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 Azmin Gowa, MBA Candidate

Part 1: Quick Stats

Age: 28

Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Undergraduate School and Degree: NAIT, Bachelor of Business Administration, CMA Designation

Community Work and Leadership Roles: 2016 MBA Games Volunteer, VP Communications for the Case Analysis Club, Director of Finance for the Supply Chain and Operations Management Club

Fun Fact: I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and as amazing as Schulich was, I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts Acceptance Letter.

Part 2: Business Education & Achievements

Q: Where did you work before coming to Schulich?
I worked in the social sector at The Good Samaritan Society. My role was a blend of process improvement, change management and accounting. I’ve also been working throughout my MBA at Native Child and Family Services of Toronto as a Senior Accountant.

Q: Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during your MBA?
Participating in the 2017 MBA Games and placing second! Experiencing such diversity and sportsmanship across the nation was incredible. Talia Mohammed and I also teamed up to organize an SCOMC event with Amazon about equality in the workplace. It was the first of its kind and we hope it gets carried forward next year.

Q: What are your long-term professional goals?
A: I want to be an entrepreneur of a company with a social cause. I would also like to teach at some point in my life at the post-secondary level.

Q: What did you enjoy most about Schulich? 
A: The friends I’ve made here are incredible, some of whom feel like family now. It’s also been a safe space for me to take risks and try new things.

Q: What was the most challenging thing about your MBA? 
A: It’s been difficult to balance everything. Acclimation to the city, the course work, extracurricular involvement, networking, volunteering and maintaining relationships was no small feat.

Q: Who would you most want to thank for your success?
A: My family. They’ve been cheering me on from Edmonton throughout this entire experience. It wouldn’t have been the same without their support.

Part 3: Fill in the Blank…

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…”
I was at work crunching numbers and realized I wanted to make a bigger impact. I knew that in order to do this, I needed to diversify my skills. I chose the MBA to help me do so.

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would have…”
Azmin: …
gotten a Change Management certification and pursued a role in change management consulting.

Part 4: Fast Favourites

  • Book: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It helped me learn to have faith in my decisions.

  • Movie: the entire Harry Potter series

  • Musical performer: Coldplay

  • Schulich professor: I can’t pick just one. There were three that really stood out for me. Mike Valente (Business Sustainability) for his passion for the subject. His class is the reason I majored in Business Sustainability. Ellen Auster (Strategic Capabilities Development) for her authenticity, which helped me get out of my comfort zone. Gary Miller (Managing Change) for his unique teaching style that created a risk-free and fun learning environment.

  • Schulich courses: Business Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and New Firm Creation, Managing Change, Creativity and Innovation. The classes I enjoyed the most were the ones that forced me away from my traditional, analytical thinking. They helped me see things in a different light and challenged me to think creatively

Stay tuned for more profiles of the Schulich class of 2017!