Students helping students with support from the business community

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: January 18, 2022 1:00 a.m.

Jess Goebel and Jake Nelson, co-captains of Hill JDC West
Jess Goebel and Jake Nelson, co-captains of Hill JDC West Hill JDC West

There are several student groups within the U of R’s Hill and Levene Schools of Business that help students obtain the necessary skills to succeed in the business world but also connect them with the business community. That same business community is what’s helping these groups fulfill their mission of supporting students.

"I feel that the U of R and the Hill School of Business have more programs and student engagement than a lot of other universities. I believe this is the result of sponsorship and support from different businesses within Regina, and extends beyond the school itself," said Jess Goebel, a co-captain of the Hill School of Business Jeux du Commerce West (JDC West) team. “It shows that the connections you make as a student aren't limited to university connections but are community wide. These connections are very important, especially in the field of business, as students search for jobs after school."

The Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan (CPA Saskatchewan) is one of several organizations that support the Hill and Levene Schools of Business through sponsorship and philanthropy. CPA Saskatchewan has made a five-year commitment totaling $325,000 to the University of Regina.

CPA Saskatchewan has been committed to investing in the University of Regina and sponsoring student initiatives since its inception in 2014. There are more than 5,000 CPA members and candidates in Saskatchewan, many of whom are graduates from the U of R. Through engagement and support from CPA Saskatchewan, students gain knowledge of what obtaining a CPA does for them, including giving them the tools they need to grow the career of their choice.  The organization supports undergrad students through the sponsorship of the Accounting Fellowship Dinner, ICBC Competition, UR Investing, Hill Case Competition, Enactus and funded two CPA Scholars, the CPA Scholar in Data Analytics, CPA Saskatchewan Indigenous Student Entrance Awards, the CPA Saskatchewan Indigenous Student Award, the CPA Research Impact Award, and the CPA Teaching Innovation Award.

“CPA Saskatchewan proudly continues our long history of supporting the Faculty of Business Administration students,” said Shelley Thiel, CEO of CPA Saskatchewan. “We are honoured to support students through funding scholarships, awards, and student-led initiatives which foster innovation, excellence, and leadership. Saskatchewan’s universities, and their students, are key to tackling the opportunities and challenges facing Saskatchewan, now and in the future.”

As part of their commitment to student success, CPA Saskatchewan also sponsors the Hill JDC West team.

JDC West is the largest university business competition in Western Canada; where students from schools throughout Canada compete in 10 business-related disciplines, debates, athletic competitions, and social challenges. Hill’s current team is made up of 52 business students and alumni, who competed virtually last weekend due to COVID-19.  

The Hill team placed third overall. They finished first in charity hours and the debate while they placed second in Athletics, Accounting and their introduction video received second place as well.

“The reason we were actually able to compete, the reason we are able to put on our classes throughout the semester, the reason we are able to have retreats and get the delegates in the face of judges and presenting every week – everything we do is completely reliant on that sponsorship,” said Jake Nelson, co-captain of the Hill JDC West team. “To have CPA Saskatchewan sponsoring JDC West shows our delegates that the program that they want to get involved with after school is something that is supporting them during school as well and it’s not two completely separate things, CPA Saskatchewan is actually supporting their education since the day they walked on campus.”

CPA Saskatchewan also sponsors events hosted by the Hill Business Students’ Society (BSS), including the H.I.L.L. (Honouring Integrity Legacy and Leadership) Business Dinner.

Each year, the H.I.L.L. Dinner is the marquee event that the Hill Business Student’s Society puts on. The formal event allows students to mix and mingle with members of the business community and make connections that could help them in their future careers.

Tyler
BSS President Tyler Fiorante
Photo credit: Tyler Fiorante

BSS President and Business Administration student Tyler Fiorante said because of COVID-19 they reduced and rebranded the event this year, calling it Cocktails and Connections, but the mission of the event was similar.

“Having the continuity with sponsors like CPA Saskatchewan, who have been such a big part of our success over the last number of years, has been key to making sure we are able to continue supporting students,” Fiorante said.

The support from CPA Saskatchewan has a significant impact on students, especially Fiorante, who has selected Accounting as his major. Having the support of an organization like CPA Saskatchewan is especially meaningful for him.

“For me, I’m very proud that I’m going into a program that’s about CPA Saskatchewan when they’re so interested and so keen on giving back to students and giving back to the community and it makes me that much more excited to be a part of that community once I convocate from the U of R,” he said.

Dean Gina Grandy recognizes the importance of such philanthropic activity in creating opportunities.   “The continued generosity of CPA Saskatchewan allows our students to engage in a variety of activities that otherwise simply would not be possible. The support for student awards and faculty research and teaching also demonstrates how our success is tied so closely to our community partners like CPA Saskatchewan.”