have accumulated during the past year. We are particularly proud of the outstanding efforts and successes of our student teams at national and international case competitions. Entrepreneurship is an important area we support and value. Many of our alumni and recent graduates have established entrepreneurial ventures that have found success. The Department of Management provides programs and courses that address the requirements of today’s changing business environments, while working toward the wellbeing and growth of our students and our local and global communities. This year, in addition to further refining our curriculum, our faculty members secured significant funding to expand ongoing or initiate new research programs, established international collaborations with prestigious institutions, and won awards for their publications. I am pleased to introduce the latest addition to our faculty cohort: Daniel Goetz, Assistant Professor Marketing and Akash Chattopadhyay, Assistant Professor Accounting. These are exciting times for our students. New knowledge and emerging practices are changing the way we implement curriculum. Your continuing professional development is core to our shared success in this journey. -27-


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IMPACT 2017: The Entrepreneur Issue  

Check out the latest IMPACT Vol. 4 (Winter 2017), highlighting the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Mississauga.