BBA (Management Information Systems, Management & Technology, Management Science, Entrepreneurship), 2009
“The Beedie School of Business appreciated who I was and was more than happy to take a confused and unorganized kid from California and turn me into an adult.”
For Som Suresh, SFU Beedie was his home away from home. When he arrived, he didn’t know a single person in Canada, let alone the School. However, Beedie provided the right blend of opportunities, flexibility, support, and encouragement to encourage Som to try new things, but above all, feel comfortable in doing so.
He spent the first two years of his academic career pursuing extracurricular on-campus opportunities that would not only complement his degree but also help him build friendships and a support network. He joined many student-led clubs and organizations, such as the Management Information Systems Association (MISA), Business Administration Student Society (BASS), and BASS Mentorship Program, running events that were both successful and profitable, and at a time when as he puts it, the words “profit” and “student event” couldn’t exist in the same sentence.
Som was also heavily involved in case competitions. While in his second year, he became chairperson for CaseIT, an annual undergraduate business case competition with a strong MIS focus, and raised the competition’s profile to an international level. His experiences with CaseIT also showed him how important case competitions were to the student experience. “Case competitions are the best way to study while having fun.” He went on to participate in the Ken Spencer Competition (now I-3), Inter-Collegiate Business Competition, and JDC West.
Networking, lifelong learning, working hard…his experiences at Beedie led him to realize that a career in consulting was in his future. And his persistence and focus paid off. He was offered a position as a business technology analyst with a global consulting firm upon graduation. A little over three years and two promotions later, he was given the opportunity to transfer to the firm’s US operations in New York City.
Now settled in New York, Som regularly reaches out to others from the Beedie family, working to create opportunities for those in city to meet, and offering assistance to those who wish to move to the East Coast. When his travels bring him to Vancouver, he is the one who reaches out to Beedie and asks how he can help the next generation of Beedie talent.
To Beedie students, Som offers this advice: “Get involved as early as you can, but be focused.” While it is easy to say “yes” to everything, students should have the discipline to choose the opportunities that align with their goals, as this will help them later in life as they progress in their career. By recognizing that everyone’s path is different, you’ll see that your time to shine will come.
- Written by SFU Beedie School of Business