As the days grow sunnier, it means many graduate students will begin the long march to the convocation stage later this year. Each year different students take on a number of leadership roles in the Schulich community that have a direct impact on the quality of experience each grad student has during their time here.
This interview series will provide insight about students’ extracurricular leadership, professional achievements, and personal reflections.
– Frank Paul, Graduate Business Council President, MBA candidate, 2017
Class of 2017 Profile: Meet Puneet Singh, IMBA Candidate
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Science focusing in Microbiology and Biology
Community Work and Leadership Roles: Director of Community and Alumni Relations for the Graduate Business Council, “Firestarter” at PDAC, the largest mining conference in the world, volunteer at Keiretsu Forum Canada, a real life “Dragon’s Den,” where entrepreneurs pitch their business idea to a group of potential investors.
Fun Fact: I met NBA legend Darryl Dawkins as a child.
Part 2: Business Education & Achievements
Q: Where did you work before coming to Schulich?
A: I spent my time as a hospital volunteer (mostly in the emergency department) for 8 years prior to my IMBA. The last job I had was as a Volunteer Supervisor.
Q: Where did you intern as part of your IMBA?
A: Since I’m in the IMBA program and born in Canada, I had the opportunity to work abroad – and it had to be somewhere I’d never lived or worked. I ended up doing my internship in India, as a Forex Trader at Punjab & Sind Bank.
Q: Which academic or extra-curricular achievement are you most proud of?
A: Choosing to complete the Global Mining Management specialization. Considering all of the knowledge I gained in the classroom through the specialization, how welcoming the industry is to students, and how big mining is here in Canada, I think I made the right choice. Finally, sitting across from the program director and former CEO Richard Ross and having him tell me that I’m getting it; that I will make it in the industry – that was a big deal to me.
Q: What did you enjoy most about Schulich?
A: How engaged students most students are. I’ve met some of the brightest, most dedicated people during my time here.
Q: What was the most challenging thing about your IMBA?
A: Finding time to network. For me the IMBA was a sprint to the finish line. However, the end goal still remains… which is to find a great job.
Q: What was the most surprising thing about your IMBA?
A: The most surprising thing to me was the amount of group work. In real life you have to be able to work in teams effectively. The program is structured in the right way to teach students how to effectively function in teams. You must learn by doing – and the copious amount of group work has taught me that.
Q: Who would you most want to thank for your success?
A: Minerva Cernea, Assistant Director, Internships and Corporate Services. She’s one of the reasons you choose the IMBA- and she’s always in your corner, trying to help you find a job. Also in my IMBA class, Yoobin (Grace) Hur, Alexander Pascual, and Sally Peter for supporting me through my two years at Schulich. To Professors Graeme Deans, Fred Lazar, Richard Ross, and Claudia Mueller: They were always willing to take time out of their schedules to sit with students and mentor them for the real world.
On my GBC Team: Alisa Bialas, Frank Paul, and Ashelyn Fung. These are the three people I knew I could count on the most if I needed help accomplishing any of my initiatives throughout the year. In the Schulich Punjabi Club: Lovejot Singh, Sakshi Kanda, Harprit Brar, and Shivanshu Monga. The most real club at Schulich that’s not really a club at Schulich. Definitely blessed to have met these four people last year.
Part 3: Fill in the Blank…
“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…”
Puneet: …my dad launched his first website (similar to autotrader.ca). It gained traction but never really attained large scale success because he had no time to pursue it by himself. Seeing the success of websites like kijiji in the next couple years always caused me to think about what could’ve been.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would have…”
Puneet: …probably moved to India and become a Bollywood star.
Part 4: Fast Favourites
Book: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Once I had gotten my offer letter from Schulich I read this book cover to cover. I wanted to know the story behind the man that made Apple what it is today. Definitely a must-read for anyone that wants to know about the true journey to success.
Movie: If you’re looking to get inspired on a Saturday night go watch The Pursuit of Happyness
Musical performer: Diljit Dosanjh
Schulich professor: Tie: Graeme Deans and Richard Ross. Thank-you Graeme, for taking the time to sit down with me and give me career advice. Thank you Richard, for giving me the knowledge and expertise to enter the mining industry.
Schulich courses: Integrative Management Experiences, Strategy and Value Creation in Mining, Financial Strategies in Mining, and Advanced Corporate Finance.
Stay tuned for more profiles of the Schulich class of 2017!