Setting goals leads to success

June 05, 2006, volume 36, no. 3
By Carol Thorbes



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Growing up in the school of hard knocks hasn't stopped Terry Beech from taking the business and political world by storm.

“It's a matter of goal setting, being flexible, making the most of your abilities, and giving life a 120 per cent effort,” says Beech, who supported himself since the age of 17.

He is graduating with a joint major in business and economics from the faculty of business administration. His degree carries concentrations in international business and management and organizational studies.

Beech is definitely organized. Before coming to SFU, he became Canada's youngest city councillor in Nanaimo at the age of 18 and later earned Maclean's magazine's recognition as one of Canada's top 30 under 30  leaders. While carrying out his civic duties, Beech, now 25, aced a professional certificate program in local government administration at Capilano College, graduating with an A+ average.

Despite a grueling work schedule, Beech kept up a rigorous routine of running and playing competitive sports to overcome asthma. “Staying active was the best way to make my lungs stronger so that I could ditch my inhaler, which my body had become dependent on,” explains Beech.

By the time Beech had started SFU, four years ago, he was asthma free. Before he even sets foot on convocation mall this spring he will be free of his student debts, thanks to the $86,500 in scholarships, that he won while at SFU.

But Beech will not only be remembered as a formidable academic achiever, graduating with a cumulative grade point average of 3.95.

He'll be remembered as a strategist whose sharp business acumen has filled his faculty's awards showcase with a lot of hardware and benefited the needy. Beech earned 12 of the 32 awards in the faculty of business administration's showcase.

Beech's dedication to “bringing up others,” as faculty of business administration student affairs officer Sam Thiara puts it, has earned him the Volunteer Vancouver, Leaders of Tomorrow award.

Beech's peers have bestowed on him the SFU outstanding student leadership award and the Business Administration Student Society award.

Beech founded the Business Christmas Charity Challenge, a fundraising competition that raises money to support the North Shore Neighbourhood House lunch program for needy families.

Beech was a member of the team that raised $2,500, the highest total of all teams, which will keep the program alive for five years.

Beech says his desire to help others comes from a need to emulate the many people who have helped him achieve his goals. Beech already has his sights set on his next goal. “I am hoping it'll be employee of the month,” says Beech, with an air of urgency that characterizes his approach to life.

Beech has just started working for the Aquilini Investment Group, which is part owner of the Vancouver Canucks.

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