What does it mean to be a leader when everyone is connected online?
When we are connected online, we lack that ‘touch-point’ of seeing each other on campus, in the DeGroote School of Business lobby, or the ability to meet up for coffee. I think it is super important to maintain open and frequent communication with the people that you are leading. I try to check-in with my teams to create a community-oriented environment that McMaster and DeGroote are so proud to have. Whether we are in-person or online, we try very hard to create this community. We need to make sure that we do not lose touch because we are still a community even though we are interacting through our screens. I also try to push those I lead to prioritize their own well-being, especially now. In between lectures and extracurriculars, I take the time to do things that make me happy, like going for a walk or spending time with family. Doing these things will help you re-charge, feel more energized and passionate about the things you are doing within the school community.
What advice would you give to your peers or to incoming students?
Throughout university, whether that be in a virtual setting or on campus, my best advice is to try to find something outside of the classroom that you are really passionate about. My extracurriculars have completely enhanced my undergraduate experience. I would have had a much different experience had I not gotten involved in the McMaster and DeGroote communities.
By finding that ‘something’ that you are really passionate about, you will feel more motivated to get up every day, attend class, and get involved! When we are online, there does not seem to be much to look forward to, like walking on campus or meeting people in person. However, getting involved outside of class is an integral part of staying connected with fellow students and faculty. It often complements your studies and makes you a more well-rounded person.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
My focus at DeGroote is accounting, and I hope to pursue my CPA designation in the future. I have secured a full-time job at KPMG, so that is where I see myself for the next few years. I am really excited to pursue a career in accounting. I think it matches up well with the different parts of me, whether with the ‘logical reasoning’ and ‘liking numbers’ side or by helping people improve their businesses. Besides that, I have been involved with extracurriculars and leadership since high school. I hope that I can continue that either in my workplace or within my community. I think these activities are vital in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.