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President Mawadda Basir

VP Marketing Shukrit Mookerjee

Editor-In-Chief Maria Mustansir

VP Web Design Jason Baker

Managing Editor Victoria Ammendolia

VP Finance Julius Cunanan

Writers Krishna Aggarwal Raina Bhatt Daniel Chen Hayden Moffat Maria Mustansir Leeza Pece Katie Pufall

VP Human Resources Yvonne Jin

Art Director Sheila Oskooei

6 10 12 20 29

INSIDE LAURIER Spotlight on clubs within the business community

RELEAF FINANCIAL Helping the Waterlo o community remain debt-fre e


The importance of a network, unity of business students, and team work


How Bruce Morrisson’s, VP Of Retail and sales merchandising, Dream came true at Disney

LAURIER OUTSIDE T H E B O X AMG GUIDE Showcasing Laurier’s entrepreneurial students

The views and opinions shared by some columnists do not necessarily represent those of Atrium Media Group or any of its affiliates.



Tips from experienced professors and fellow students on how to academically succe ed in your first year


the DEAN of SBE I am delighted to welcome you to the School of Business & Economics (SBE) at Laurier. I have just completed my first year as Dean of the School and I continue to be impressed by what I see and the students and alumni that I meet. Over the last year, I have also had an opportunity to talk to many of the companies that recruit at the School and to see our programs and graduates through their eyes. All of them have told me how pleased they are with the quality of the education provided by SBE and with the knowledge and skills of our graduates. Over and above the academic skills, they tell me that they prize the positive attitude and collaborative spirit of the SBE graduates that they hire. You are now part of one of Canada’s best business and economics programs. During your time here the School will provide you with numerous opportunities for both personal and professional development. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities available to complement your in-class education. Get involved in student clubs, competitions, community organizations, etc. Find ways of pursuing your interests and passions and developing new ones. Use your undergraduate experience to

“ People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Welcome to SBE! Let’s be frank, within your first month at Laurier SBE, you’re going to learn a lot. Time management, supply and demand, Porter’s Five Forces, and that skipping classes is not a smart idea—these are all great lessons you will be taught or you will teach yourself. The next four years will be an exhilarating

expand your horizons. You will be among the next generation of business and community leaders. Take this incredible opportunity

journey and in the end, it boils down to two things: experience and character. Either that be through reading textbooks, club

to develop the knowledge and skills that will help you to excel in these roles.

involvement, or a part-time job. Your unique experiences and in result, your character, are what distinguish you from everyone

This is an exciting time for you to be a student at Laurier. You will be here when substantial new investments will be made in your educational experience. These include our new building which will be completed in spring 2015, as well as new study-abroad

else. I implore you to be adventurous during your years at Laurier. Take advantage of the networking events, case competitions, speaker series and other events made available to you. Today, you start with a blank slate-- a white cover page, if you will--

and co-op opportunities. There is much to learn, much to discuss and much to do. Our goal at Laurier is to inspire lives of leadership and purpose. Make our goal your goal! Good luck to all of you on this great adventure! Micheál J. Kelly PhD Welcome to Laurier SBE Class of 2017!

where you can invent your future. Mawadda Basir



First of all I would like to congratulate you on choosing to attend the Best Business & Economics School in Canada. Laurier SBE is truly the best faculty in all of Canada due to its strong academics, endless extracurricular activities, and for having a strong community feel. Starting university is one of the greatest opportunities to challenge you, whether it is academically, socially, or most importantly to take you out of your comfort zone. At my time here at Laurier SBE there have been many challenges, but with each challenge came new opportunities. Some of my favourite memories in university are not from studying for my BU111 exam, but from the extracurricular activities I have been a part of. Through these extracurricular activities I have

To the graduating class of 2017, I welcome to the next chapter in your lives at the Laurier school of business and economics. These next four years will be the most exciting yet challenging time, as you cease the endless opportunities you encounter. At Atrium we give you the opportunity to gain an insight in the world of business by sharing the stories of individuals from the Laurier community. Stay informed and learn from the wisdom of Laurier students, professors and alumni through our written and online platform.

been able to develop as an individual, apply the things that I have learned in the classroom, and most importantly meet a lot of

In my first year, I learned that experience is the greatest gift.

great people. It is important to seize as many opportunities as you can to either meet new people or to get involved during your

Take time aside to get involved in the various clubs at Laurier. Your

time here at Laurier, so you are able to look back four years from now and have many great memories, everlasting friendships,

learning will be a result of the skills you develop inside and outside

and most importantly left your own legacy.

of the classroom. Take every step in your journey as a learning

The School of Business & Economics Students’ Society (SBESS) is an organization that is dedicated to enriching your uni-

curve, and let it shape you for the better. At Laurier, your greatest

versity experience by providing opportunities that continue to add value to your academic studies. Our organization’s focus is on

asset will be the people around you. You are surrounded by bright minds full of aspiration and ideas with a need for achieve-

engaging, developing, and supporting students within Laurier SBE. Please feel free to visit our website to learn

ment. So collaborate and do not be afraid to reach out to your peers, because inspiration is always better shared.

more about our organization.



Brandon Van Dam

Maria Mustansir





he main focus of The Link is on networking and

To learn more about The Link, a networking event will be

developing useful skills that will benefit stu-

held the first week of classes to meet some of the executives,

dents in the business community. This is done

as well as the Professional Development Conference, which

through a variety of events such as the Lead-

The Link will host later in September . For more information fol-

ership in Business Conference, a Wine and Cheese networking

low The Link on Twitter, visit their Facebook page, and check

event, and a Professional Development Conference.

out their website at

One of the most prominent events that The Link organizes is the Leadership in Business Conference, which brings together prospective Laurier students to participate in a live case study while living in residence at the university. Former co-president Nick Barbour describes it as “a great way to connect with cur-

The mission of the Laurier Consulting Club (LCC) is “to

rent Laurier business students and alumni to get an inside look

strive to make students of the Laurier School of Business and

into the business world.”

Economics the most sought after consulting students in Canada” and the developing club has implemented a variety of

Conferences such as this are all organized by The Link’s

programs in order to meet this credo.

executive team, which consists of Vice Presidents, Directors,

and Team Member roles. They look to hire mostly first year

There are two programs offered by the LCC: the Gener-

students for these Team Member positions and encourage

al Membership Program (GMP) and the Laurier Consulting

first year participation. It is a great way to connect with other

Program (LCP). The GMP introduces students to the consulting

business students from all years of schooling, as well as devel-

industry and allows them to enhance their skills before joining

oping those important leadership skills that are applicable in

the LCP in their senior years. It is perfect for first year students

all aspects of life.

who are interested in consulting and looking for a way to get involved in the business community at Laurier.

There are many specialized areas that make up the executive team including: Marketing, Human Resources, Finance,

The Link’s mission statement is “to connect past, present, and future students within Laurier’s School of Business and Economics, the community and internationally” and this is exactly what is accomplished by this business club every year.

Through both of these programs students can develop

Alumni Relations, and High School Relations. Every role is es-

transferrable skills like public speaking and, in later years,

sential to the club’s operations and everyone, no matter how

learn technical skills and knowledge of the consulting indus-

much prior experience they have, is able to contribute.

try through the LCC’s training programs. The LCC also allows students to enhance their networking and team management

The Link’s executive team consists of around 40-50 people on average; however, their events are open to the entire Lau-

skills, and can even gain experience by consulting for real start-up companies from the Communitech Hub.

rier community including business and non-business students. The other former co-president, Scott Krupicz, says “everyone

The LCC also hosts speaker and networking events, and

who attends these events is able to discover what it takes to

co-president Shaida Kay describes them as “a great way to

be successful in the professional world and how to accumulate

meet other aspiring consultants, Alumni, and industry profes-

those important contacts that make job searching easier.”

sionals.” These events are designed to enhance your transferrable business skills while providing an inside view into



the professional world of consulting. The LCC is additionally

Co-president, Winnie Chen, describes DECA Laurier as

feedback on their presentation, which helps them discover

three-day period, students have a chance to compete in case

planning a Case Competition in which students can participate

“a business club on campus that allows students to gain key

their strengths and how to improve their weaknesses. The case

competitions against other universities, network with over 125

later in the fall.

knowledge and experience in case study analysis and presen-

competitions also provide members with the opportunity to

industry professionals, and visit different booths to interact

tations, and also gives students the opportunity to solve real

connect with employers and develop networking skills that will

with company representatives. “Although the competitive

business problems in areas such as marketing, human resourc-

be vital to their business careers.

aspect is an important part of the event, there is still time to

Michael Poy, the other co-president of the LCC encourages undergraduates of all years to join. “Students who are pas-

es, and management.”

have fun and connect with students from within Laurier and from other universities.” Says Ishaan Kukreja, co-president of

sionate about consulting or even who are just interested in the

DECA Laurier. The competition is held annually at the Toronto

practice should come see what the LCC is all about and what

Sheraton Centre in Downtown Toronto.

it offers its members.” Members must be enrolled in business and economics related courses in order to join, and through the events of this club, students can take the knowledge

For first year students of any major looking to get in-

gained from these business courses and apply them to real-life

volved, DECA Laurier is hosting the “3, 2, Won Case Com-

business situations.

petition” which is new for this year, geared towards students who are new to DECA and want to get a head-start through the one day competition at Laurier.

For first years that are looking to get involved in the executive team, the LCC is hiring a first year executive assistant who will get an entire overview of the operations of the LCC

Registration to join DECA Laurier will be open in mid-Sep-

in areas such as finance, marketing, and event planning. The

tember where interested members can leave their contact

selected student will spend time in each of these functional

information and will be notified of upcoming events. Once

areas and can select the department in which they would like

registered, members have the option of participating in any

to work in the upcoming years.

events and competitions that interest them, and are encouraged to participate as much as possible for the most fun and fulfilling DECA experience.

To learn more about the LCC and their upcoming events check out their Facebook page, Twitter feed, and the SBE Weekly emails.

DECA offers a platform to improve presentation, interview-

Even though DECA’s main focus is on case competitions,

ing, and networking skills and helps students build relationships

they also host many workshops for students in the areas of

with other members and future employers. “By getting involved

case study development, effective networking, and speaker

in such an active club, members can forge friendships with

events. Networking and social events are also planned for

likeminded people from different backgrounds to enhance their

members to give them an all-encompassing experience that

university experience and prepare them for the professional

includes balance between learning and having fun.

world,” encourages Chen.

hosted at Laurier with the aim of polishing case analysis and

situations in areas of Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and

presentation skills.

Human Resources, and present solutions to these problems minute presentation to a judge. From there, members receive


and planning events like the Laurier In House Competition. The positions additionally involve competing in the case competitions and representing DECA Laurier off-campus.

their Facebook page and on their website at

competitions, an annual two-day In House competition is

such as case competitions where members are able to analyze

through case analysis. These solutions are imparted in a 20-30

DECA Laurier, which involves developing training programs

More information on DECA Laurier can also be found on In order to prepare DECA members for provincial case

The skills that DECA helps develop are prompted by events

Students can also apply for an executive position with

Laurier is one of over nineteen universities that participate in the provincial DECA U competition. Taking place over a

Katie Pufall 9

/ F E AT U R E /

Daniel Chen

ReLeaf Financial

An Initiative of the Waterloo Banking Project The vision, as Ryan puts it, ‘is to manage our resources well

philosophy of serving the students. ‘It’s my intent that, [our

so that we can have more [financial] freedom and choices in

philosophy] will not change…no one will be paid. Our organiza-

the future.’ A quote from Warren Buffet can be found on their

tion is student and customer focused.’ They ensure that control

website that reads ‘Someone is sitting in the shade today,

is maintained by the students; managing their own products

because someone planted a tree a long time ago’. That is the

and setting their own rates because it is important for them

philosophy ReLeaf hopes to instil.

not to make money but act in the interest of the community. Releaf provides a full range of daily banking services, that help

How did a history and economics student start this? It began when Ryan found out about GUASFCU, the Georgetown University Alumni & Student Federal Credit Union – an entirely student-run credit union that manages $16 million in financial assets as of 2010. Its goal was to help relieve the student body of their financial hardships, an ambiguous feat back in 1982. With Ryan’s interest in personal finance, a sound business model and successful implementation the first Canadian student-run financial service was created.


Your Financial Burden

The transition from high school to university is not easy. For

Bills add up from tuition, food, travels and ‘entertainment’.

‘[My father] was only able to finish high school because of a local benefactor [in Trinidad]…He came to Canada and studied science at UBC and then got into medical school but he didn’t go because he wasn’t able to pay for it… The reason I was able to go to university is because my dad was able to finish high school… See we can make a difference in students’ financial lives and that will make a huge difference in their lives in general.’

many, it becomes the first time on their own; independence and responsibility ensue. Homesickness becomes ordinary and

Ryan Chen-Wing started the Waterloo Banking Project, now

student residences act as a hub to meeting people from all

called ReLeaf Financial, to address the growing financial chal-

over the world. The world becomes your oyster, or whatever it

lenges students face. It is something that Ryan sees as ‘one of

is you make of it…with one catch.

the biggest problem that students face’. ReLeaf is a non-profit financial organization made for students, by students, In part-

With all the excitement, many tend to overlook a ticking time bomb; debt. One of the biggest challenges in university is do I have enough to support myself? In university, money can act as a leash for what you can and cannot do, especially


when school is more than a stone’s throw away from home.

nering with a financial institution, they provide simple financial products and services to students, alumni and other members of the communities at Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo.

The vision is to have students to graduate with more money, less debt, and better financial skills. As Helena Cao, Senior Director, stated, ‘Ontario students, on average, graduated with $25,000 in debt and the average time to pay it off is around 10 years… something like $300 a month.’ Both Ryan and Helena are advocating for students to start managing their finances as soon as possible, first year being the prime time. As soon as students start earning money after graduation, they should start saving. ReLeaf will stay true to their

its members ready for managing their finances. Funds deposited every now and then that yield a higher interest rate than a chequing account. ReLeaf works with you to provide planning and higher interest rates so that, come tuition time, there is enough money to pay for your education, and still have some discretionary income left. Their products address the daily needs of a student. However, it is not just the products but the educational and financial awareness services that make up the organization.

Financial planning is part of their mission, ‘we will take a look at all your expenses, how much money do you have… predict if [you] spend in a normal way…we can say to [you] ‘tell your mom or dad you need money in November’ so [your parents] can plan for that’. That is an example of the benefit of predictability. The main benefit of financial planning is ensuring that students think and plan ahead of time about how much future terms in school will cost and how much they will need to save while working and borrow while in school. That allows them to make informed decisions now and avoid running into problems later. So what are you waiting for? It is time to make sense of the choices you make and graduate with lower debt, or as debt free as possible.

Look forward to ReLeaf Financial next Fall of 2014, it still is a ‘freshman’ company with ‘senior’ ideas. It is always on the lookout for enthusiastic students, and conducts its hiring in the fall term . Check out the website at for

more information!



In the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, au-

The most memorable connections are made in person, thus

thor Dale Carnegie writes, “You can make more friends in two

following up for a one-on-one chat, or gain insight on other

months by becoming interested in other people than you can

company hosted events is important. A great way to break the

in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” In

ice, and follow up is to thank the recruiter for their time and

your effort to reach out and learn more about your future em-

the information they shared with you. You should always aim

ployer or co-workers, always be genuine. In today’s business

to create and maintain ties that feel authentic. Treat your net-

world, authenticity has become a rare commodity. The most

work just as you would a new friend. Be thoughtful, and show

important thing to realize when networking is that you too

genuine concern in the relationship.

have something to offer. Being yourself and acting comfortable will build your confidence, and put the other person at ease making the conversation flow.

Do not network for the sole intention of just being there. A bad experience can have just as much ability in your outcome, as a good one. At Laurier, the various sbess clubs conduct

Once the introductions are on the way, use social media to

different industry specific networking sessions where business-

your advantage and stay connected. The strongest networks

es have a chance to speak to the students. A great tip to ease

are build over relationships that share something outside of

your nerves, and approach industry recruiters and profes-

the work environment, whether it be sport, a hobby or the

sionals is to have a wing man ( or women). Having a friend

same taste in Ryan Reynolds Movies. Forbes career journalist

by your side, will allow you to ease into the conversation and

Jacqueline Smith states, “hiring managers aren’t just screening

build of each other’s questions.

your social media profiles to dig up dirt; they’re also looking for information that could possibly give you an advantage.” Many big firms use social media to advertise their culture, and


attract talented millennial seeking for a job. Talent Acquisitionist use tools such as Facebook and Twitter to maintain a profile

“It’s not personal, it’s business...well, maybe it’s a bit personal. ”

that mixes business with pleasure. Knowing your recruiter’s

By: Maria Mustansir

and their passion and characteristics is

personal interests and areas of motivation is just as important

In today’s job market, credibility is achieved when someone with experience and influence refers you. Time spent in the early days building a network will save time down the road when you’re trying to solve problems, leverage resources, and achieve success.

as knowing the interest of the business. Firms hire recruiter’s to represent the firm, a reflection of the talent they are looking

In our university careers, there will come a time where the


So how do you get your foot in the door? The first step is

to acquire. Companies are looking to hire

path we choose; whether it be through academic courses,

to be bold. Dare to introduce yourself to the right people. In

someone who is the right fit, and social

campus clubs or activities that will lead us to our dream job.

the business community, people are welcome to a handshake

media acts as a platform to determine the

Along the way, the skills and knowledge we learned will play

and a meaningful conversation. Before you reach out to a pro-

overall characteristics of an individual.

a big role in landing an interview, but not as big as the net-

fessional recruiter or talent acquisition specialist, think about

work you use at your leverage to gain it. For every business,

how your conversation will benefit each other. The goal of net-

the most important asset is its people and today the biggest

working is to connect. With any job in today’s market, interper-

it is another to make that connection

firms are spending millions trying to find the right talent.

sonal skills and the ability to market oneself are crucial. People

known. Interact with the company’s profile

generally gravitate towards whose who they are familiar with,

and be active in doing so. Social media

thus finding common ground in the conversation is essential.

is not an end, but a means to network.

It is one to thing to make a connection;


Throughout Aneesh’s interview, he commented on his view

Laurier for talent acquisition.

of changes in the business world. According to Aneesh, “today it doesn’t matter if you’re the smartest person in the room. The importance is your ability to convey an idea, because

Making Business Students Global Ready A Chat With Aneesh Lal By: Krishna Aggarwal As we enter business school, we start to understand how

Canada. JDC central is one of Canada’s largest and fastest

important the flow of ideas and knowledge is towards the suc-

growing business competition which brings delegates from

cess of a student. By sharing best-case practices and resourc-

different schools together to compete against each other in

es, we can find ourselves being more productive and well

academic, debate, athletic and social competitions.

Canadian Association for Business Students, or CABS, with an aim to help make business students global ready.

In regards to corporations, CABS helps connect students to opportunities within many industries including multinational corporations such as Coca Cola, IBM and PWC by organizing coaching and mentoring for students at their national events.

Aneesh Lal, WLU BBA ’11, is an Account Development

While advising students, these corporations allow students

Manager at Coca Cola Refreshments Canada, where he

to get access to talent acquisition opportunities within these

manages around 800 enterprise accounts in the GTA. While


at Laurier, Aneesh was the President of the School of Business and Economics Students Society (SBESS) and served as a Director at CABS. Upon graduation, Aneesh was then voted into a two-year term as the President of CABS, a national organization focused on cohesion with business students across Canada.

Aneesh personally helped to create a partnership between CABS and the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans to assist students at a local level. Aneesh also stated, “ It is important for a school to build relationships with government municipalities, and how CABS focuses on creating a bond between local governments and schools.”

CABS focuses on the Canadian Leadership Network (CLN), which combines four elements – students, corporations, government agencies and the dean network – to enhance the professional development of students.


sures people on a criteria based on essential skills required for success in the real world. Academics used to play an important role in the success of a student’s professional career, but we have seen a shift towards being well rounded in other areas such as experience and interpersonal skills as well.

Aneesh made it clear that CABS biggest tangible benefit is

As president of CABS, Aneesh developed and strength-

CABS aim is to bring together young, aspiring students

their local community. In turn, these students can share new

that want to be a leader in their community, and collaborate

perspective about better leadership programs, better con-

by two means- conferences and competitions. CABS’s hosts a

stitution, how to secure sponsorship and great ideas to stay

roundtable, a Eastern and Western Leadership retreat, as well

consistent across the board.

endeavors. The greatest thing Aneesh credits Laurier with is giving him the confidence to do one thing and keep going with it. Incoming students should take advantage of Laurier phenomenal student life program. As an alumnus of Laurier and CABS, Aneesh describes Laurier’s student life program “Second to none across the country”. Aneesh reveals to first years “Everyone is so passionate at Laurier about getting involved, be happy to have access to a very sophisticated student life system.”

schools and their new corporate partners. Throughout his term he represented 60,000 post-secondary business students nation wide, and was responsible to oversee the coordination of 5 national CABS conferences and competitions established to help develop business leaders across the country.

Aneesh’s main message to incoming first year a student is “You don’t have to have a title to be a leader and current leaders will recognize when young talent is present.” Leaders can see individuals who are willing to throw it all on the line and do things for the greater good. Aneesh tells students

Aneesh was motivated to join CABS because of its na-

that this is a very rare trait in younger people, but everyone

tional vision of bringing schools together. Laurier’s positive

can gain leadership qualities that a title will not always reflect.

reputation across the country definitely went hand in hand

It is very important to recognize early on that you don’t need

with CABS’s and Aneesh’s long term goal of connecting

a title to be a leader.

schools and students with advice and opportunities. Aneesh’s attendance at conferences in the East and West allowed him to establish a network as a Laurier student. After, it was just natural progression. Aneesh states, “as a delegate and a facilitator at these conferences, you are immersed into a network experiences.”

the fact that it is a knowledge sharing experience. This means that students have the experience of learning from other

given him the foundation to be a professional and tackle his

which gives Laurier a family feel and incoming students should

of likeminded individuals, which help you learn from people’s

students at different schools and bringing that knowledge to

as owns JDC central, one of the largest case competitions in

there is no room for action.” Competitions such as JDC mea-

ened the relationship of the CABS 28 partner business

versed in the world of business. Giving students access to leadership support and specialized services is the focus of the

without necessary communication skills, it remains an idea and

Aneesh acknowledges that his experience at Laurier has

Aneesh was featured in the National Post for his works with CABS, as well as receiving the Lifetime Achievement Reward within the organization. As someone who embraces the Laurier spirit, Aneesh lives by the motto “Work hard and play hard.” He feels everyone should find that balance, and take advantage of learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom.

As an alumnus from CABS now, Aneesh describes CABS as a long-term relationship. He will be keeping an open door policy with current members and stay a part of CABS through its new Alumni Exchange program. As a Laurier alumnus,

For those looking for more information about CABS and its initiative, please visit

Aneesh still stays in touch with professors and has done his best to see Coca Cola hire more Laurier grads in the upcoming years, as Coca Cola has taken a stronger interest towards


Hayden Moffat


o any business student entering their first year, there are tons of new, exciting experiences in the beginning weeks of the fall term. However, There is one event in particular that is the most anticipated part of the Business program; The New Venture competition. In first year, students are assigned groups in their Bu111 and Bu121 labs and are then instructed to come up with a “new venture�. They are then asked to apply course concepts to their newly formed venture and create the model for their business to grow and develop. At the end of the school year, selected groups pitch their ideas to a panel of judges which include the sponsor, BDO, and are scored based on a wide range of criteria that encompasses all major areas of business; internal and external.



The most recent winners of the competition were the creators of an innovative smartphone app called Pronto. The basic concept behind their idea was a line-management system that allows users to reserve their place in line and then move

Another aspect of the presentation is the ability

away from the premise to continue with whatever

for it flow and feel natural for its audience. To

activities they want. It is a creative way to eliminate

overcome this Jonathan stated that, “we delib-

time waited in lines and find other useful ways to

erately never had notes or cue cards, save for

spend time. After individually interviewing Jonathan

maybe the first time we ran through a presenta-

Okun and Olivia Liberatore from Pronto, there

tion. This meant that each time we presented, we

was a trend emerging from their performance that

actually said slightly different things – and this was

outlined ways to develop the “winning group and

a huge positive. It meant that we understood our

idea”. The hardest part (arguably) of the project is the starting point. Piles of information are thrown out at groups with deadlines, endless criteria, and rubrics that are enough to make the most confident student’s head spin. To make matters more complicated, there is a tedious brainstorming component that filters through potential ideas. According to Pronto, the best advice to choosing the winning idea is to record each idea, identify its feasibility using background research, and then participate in a peer review process to see how others view the thought. While working through ideas, Jonathan wants to remind new students that, “New Venture is either ‘just a school

are much more productive than long ones. He states, “It

lines. By the time the big day, whether it’s the in lab assess-

was better to meet more frequently wherever possible, but

ment or competition finals, the information should be natural,

The winning formula boils down to consistent time and effort

also to set realistic deadlines that allowed everyone to get

given that each member has

throughout the entire process. It’s about collective effort versus

some independent work done

worked equally on the assign-

individual achievement, the development of a strong group

ment and has taken initiative

dynamic, and a positive attitude towards the process as a

to practice. Pronto did not use

whole. According to Pronto, “The best ideas come from thinking

any specific strategies to out-

about your own experiences and problems. Rarely will you be

smart their competition; instead

able to solve other people’s problems, but you certainly have

they internalized their efforts to

a lot of insight on how to solve your own.” When you have this

perform as best they could. “We

idea, every group of Pronto outlines one more key characteris-

never spent much time analyz-

tic: “Have fun with it!” As shocking as it is, overcoming adver-

ing other groups, or thinking of

sary and bonding with fellow students is fun. Outperforming

ways to out-do them. We just did

others and developing a solid idea is fun. Business at Laurier

our presentation the best

is fun. From a basic concept for an app to conquering the

way we could.”

New Venture competition, Pronto, as well as the other former

between each meeting. “ With these strategies in mind, smooth transitions between stages of the project are possible. Approaching competition time, there is lots of stress re-

one it will be.”

volving around the presentation

Effective teamwork and group coordination is a must during the New Venture process. Maintaining good rapport amongst group members helps build stronger bonds and eliminates any negative energy that can hold an idea back. Most importantly, strong communication allows a group to efficiently map out each individual’s strengths and preferences. Dividing work based on group member’s past skills and potential interest ignites a desire and produces a motivation to perform. Additionally, it is important to stress the importance of short, frequent,

ly instead of sounding memorized and over-rehearsed.”

punctual meetings. According to Jonathan, shorter meetings

assignment’, or an experience – it is up to you to choose which


idea, and we were able to communicate it natural-

aspect of the project and the anxieties of public speaking. So what’s the secret? The general consensus seems to be practice, practice, and more practice.


champions, prove that people can come together to create amazing things. Congratulations on your win Pronto!

Each member could not stress the importance of this enough. Simple tactics such as rehearsing in front of a mirror or the increasingly risky method of a trial run in front of roommates are effective ways to memorize


The Magical World of

Disney / F E AT U R E /

Consumer Industry Profile on Bruce Morrison By: Maria Mustansir




ruce Morrison, Senior Vice

So how does Disney develop its products? Morrison states

According to Morrison, The digital world is doing

President of Disney Consum-

that it first starts out with the Brand. For Disney the philosophy

that, and that's where a lot of success is happening.

er Products USA, is recog-

is simple; building quality entertainment products. Morrison

When I asked Bruce about his biggest challenge in

nized, as one of Walt Disney

and his team then look at the consumer segment and the fran-

retail he stated, “Getting the best products for the

Company’s foremost profes-

chise. Disney has franchises such as princesses and monsters,

right consumer, in the right place.” In today’s day and

sional. Disney, a brand we

which cater to different segments of consumers. Morrison went

age, retail is a multichannel environment. People don't

are all familiar with, requires

on further to explain the process behind creating the products

shop at one place, and you need to have channels

strategic marketing to create greater and continuous aware-

for the Princess and the Frog. Morrison states that, “Products

to support that. Morrison embarks on this by stating

ness among its worldwide consumers. Heading the division of

where related to Tiana and her friends, but when people be-

“The one difference with our company is that we got

Disney Consumer products in Disney’s Californian Headquar-

came more familiar with her story after the theatrical release

products in each industry.”

ters, in our interview Morrison first asks me about the weath-

of the movie we graduated [Tiana] into the princess franchise.”

er in Waterloo. Graduated from the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1986, Morrison states that he enjoyed the small, intimate environment Laurier has to offer. Morrison states, “I probably was not sure about the discipline of business when I joined and the great thing about the school was that it allowed me to understand where my strengths are.”

Beginning his Career at Disney in 1993, Morrison started with the Home entertainment division. Back then, this meant

When I asked Bruce about the one thing he lives From a consumer products point of view, whenever a new movie comes out, Morrison and his team will sit with the cre-

he states, “Every problem is an opportunity.” People

ators of the content. According to Morrison the purpose of this

in this day and age tend to air on the negative side,

is to understand the consumer and whether they will buy it or

and tend to think what’s wrong with their lives and

not by looking at the moments of the content, the characters

careers but you need to keep a positive outlook.

and their likability. Morrison states that, “We don't merchan-

Secondly Morrison believes that it’s important to

dise everything, we consciously make a decision based on

be current on what’s going around the world. He

consumer insight and the industry, and the last thing we want

states, “You also need to understand current, social

to do is over commercialize the property.”

and political history because history tends to repeat

the treasured VHS cassettes we enjoyed with our favorite classic Disney movies. Morrison joined the sales force, and eventually ran Disney Home entertainment for 5 years. Early in his career an opportunity came up at Disney consumer products in the role of Director for the division and Morrison jumped at it. Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company that engages in merchandising of the Disney brand and Disney properties. In 2012, the revenues from Disney consumer products resulted in $3,252 Million (USD). After two years of managing the team in Canada, Morrison received a call from the United States to build their team for retail sales and marketing for consumer products. Bruce took the offer and has been in California for the past 10 years. Morrison’s advice: “If you get offered to move, take it. It is unusually a good thing for your career and you learn more about different markets.”


by and/or his philosophy, he gave me three. Firstly

itself. The things we are dealing with today have Being in the retail industry, the biggest trend going on right now is the digital revolution. Morrison states that, [Internet] is a derivative for consumer need for convenience, value and broad assortment.” People want to be able to access what they want when they want. When describing the consumer trend in North America, Morrison said that it is filled with un-

been dealt by generations before us.” Lastly the most important wisdom Morrison shared with us is that “relationships are critical”. He adds that Bruce “you should show integrity and be principled in your dealing with people because people have short memory and it's a small world.”

certainty. People are a lot more conservative about spending their discretionary income. Morrison sates that “It's a tougher retail environment that I have seen in my career, and it's a function of general uncertainty in all aspects of economy and life.” However with uncertainty comes opportunity. Morrison advises, “That is what I tell my kids, two of the most precious commodity in life is time and money. If you can save time and money you are going to be just fine.”


program. This makes classroom discussion more

Raina Bhatt

of a review of past material rather than building on previous knowledge, whereas for other international students these were new concepts.



aurier International is a platform for students to engage in globalization. As we see the business world becoming much more interactive with people from different countries with different cultures, why not absorb as much of it as possible now, before we hit the “real” world? The Associate Dean of Business describes the importance of Laurier International to business students. Along with that, three Laurier students reveal their experiences participating in student exchange programs to prestigious schools in beautiful countries. Laurier International gives students the opportunities to explore amazing countries throughout the world and gain valuable experiences as well as enjoy an adventure of a lifetime!

“From a program perspective, internationalization is a top priority for the School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. Our new dean brings a wealth of international experience to the school, and is working to help us build new relationships with influential academic and business partners around the world. Both our president and our chancellor have committed to the mandate that Laurier grads will have what it takes to be global citizens. Our goal is to see every student take advantage of at least one international experience. Laurier International is a key partner, a passionate and dedicated partner, in helping us achieve that goal.”

A number of hours are dedicated to projects and assignments outside of the classroom and this is a huge hurdle, especially if you have unmotivated group members who really just want to travel as much as you.


The friends, the culture but mostly, the travelling. I took full advantage of the cheap travel in Europe and turned my exchange into a mini Euro trip visiting 17 countries in a span of 4 months. From riding camels in the heated Sahara desert to walking through the freezing climate of Estonia to Oktoberfest in Germany and even clubbing in

Robert Cekan, BBA F R A N C E , Kedge Business School

would have as a young person. One of the best ideas I had was creating a blog that’s chockfull of my awesome experiences that I can use to relive the trips. I definitely got what I was looking for


and made memories that will last me my entire life.


I went abroad to get more out of my life by discovering

Kim Morouney, PhD Associate Dean of Business: Academic Programs School of Business & Economics Wilfrid Laurier University

Ibiza, I experienced first-hand many things I never

more about myself and find things I’m passionate about to add to my personal life and daily routine. I’m very adventurous and was curious to explore the beauty and history of Europe.

To re a d m o re a b o u t R o b e r t ’ s ex p e r i e n ce s , v i s i t hi s b l o g ht t p : / / ro b ey b l a d e . b l o g s p o t . ca /


The school curriculum in France is easier since the semesters are shorter (meaning less content) but also because Laurier teaches more advanced classes earlier in the undergraduate




The Aarhus School of Business was very

bike, grocery stores have coin machines where you put in the coins to pay, etc.). In addition, I visited Africa for the first time in my life when I went to Morocco. It was my first time visiting a Muslim country, and the Call to Prayer 5

organized, in basically everything they did,

times a day over loud speakers was a unique

and it was easy to contact the International

experience. I visited Oslo, and saw first-hand

office there. The two big differences were class

the effects of the bombing which took place

schedules and exams. Some of my classes only

at the government headquarters in 2011. I

had 4 weeks of classes, then a final due at the

visited my sister who is studying in Dublin, and

end of the semester. Other classes had lectures

saw how she is living. To summarize, my travel

for a few weeks, then tutorials the rest of the

experiences helped shape the way I perceive

semester. And others were similar to Laurier,

people and made it easier to understand

where you have 1 or 2 classes a week for the

that you don't truly understand the world until

entire semester. Exams were ALL 100% finals,

you've traveled.

which took some getting used to but were great for exchange students because it allowed us to travel throughout the semester without having anything due. In terms of format, the finals I had were all essays/cases and application based. I feel that having to apply material learnt during a semester to a situation is much more realistic

Justin Yee, BBA DENMARK Aarhus School of Business

than multiple choice/short answer questions, which just test your high level knowledge and memorization skills. Furthermore, for all of these finals you were allowed to bring your laptop in to write them, with access to the internet which


I chose to study abroad because it would add a different perspective to doing business. Denmark was my first choice

All business students have the opportunity to be a part of the International Business concentration at Laurier. The profs are great, lectures are very interactive, and there's a study abroad component where students visit another country (e.g. South Africa this year) to see how differently companies operate and to soak in the local culture. I took a lot away from this semester - both practical skills and unique experiences - which have helped to define me as a person.

is much more realistic. In real life, you will have the Internet to find the solution, and you will have to apply your knowledge as well.

because I was unfamiliar with the country, and felt that 4



course, my passion for travelling and interest in the world.

students, the part it lacks is reviewing the international sector,


Travelling has also always been important to my whole family.

First of all, it broadened my sense of intuition and made

develop (which is always). An exchange experience would also

me more confident in interacting with different people. I met

allow me to broaden my resume and give me the opportunity

students from over 20 countries while on exchange. Going

to try many new things, including living in a foreign country and

abroad also increased my confidence from a living perspec-

learning from a Danish perspective.

tive; having the ability to live in a new place. It took some getting used to living in Denmark (e.g. everyone commutes by

ence of my own. I chose Macau as my top choice because of how different it would be to live there. I had always been to experience it first-hand.


ket. While Laurier offers a really great business program for which will continue growing in importance as long as countries

Andrea Martin, Arts C H I N A ,University of Macau

fascinated by Asian culture and thought it would be amazing

My biggest reason for wanting to study abroad was, of

months was enough time to familiarize myself with a new mar-




There were always endless things to do and so many great

My grandfather was one of the creators of Rotary Exchange

countries I visited. I ended up going to 6 different countries on

and he has always encouraged me to travel as much as

my exchange, including China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand,

possible. My mom studied abroad when she was a teenager

Philippines and Cambodia. Each country had its own treasures

at Denmark. My sisters also both had gone abroad for school,

for me to discover. Some of these places include the Batu

one to Ecuador and one to Denmark and told me about their

caves in Malaysia, the hills in Guilin, the Marina Bay pool

fabulous experiences. I was then anxious to have an experi-

in Singapore and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. My family and


friends were also shocked that I was able to play with tigers (babies and full-grown) in Thailand. Other experiences I had include climbing the Great Wall of China and white water rafting through the rainforest in Changmai. I also ate some very unique food including cockroaches and worms. That was definitely a moment of culture shock.

Laurie r OUTSIDE the Box By: Leeza Pece

EVERY STUDENT has been told to “think out of the HAS THIS EXPERIENCE CHANGED YOU?

There are many things that I will take away from this expe-

box” by professors or supervisors explaining how to achieve the best results on a project. These three Laurier students

rience. Most of all, I have tremendously grown as a person. I

have put that expression into practice, using it to fuel their

am now much more adventurous and open to new experienc-

entrepreneurial spirit and turn their start-up business ideas into

es. I am not afraid to step outside my comfort zone, because

a reality.

have really opened up my eyes to the beauty that there is in the world. I am now eager to see what else is out there.

For the 2013-2014 academic years, approximately 150 students are placed in the exchange program. Many students are not aware of the highly ranked partners the exchange

open you to world quality education, along with networks to



Hunt Co .


turn my anger into motivation, which I guess is a good thing, because I ended up doing something really beneficial for

to get crazy and start a business. And in the end, it’s given me this great opportunity to make a difference in the sustainability of our cities, and some great experience!

How much are you involved in the day-to-day upkeep of the business/ website?

Tell me a little bit about your business

students and professors all around the world. Another addi-

- what does it contribute to the com-

tional benefit would be employers recognizing you studied


I created the website myself, so I’ve automated everything. When I get an order online it’ll process automatically and send me a notification for the payment. My distributors will either send out the order to the customer, or send it out to me, and

at prestigious schools abroad from your resume. So don’t sit

FoxHunt Co. is essentially a sustainable line of clothing and

there thinking, take chances, be adventurous and embark on

accessories, based in Toronto, that works towards the ultimate

suming - I once had 103 orders to mail, so I waited in line at

an amazing journey with Laurier International!

goal of achieving urban sustainability. All of our products are

Canada Post for 2 hours! In addition to this, I do a lot of the

made sustainably in the United States or Vancouver, and

design work myself, but have hired Jesse, an extraordinary

To find out more about Laurier International, visit http:// To find more information regarding the student exchange program, visit exchange

are geared towards a young, adventurous demographic. We give back to the environment in a different way from planting trees and all that jazz; instead we contribute to urban sustainability – so greening cities – and we do that through donating 5% of annual profits, or $1 from every sweater sold to an amazing organization called Evergreen. FoxHunt is an e-commerce business so everything is done online, and we just went international so everyone across the globe is free to


FoxHunt because I was mad at someone. I have a tendency to

a run to clear my head, so I thought, you know what, I’m going

programs link to. Many of the Universities are actually ranked higher than Laurier. Participation in exchange programs

This is going to sound really ridiculous, but I actually started

myself and for the environment. It was 2am, so I couldn’t go for

I have discovered what rewards await those who are willing to do so. There are also so many things I have now seen that

What inspired you to start it?

grab some gear!

in that case I mail it out myself. That part can be time con-

design student, to work along-side me. I am also considering hiring a social media intern to help me out and make more frequent updates.

Who is your business or entrepreneurial role model? I would say, Arlene Dickinson, most commonly known from Dragon’s Den. She is really pro small business and open to working with young entrepreneurs. She’s made a place for


females in the entrepreneurial business area, and is constantly

vations and Technology Club, but I think they are rebranding

reaching out to help other entrepreneurs reach their dreams –

themselves to be called Startup Laurier, is one I just learned of

I think that’s amazing.

that I definitely want to check out in September.

If you were to hire someone what

What is your biggest piece of advice

would make an ideal candidate?

for budding entrepreneurs?

An out of the box thinker, a self-starter and someone who

Take risks. I think that the worst thing you can do is to not

knows how to have a good time while they work. Laurier

take risks. If they are carefully calculated they will create an

would be the first place I look if I were to hire someone.

opportunity for you to learn, be successful, and have more fun in everything you do.

For more information check out


e.a. jewelry

2ND YEAR, BA GLOBAL STUDIES; BUSINESS MANAGEMENT OPTION Tell me a bit about your business. What does it contribute to the community? e.a. jewelry is the future to sustainable aid in small African communities, specifically Rwanda. It is not a charity, it is a business – a business that will empower women in fair trade employment while supplying the North American market with trendy, handmade jewelry and accessories made from native dried grasses and banana leaves.

How much are you involved in day-today up keep of the business/website? At the moment I am in the development process of my business, but I plan to launch in early 2014. As the sole proprietor, all development tasks have been up to me; however, I have generous friends and family who have assisted me along the way. With work and being a full time university student I don’t find time to run the business – I make time.

What inspired you to start it? Rwanda, East Africa is known as the ‘land of a thousand hills’, with lush green mountains and beautiful lakes, but the country is also known for the devastating genocide that

Was there a particular organization or club at Laurier that helped you start it? In first year I was Alumni Relations executive with The Link. We connected past, present and future students of Laurier together through conferences, socials and networking events. The tips I learned from some of those events were huge in


helping me to make meaningful connections. The Laurier Inno-

What would you look for in an ideal candidate? They must show the passion and spark in what they do –

killed almost a million people back in 1994. Today, they have

without it, I would tell them to go find it then come back. Once

a stable government, and is considered one of the safest

they find it, and if it will help develop my business, then they

countries in East Africa. This was the place I called home for three months last year, where I worked and lived alongside the women in the community. These female artisans are

would qualify as a possible candidate.

undervalued and have skills that remain unknown to the rest

Is there any way for students at Lauri-

of the world. They have the potential to be income providers,

er to get involved?

independent, empowered, business partners. These women were the inspiration behind e.a. jewelry.

For sure! If anyone is interested contact me by email at


Was there a particular organization or

Who is your business/entrepreneurial

What’s your top piece of advice for

club at Laurier that helped you start

role model?

budding entrepreneurs?


Mark Zuckerberg usually comes to mind when I’m asked

Just do it. So many people tell me about their great ideas

this question. He had a vision which he quickly put into action,

but never go ahead with them, because they’re not “ready”

ship Competition, which is held annually for students looking

and wasn’t afraid to face criticism in order to stick with that

yet. You’ll never be ready. Just have an idea of where you

for some cash and resources to assist their start-up venture.

vision until the end. I’d also love to meet Tim Ferriss, the author

want to go, and you’ll find a way to get there. Use the resourc-

I entered the competition and ended up winning third place!

of the 4-Hour Work Week. He has a much different approach

es you have available to you at Laurier, with clubs or from

The knowledge and networking experience I gained as a com-

to business, learning, and just life in general.

within your network of friends. Also, don’t do it alone. Having

In my BU111 class I heard about the Laurier Entrepreneur-

a team of people will make your idea better, it’ll allow you to

petitor was amazing - I can’t thank the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship, LITC and SIFE Laurier enough for hosting the

How much are you involved in day-to-

competition that gave me the push to start this business.

What is your top piece of advice for budding entrepreneur? Stick around those that encourage, support and reassure you that things are possible - these people truly want you to succeed. As for those with negative attitudes? Use that negative energy to fuel your drive to prove them wrong. Always be confident in your business because if you aren’t, others won’t either. I once heard that an entrepreneur has to be pretty crazy to be starting a business. And that’s about right! You come to realize pretty early on that this “craziness” is what keeps you going, helping you overcome barriers while developing your business.



Hawk Swap

day up keep of the business/website? It depends on the season, but the first 3 weeks of the fall

Tell me a bit about your business.

and winter semesters are huge because that’s when every-

What does it contribute to the local

one’s looking to buy and sell textbooks. Since HawkSwap isn’t


grow faster, it’ll be more fun, and it’ll keep you motivated.

For more information check out www. or follow Sunny’s blog at

‘mass-scale’ at Laurier, it takes some work in order to get the word out. That being said, since it’s built on such a social plat-

HawkSwap is an online social exchange for Laurier stu-

form, each semester has seen a huge growth in traffic, and

dents. Students are able to buy & sell textbooks, and browse

that’s made my job a little bit easier. Much of my time now is

rental listings or put up their own sublet listings. Think kijiji, but

spent trying to expand and become more than just a textbook

specifically for Laurier. There is also a blog component where

exchange, for example the blog function.

students can sign up to have their own blog and use HawkSwap as a platform. This allows them to leverage the HawkSwap network and share their tips and resources with other

If you were to hire someone what

Laurier students, without having to worry about any technical

would you look for in an ideal candi-


date? A vision and a drive. If they’re able to see what this thing

What inspired you to start it? Paying $1000 a semester for textbooks! There were people, who had the book I needed, and they were willing to sell

might look like 1-5 years down the road, and possess the drive to actually help get it there, then that’s all you can ask for really.

at 50-60% of the retail price, but there was no easy way of actually connecting with them. The same thing happened at

Is there any way for Laurier students

the end of the semester; I’d have a pile of books but didn’t

to get involved?

know how to find the people who wanted them.

Definitely - please! Email me at or message me on Facebook.




AMG GUIDE TO FIRST YEAR BUSINESS BU111 Introduction to Business Organization 3 lecture hours, 1.5 lab hours

What You Will Be Learning

verbal and written communication skills in a business context, learn how

tive leader and team-player.

with a focus on their impact on business decisions.

New Venture, Individual Pitch, DISC & EQi reflection

Topics Include


lab where students develop crucial skills for success in university and

An important tip from professor Laura Allan is to treat the course outline as the bible for this course. Write down every crucial date on a large 4

in a professional environment such as research, writing, teamwork, and

month calendar and plan ahead.

individual and group presentation skills.


Major Components

Introduction to Financial Accounting

New Venture, Individual Memo Writing Assignment, group case

3 lecture hours


What You Will Be Learning

Professor Leanne Hagarty says in order to succeed in this course, you

This course highlights challenges in financial reporting standards and

need to work hard and manage your time effectively. Concentrate,

focuses on the income statements, balance sheets and financial state-

focus, actively engage your learning in lectures through participation,

ments. Topics include Reporting and Interpreting Cash Flows, determin-

and contribute meaningfully in group activities and tasks.


ing the cost of sales and inventory, including an emphasis on financial statement line items such as plant, property and equipment. You will be required to create income and financial statements, and analyze the

Functional Areas of the Organization

implications of each.

3 lecture hours, 1.5 lab hours

Major Components

What You Will Be Learning

Online assignment. Midterm and Final exam.

The main learning objective from a content standpoint is for the students to understand the integrative nature of business and how decisions in



each functional area affect one another. You will learn how to build an

This course is a new requirement for first year business students. This is

effective business model, how to create and communicate a message

because it highlights the essential concepts required to progress in a

that will 'stick' and how to forecast demand for a product vs banking

career in accounting. In this course, the homework questions are highly

on market 'potential'. You will also learn about sustainable business

reflective of the midterm and exam materials. There will be inclass take

practices, how to manage your debt and why human resources is an

up of the homework, so doing it ahead of time will act as a review and

important asset for business. This course covers soft-skills in business,

aid in your learning.

where students learn how their ability to understand and manage their


to think critically, how to negotiate effectively, and how to be an effec-

Major Components

ic, social, and technological factors. BU111 includes a required weekly


emotions affects their success in business. Students learn to build their

This course highlights challenges in the external business environment

Competitive analysis, and an in-depth examination of political, econom-


By: Maria Mustansir




S B E A T R I U M . C O M


ODay 2013