The Graduate Business Council recently shared its Buddy Program winners for Fall term. The buddy program is an important initiative to improve the transition experience for international students coming to Schulich by connecting them with a current student.

We caught up with the winners and their nominating buddies to share some additional details about what makes this program so rewarding- for both parties.

Winner: Zoilo Carrillo, MBA candidate 2017
Nominated by Ralph Menezes, MBA candidate 2018

Ralph: I think the Buddy Program is a great one which helps international students who are often apprehensive when moving to a new country. I chose to seek a buddy in Toronto to get the best out of my experience in Schulich and Canada right from Day 1. Zoilo was appointed as my buddy around mid-July this year. He addressed my doubts about campus life, amenities, my driver’s license and more. I also got some helpful insights based on his experience at Schulich in the past year.

More than the information, I appreciated the promptness and detail of his responses. Within the first few days of moving onto campus, in mid-August, he wrote to me offering to take me out to lunch and show me around. We went to Harborfront for drinks and it was great putting a face to the name I was in touch with all along.
two male students standing with arms around shoulders, smiling

Zoilo: I always enjoy helping others in whatever capacity I can offer. Before attending Schulich, I was fortunate to connect with a first year student who was able to answer my questions about my upcoming new adventure. After my first year at Schulich, I thought it was my turn to give back, so I joined the buddy program in order to provide incoming international students with my insights about life in Toronto.

As an international student myself, I know living in a new country may be challenging, and good advice is always appreciated. The buddy program was a rewarding experience for me because it’s a great opportunity to meet people out of the classroom in a relaxed environment.

Winner:  Rahul Makija, MBA candidate 2017
Nominated by Ankita Mahajan, MBA candidate 2018

Ankita: Before coming to Canada, I wanted to know about student life at Schulich and life in Toronto so that my transition from India to Canada would be smooth. This was the reason I signed up for the Buddy Program. It’s a great initiative by the GBC, as it provides a friendly environment for incoming students to clear their queries. My buddy Rahul patiently replied to all of my questions, and this ultimately helped me to settle in quickly.

 Rahul: When I first came to Schulich and heard about the Buddy Program, I quickly enrolled in it. My buddy not only helped me at the time, but also demonstrated how I can help someone else and give back to the Schulich community. So, in my second year, I enrolled in the Buddy program as it was a great platform to share my experiences and help the new students coming to Schulich. My goal is to help them have a great and stress-free experience so that they can spend more time celebrating their acceptance to Schulich rather than spending their time worrying about migrating to another country. It was also a big opportunity to meet and connect with new people.