Canadian entrepreneur Dan Gherasimenco outscored thousands of other prospective students preparing for the GMAT last spring to win the Economist’s Brightest Minds MBA Scholarship Contest.

At 29, he’s already proven himself a top performer at the GMAT and a successful serial entrepreneur. Now he’ll add “Schulich MBA candidate” to his list of pursuits.

Brightest Minds is an international competition in which entrants are challenged to write The Economist’s GMAT simulation test. The competition offers an impressive prize: a $25,000 scholarship to attend a preeminent partner business school.

Dan, who claimed the winning title in May of this year, is a graduate of the Bachelor of Business Administration program at Trent University and will begin the full-time Schulich MBA program this fall. He credits his win to a combination of strategic, disciplined study and regular breaks for squash, ping-ping, swimming and cooking.

With a long list of of interests and hobbies, Dan is a natural entrepreneur. Now in the midst of launching his second venture in the fashion industry, he hopes his Schulich MBA will provide him with “efficient interpersonal and communication skills” needed for continued growth.

 “I was interested in Schulich for its vast choices of courses and specializations, experienced faculty and strategic positioning in  Canada’s business capital,” says Dan.

The most exciting part for Dan however, is the prospect of connecting with Schulich’s diverse community of fellow MBAs.

He notes, “Their presence in a program like Schulich’s in and of itself is not only a strong indicator of their business acumen, experience and leadership skills, but also a sign of their results-oriented and competitive personalities.”

These are traits that inspire Dan because he has seen their value at play in his business endeavors to date. His success has come from a grounded, balanced approach when it comes to executing.

“People overemphasize the importance of organizational skills, calculated risk, personal charisma, and sometimes even luck,” he cautions. “In doing so, they forget that none of these would get to matter even one bit without hard work, commitment and perseverance.”

Doubtless, Dan’s work ethic, creativity and resilience that come from his entrepreneurial pursuits will be a credit to him in the rigorous MBA program.

The Schulich School of Business extends its heartfelt congratulations and welcome as Dan joins the Schulich community this September.