Promoting Individual Achievement
THEEXECUTIVEMAGAZINE Summer Edition | Vol. 5 Issue 5
WEEDCE | AIESEC | Break Accounting Opportunities
Inside This Issue Cover Story
Creating Opportunities for Tomorrowâ€™s Business Leaders |p. 7 By Sabrina DeMarco, Executive Director, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development Our guest writer comes from an organization gives people the chance to start up their own business. This article looks at what you can do if you want to make that dream a reality. Featured Article
SIFE Nationals: There and Back Again |p. 10
By Jason Rankin As SIFE Windsor returns from the ACE National Competition, our interview with current SIFE president Mohamed Murtadi about what his game plan is for the upcoming World Expo Student Life
Getting to Know AIESEC |p. 12
By Catherine Racicot Interested in travelling around the world for a business internship? Read on to see how you can make that dream a reality. Student Life
Experience Accounting: Internships and Co-op |p. 14 By Archis Deshpande Think itâ€™s impossible to land a successful job in the accounting field? Read as two students talk about how they got hired at two different major accounting firms. Edtorial
Green Corridor |p. 17 By Ariel Brothman
Stories from SIFE
The City Thrive Initiative |p. 20
By Jeffrey Wayow, Foad Karimian and Jason Reding Read as how the first set of CityThrive participants are in a much better employed state because of this initiative.
Connect With Us firstname.lastname@example.org @theExecMag www.sifewindsor.com/executive
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Letter from the Editor
THEEXECUTIVEMAGAZINE 2012 Publication Staff
Project Manager Jeffrey Wayow
Editor-In-Chief Jason Rankin
Jaclyn Klapowich Jessica Knapp Rebecca Taylor
Dear Reader, Thank you for your interest in our magazine! Summer opens the doors of opportunity. The sun breaks out of hiding, shinning as students fly from school. Say you’re one of those students – what do you do with your freedom? Maybe you take up an internship, getting one step closer to your career goal. Maybe it’s working a job, saving up for the school year to come. Maybe there’s some amazing program that can take you to new places. Or maybe it’s back to school and trying something new. Summer is the time of adventure.
That’s the focus here: opportunity! We have Ariel Brothman telling an exciting tale about her experience with the Green Corridor course. Catherine Racciot talks about her experiSabina DeMarco, Executive Director (WEEDC) ence with AIESEC last summer, which flew her to India for two months. We have a story about Jason Rastien and his accounting internship with Pricewaterhouse Coopers. There Writers Ariel Brothman is also have an article from Sabrina DeMarco, Executive Director of the Small Business Archis Deshpande Centre for the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, about student entreCatherine Racioct preneurships and how you can start with one now. Special Guest Writer
Foad Karimian Jason Reding Jason Rankin Jeffrey Wayow
Graphic Designers Brooke Lee Benjamin Iannetta John LoMascolo Shoban Gnanaswaran
David Durocher Thomas Rinshed Qin Tu
If you are interested in contributing to the magazine, please contact us: email@example.com. If you have any comments on how to improve the magazine, please leave your feedback in the comments section at sifewindsor.com/executive. Translated versions of the magazine can be found under the same link. Sincerely, Jason Rankin Editor-in-chief
The Executive Magazine is a venture put forth by SIFE Windsor to help promote individual achievement through entrepreneurship.
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WindsorEssex Small Business Centre: Creating Opportunities for Tomorrow’s Business Leaders
Ever wanted to start your own business? Now you can! Written By Sabrina DeMarco, Executive Director, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development
tevan Ljuljdurovic was a second year Computer Science student at the University of Windsor when he began his journey as a successful entrepreneur. When Ljuljdurovic first started his studies, he had no idea where it would lead him, but inspired by an opportunity to develop new technology and assisted by an award from the Summer Company program in 2008, he began offering custom software and web solutions to clients. Today, Ljuljdurovic operates a growing software engineering firm called Navetz, using the skills he learned while still a university student. Ljuljdurovic is just one of many students who discover the rewards of entrepreneurship during their post-secondary school years. If you’re a college or university student currently looking for a good summer job, you don’t need me to tell you that it’s tough out there.
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One great option students shouldn’t overlook is entrepreneurship. Starting your own business can be a lot more fun and rewarding than slugging it out in a boring minimum wage job. You’ll not only earn money and enjoy the satisfaction of being your own boss, but will develop critical business and leadership skills which will make you far more employable even if you decide to pursue a traditional career path in the future. Whatever your talents, experience, age or funds available, you can be your own boss — now or in the future – all you really need is a good idea and willingness to take the time to develop it. The Small Business Centre is here to help and can support you by providing you the necessary information, resources, and tools to help you get started! This is what we do. Each and every day our offices support, inspire and guide people from across the Region to fulfill their dreams of turning their idea – their vision and passion of starting a new business into a reality. Operating locally through the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC) as a main pillar of economic and community development in partnership with the Ontario government, the Small Business Centre is the leading source for small business information, guidance and professional advice on starting
and operating a small business in the region. Services and programs are easily accessible by visiting our satellite office in the Town of Kingsville or our main office conveniently located on the University of Windsor campus in the Centre for Engineering Innovation. A wide variety of support services and programs are offered on a regular basis at absolutely no cost. If you are interested in exploring entrepreneurship we encourage you to stop in and speak with our team or visit us online to find out about upcoming business workshops and services that are high in demand. Last year alone we responded to nearly 15,000 small business related inquiries and provided 900 one-on-one consultations to new and existing business owners across the region. Additionally, we offered over 70 interactive workshops on a variety of business topics ranging from bookkeeping to writing a business plan to marketing and social media. In an economy such as ours which is dominated by small business, it is very important to for youth to consider entrepreneurship as a career, and to give them a chance to experience it firsthand while they are young, so they are better prepared to take on the challenge when they are finished school. This is the aim of the Summer Company program, a province wide initiative, which is locally coordinated and presented by the Small Business Centre in partnership with the Ontario gov-
ernment. Launched in 2001, the program has grown in new business owners and inspire them to continue to popularity over the last twelve years as more and more pursue their entrepreneurship potential just like Stevan young people become interested in exploring this excit- Ljuljdurovic. ing opportunity. Sabrina DeMarco is the This year, nine students in our region between the ages Executive Director of of 15 and 29 are enrolled in the program and will rethe Small Business Cenceive up to $3,000 to start and operate their own busitre for the WindsorEssex ness for the summer. In addition, they will receive busiEconomic Development ness training as well as ongoing coaching and guidance Corporation. The Small from the Small Business Centre along with a group of Business Centre offers a variety of resources and mentors â€“ experienced business professionals willing programs to support small business and entrepreto share their time and expertise. The list of this yearâ€™s neurship development throughout the region. The Summer Company ventures includes a biodiesel busiCentre is also committed to promoting entrepreness, food concession store, entertainment company, neurship as a viable career option and encouraging landscape services, manufacturer/retailer of natural the entrepreneurial spirit and skills of students and body products and swimming and horseback riding lesyoung adults. sons. Although these businesses are as diverse as their owners, what they have in common is the energy and dedication to make their business ventures successful. Website: www.windsoressexsmallbusiness.com And of course we are excited to help jumpstart these
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SIFE NATIONALS: THERE AND BACK AGAIN As SIFE Windsor returns from the ACE National Competition, what are their next steps for the World Expo? Written By Jason Rankin
his May, SIFE Windsor participated in the 2012 Regional Exposition, after having nailed the regionals, and is already planning to improve next year â€“ their former president, Emilie Cushman, came out with two awards.
After flying out east and competing in Calgary for the nationals, SIFE Windsor achieved second runner up in the TD Entrepreneurial Challenge. Overall, they placed in the top 20. Cushman came out with HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow Award and HSBC Woman Leader of the Year. Now, what is this competition?
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“Throughout the year we run all of our projects to help build up the city of Windsor,” said Mohamed Murtadi, current president of SIFE Windsor. “At the end of the year, all the teams across Canada go to present what they’ve done throughout the year in front of a panel of CEOs, CFOs, and a bunch of executives.” The panel can be made up of people from Walmart, KPMG, Scotia Bank, TD, and other corporations. The panel judges what the groups have done and how sustainable they are. Every school competes against each other. This year it was among the categories of: TD Entrepreneurial Challenge, Capital One Financial Education Challenge, and Scotiabank Go Green Challenge. “It’s a way for us to show what we’ve done as well as getting an opportunity to network with all these big shots and possibly link us with them and so on and so forth.” Awards can be money, plaques, or sponsorships. The main prize of the nationals is the cash prize and the cup – and the opportunity to represent Canada in the world cup. “We usually place top 5, but this year we placed top 20,” said Murtadi. “What we’re doing now is looking at presentations that have been done in the past year – there’s the presentation at the world expo – and mould ourselves into a team that can present at the high calibre the world expects.” Murtadi feels that the technical side of this year’s presentation was the team’s shortcoming. SIFE Windsor is looking for technical oriented people – people who can build websites and presentations and also throw in a little graphical design flair – to help bolster next year’s presentation.
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The international platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential Written By Catherine Racicot
any people, both students and businesses around this city, are unaware of the existence of AIESEC, so today I’ll be taking this opportunity to briefly introduce you to this international student-run organization. AIESEC (“eye-sec”) is presently the world’s largest student-run organization that is present in 110 countries around the world. At the core of AIESEC are our two international internship programs, the Global Internship Program and the Global Community Development Program. It is important to note that AIESEC internships are not school-education internships, but rather work internships. The two programs can be differentiated by their respective objectives. For the Global Internship Program, the main focus is professional development. That said, internships that would be categorized in this THEEXECUTIVEMAGAZINE
sector would include business-management (marketing, accounting, finance, human resources, etc.) and technical (computer design, various types of engineering, etc.) internships. With these internships, the exchange participant would get the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills that they have learned in school to a job within an organization – providing them a professional environment for them to exercise their skills. The Global Community Development Program is a voluntary humanitarian initiative aiming to provide individuals with international cultural exposure and to raise awareness and open minds to global diversity. Opportunities under this program fall under the developmental and educational streams.
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Developmental internships allow participants to engage with developing communities abroad to help raise awareness of global social issues including HIV/AIDS, environmental issues, and the importance of education. Educational internships provide our exchange participants the chance to lead as a teacher in an informal classroom environment where they can be teaching a group of children or adults English. Here’s what one of our past outgoing exchange participants had to say about her Global Community Development Program experience in India during the summer of 2011! -- My name’s Catherine Racicot and last summer (Summer 2011) I spent two months in India, having the most inspiring and life changing experience of my life! I’ve always wanted to have an experience abroad, yet I never really knew how to go about it, nor did I even have the courage to try and find out. However, as fate would have it, I discovered AIESEC, which is the largest student organization that enables young adults to engage themselves in international exchange programs. That’s about the time when everything in my life began to change. I chose to do an internship in India, doing research and educating the local people on the subject of drug abuse and rehabilitation. The project in itself was an amazing opportunity for personal and professional growth, but the entire trip as a whole was absolutely life changing! This exchange program was the very first time I’d ever left Canada, and it truly turned my whole life upside down. Upon arrival I was greeted by culture shock, jet lag, and language barriers, but after about a week of adjustment, India became my new home. I knew this experience would have some sort of incredible impact on me, but I never anticipated falling in love with the country the way I did; the culture, the people, the food, and the colours! I was surrounded by pure beauty everywhere I went. The day I had to leave and say good-bye was the most heart-breaking moment in my life. I never knew how attached I could get in such a short period of time, nor THEEXECUTIVEMAGAZINE
did I realize how fast two months can really fly by! Now that the time has come and gone, it already feels like the entire experience was a lifetime ago. Going abroad and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone into such an unknown situation allowed me to rediscover myself and grow in ways that many people can’t understand, and that I hadn’t even known was possible. So if you’re reading this and the notion of going abroad is something that really sparks an interest, my advice to you is to find your inspiration and motivation to take the opportunity to go on an international internship! It will be a life-changing experience and an investment in yourself that you will never regret! Catherine Racicot, BA Social Work (2012) For more information about AIESEC and our internship opportunities, please visit our website at www.aiesec.ca/windsor and click, “Join AIESEC”
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Experience Accounting: Internships and Co-op Getting a job at a successful company is not as difficult as it seems Written By Archis Deshpande
ndividual Experience One: Jason Bastien is a fourth year accounting student who is pursuing a Chartered Accountant (CA) designation. He will be beginning his last co-op work term with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), an accounting firm with offices worldwide (one of the ‘Big Four Firms’), this coming winter term.
Jason got his start with PwC through the co-op program at the University of Windsor. He went through the co-op program hiring process and secured an interview with PwC. Jason also attended recruiting days like CA Night hosted every year, becoming familiar with the various recruiters. Jason cities this familiarity with the recruiters as a primary factor that contributed THEEXECUTIVEMAGAZINE
to him eventually getting his co-op placement. He has now served two co-op work terms with PwC, and will also be finishing up his co-op placements with PwC this coming winter term.
The Hiring process and on the job experience:
The first step in Jason Bastien’s hiring process was the interview. According to Jason Bastien, he was primarily asked behavioural and situational questions. The main qualities that employers look for in these interviews, according to Jason Bastien , are how well you are able to communicate and how many transferable skills you have from previous experiences, extracurricular or previous employment. After he was hired he underwent a few weeks of training and was then put an audit July 2012 | 14
assignment. Jason Bastien, on PwC’s support in terms of training for the writing of the three exams one has to write to receive a CA designation. “The firms not only offer courses and learning modules to help you train, but you also get advice from co workers who have been or recently been through the exam process themselves. This proves invaluable in terms of getting tips for besting the challenging exam process while getting moral support and guidance through it.”
a conversation about a recent Myth Busters episode (a television show), and was able to find common ground. Jason Reding explained that firms do not expect new candidates to possess the vast technical knowledge and skill of a well-rounded Chartered Accountant, at least not at the beginning of their careers. He went on to explain that most firms have an established training processes which will ultimately mould you into a Chartered Accountant, but they want to make sure that you are a proper fit for their firm. Going through the CA process takes hard work, long hours, and the ability to work well Advice for students: with your peers and betters. Jason Bastien advises students to begin looking into Once hired Jason Reding went through a few weeks of what designation or concentration they want to purtraining and in office work before being assigned to an sue as early as possible. If they are interested in a CA audit client. designation, he highly recommends attending CA night every year, even if one is not looking for a job or an in- Advice for students: ternship. He has found that while attending school, the Jason Reding was also able give some advice about how biggest mistake students make is that they decide too to be successful when working in a firm. “Your employlate what they want to do and are thus generally have to ers want you to ask questions about issues that you are face setbacks in terms of time. familiar with, but at the same time self learning plays a big part when employed there. There are a variety of ndividual Experience Two: modules and exercises’ available to employees. These Jason Reding is a fourth year accounting student will not only improve your own experience during your who is pursuing his CA designation. He currently in internship, but at the same time it will also show your the midst of his second summer internship at Deloitte, employers that you are willing to take the initiative to another of the ‘Big Four’ with offices worldwide. become better at your job.”” Jason advises students to get involved in extracurricular The Start: activities in school as early as possible; he mentions that Jason Reding was a second year business student at the he has seen too many instances where a student with Odette of Business at the University of Windsor when high grades is unable to get an job because they did not he got his start at Deloitte. When asked how he got his take the time to develop their ‘soft skills’ which are apstart, Jason Reding’s response was simple, he browsed plicable to their desired job. However, at the same time the University of Windsor’s job portal and came across he emphasises the importance of doing well in school an opening for an entry level accounting position. Jason because good grades are one of the primary criteria Reding was unsure at the time whether or not he wantemployers look at during the initial screening stage of ed to pursue a career in accounting, but he decided to the hiring process. He also advised students to plan out apply none-the-less. The result, Jason ended up getting their courses while looking to complete the necessary a call back resulting in an interview with local Deloitte courses for a CA designation, as he is having to ‘catch partners, landing the internship, and a career. It pays to up’ on required CA courses during the summer term try new things! as he began his planning process later into his univerHiring process and on the job expe- sity career. Jason Reding finds that the career advisors in the Odette Career and Placement Service (OCAPS), rience: located on the second floor of the Odette Building at the The interview was of a non-technical nature, it was deUniversity of Windsor are able to provide great insights signed to assess the soft skills Jason Reding had, and uland help with the planning of one’s career. timately to determine if he was a fit for the firm. One of his key advantages in the interview was his ability to make small talk. For example, to break the ice, he began
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“Heart of Gold” Illustration by Brooke Lee
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The Green Corridor
Written by Ariel Brothman
A Non-Profit organization is making their community a better place
ave you ever heard of a car that uses solar power as part of a self-sufficient plant-watering process? How about a green wall that absorbs urban pollution while acting as a billboard for advertising? Students created and developed these ideas and made them realities through the University of Windsor’s Visual Arts course called Green Corridor. Green Corridor is also a non-profit organization, whose primary goal is to make Windsor’s West End more attractive and livable through creative sustainable living techniques. Its ability to function relies on instilling work ethics and strategies that people can use in postuniversity environments. While it is not considered a practicum course, it gives students an idea of the realities of many work environments. “The Green Corridor has always offered a really compelling setting in which to learn’ not only about the intersections of urban design, environmentalism, and public art, but also very real skill acquisition in collaboTHEEXECUTIVEMAGAZINE
ration and interdisciplinary communication,” says one of the course’s founders, Justin Langlois, a Visual Arts instructor at the University and member of Windsor’s Broken City Lab. Developed by Langlois and Toronto-based artist Noel Harding, the course has seen many successful projects like the foot path over Huron Line and the Open Corridor Festival in September 2009, wherein Huron Line temporarily acted as an outdoor arts arena, displaying “green” art, performances, and events. However, the course teaches students about more than creativity. It also provides students the opportunity to have experiences similar to those that are commonly found in real work environments: time management, customer satisfaction, networking, the importance of deadlines, and many more. “Students are put into teams and tasked with interfacing with community stakeholders, businesses, and professional artists,” says Langlois. July 2012 | 17
“Throughout the semester, these teams work within the confines of real-world schedules and deadlines, and ultimately learn a creative and collaborative approach to problem solving and thinking outside of the box.” During the first lecture, students learn that they will either begin planning for a new project or work on a project that a group from a previous session started. Subsequent lessons prompt students to think about the concept of ‘art’ in a new way. The projects that have come out of the Green Corridor studio have been anything but conventional, and therefore required an unconventional way of critical thinking about new ways to approach the subjects of art, sustainable living, and community outreach. Now, the Green Corridor is undergoing changes as Langlois passes the reins to Architecture professor Dorian Moore, and the location of interest changes from Huron Line to University Avenue. If you walk down University Avenue, you will notice many empty buildings, an unkempt park, and empty concrete spaces. Part of Moore’s job is to think about urban planning, so it’s no surprise that students are also being asked to use existing urban space when planning their projects.
“I think the people who care for the environment are optimistic and have a heart full of caring,” says Cai of the Green Corridor course. “In other courses, students worry about their assignments, their marks. In here, they care about the project, not the marks.” Like Cai, some students have found a passion for the environment from this course. Others feel that they “have a special connection with Windsor from this course,” as Xu says, and other students have expressed excitement over the course as a possible means to initiating Windsor’s return to economic success. The whole point of the course, in any case, is to come out with life lessons, as well as confidence in your own ability. “One of the key things that I hope the students achieve is the sense of satisfaction that comes through the process of ‘creating’ something, whether that something is a set of policies, a design standard or an actual prototype,” says Moore. “This process can be both fun and rewarding if the requisite effort is put in.”
“The teams are also encouraged to work with community partners to assist in the realization of their projects,” says Moore. “These projects address community needs by focusing on the public policy development process, reuse of vacant lots and buildings, role of programming events for urban space, art and environmental design in public spaces, community leadership and engagement, and environmental stewardship.” And that’s exactly what students are doing this semester. Almost half of the groups from this past Intersession have designed projects that make use of existing resources, including a new pub that thrives on sustainable technique, the transformation of a parking lot into a pollutant-absorbing advertising space, and the re-design of an abandoned park. Qian Cai and Eric Xu, students currently enrolled in Green Corridor, are working on the advertising project, and have noticed not only the real-life implications of the course, but also the personal connection with the city as well as the motivation it gives its students. THEEXECUTIVEMAGAZINE
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Stories from SIFE
The City Thrive Initiative
A proud moment for City Thrive as the First Set of Graduates have come into their own. Written By Jeffrey Wayow, Foad Karimian and Jason Reding
indsor has historically been known as a manufacturing powerhouse in Canada which has unfortunately come at the expense of entrepreneurship. Due to the general mentality of the Windsor-Essex community, entrepreneurship was not considered as a viable option for sustainable employment for generations. However one individual of the 2012 City Thrive Graduation noted, “[o]ne needs to gain knowledge and experience until they die,” Hussein Shah. City Thrive, an initiative founded by Students In Free Enterprise, Windsor Chapter (SIFE), in partnership with City of Windsor started with the hope of taking a select group of individuals on social assistance and transforming them into successful entrepreneurs. THEEXECUTIVEMAGAZINE
“There was nothing to offer them [the clients] but now there is something to offer them.” Terri Belcoure Employment Case Worker, Self-Employment Division Beginning in February we took on five clients coming from a variety of qualifications and partnered them with a City Thrive mentor to teach them how to create business reports (business plans, marketing plans, financial statements and industry analysis) and plan for future operations. To achieve the aforementioned, the City Thrive consultants implemented both interactive and lecture style workshops. In addition to the workshops, the consultants met weekly to debrief the clients and instruct them on how to improve their various reJuly 2012 | 20
ports. “We recognized that we were limited to help people who are self employed.... no real support towards them in creating a business and helping them implement it. We were looking for community resources and that’s when we found SIFE” Mary Ellen Bernard Project Manager, City of Windsor On June 26, 2012, City Thrive graduated four of the five clients first taken on five months prior, with each receiving a certificate of completion (as pictured) and presented each client with an appropriate capital asset to be utilized in the furthering of their businesses (operating software, electronics, etc.). Each graduate is leaving the program with the basic skills necessary to continue their business into the future, however more importantly they are moving forward with the drive to be a successful entrepreneur creating their own oasis in a desert of a deteriorating manufacturing industry. Foad Karimian Vice-President, Project Management Jason Reding Project Manager, City Thrive Jeffrey Wayow Consultant, City Thrive
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