SFU Students Shine In 'CEO for a Day' BC Finals

Top Prize Winner

Not only did Beedie School of Business co-op student Ryan Smith best competition from five local universities to claim a spot at the helm of Goldcorp in the 'CEO for a Day' competition, but seven of the top 12 finalists were SFU students. (Out of those, five were co-op students.) Click on the images below to learn about each of SFU's finalists and click here for information on Ryan's February 19th shadowing with Goldcorp President and CEO Charles A. Jeannes.

Ryan Smith

Business Major (Finance), Co-op Student

Ryan Smith

Ryan bested hundreds of students from five local universities to earn his spot at the top of the CEO for a Day competition. He will take his place at the helm of Goldcorp alongside CEO and President Chuck Jeannes on Thursday, February 19th.

Ryan noted that the recruitment professionals at Odgers Berndston were looking for strengths beyond the classroom – noting that work history and personality went a long way in the Competition. 

Ryan previously completed Finance-related Co-operative Education (Co-op) work terms with Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments and GE Capital.

"My co-op work as an analyst in the commodities field was an important part of what made me a good fit with CEO Chuck Jeannes," he attests.

Ryan's advice to students applying to CEO for a Day next fall: 

"Go there and be yourself! It also doesn't hurt to develop a depth of knowledge of the CEO's industry."

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SFU Finalists in BC Top 12

Japreet Lehal

Political Science Major

Japreet Lehal

Graduating this spring with a major in Political Science, Japreet Lehal entered the CEO for a Day competition for the learning experience and to open doors for future opportunities. 

"I met so many amazing students and recruitment professionals," he says, describing the experience. "The whole process was quite seemless."

Japreet brought a wealth of extracurricular experience to the Competition. He served on SFU's Student Senate and the UniverCity Community Trust.

He is also Founder of goresearch.ca – an online platform enabling students to find research opportunities. 

In his remaining time, Japreet writes regular columns in the Peace Arch News and the Surrey Leader.

Japreet on LinkedIn

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Christina Ma

Economics Major, Co-op Student

Christina Ma

3rd-year Economics major Christina Ma is working on her B.A. with the intention of pursuing law school after graduation from SFU. 

She is also the Executive Director of the Restorative Justice Club

Christina applauds the CEO for a Day organizing group for fostering a positive atmosphere during the Competition. "They didn't make the process feel competitive; in fact, the atmosphere was very encouraging."

"I recommend anyone to try this experience when it is offered again this fall. It's great even if you don't reach the final three - the learning experience is terrific."

Christina on LinkedIn

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Ridge Pinto

Business Major, Co-op Student

Ridge Pinto

"As an Entrepreneurship and Finance Major at the Beedie School of Business, Ridge Pinto is no stranger to interviewing-a skill that helped him in the CEO for a Day competition. 

Through SFU's Co-op program, Ridge successfully secured internships with National Security in Ottawa as well as the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. Given their legal settings, both experiences have sparked an interest in law. Ridge plans to enter law school in fall of 2016.

He was also a 2014 recipient of Royal Bank of Canada's Students Leading Change Scholarship.

In his spare time, Ridge is a sports enthusiast. He enjoys playing ball hockey, with notable past placements on Team Surrey and Team British Columbia."

VIDEO: Watch Ridge describe his amazing co-op experiences:

Ridge on LinkedIn

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Byron Vallis

Enviro. Science Major, Co-op Student

Byron Vallis

Environmental Science major Byron Vallis brough a wealth of practical experience to the CEO for a Day competition. 

Through SFU's Co-op program, he has worked for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (eight months) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (eight months).

Interestingly, in his last co-op work term, Byron's supervisor was once a co-op student herself and, in fact, had the same Co-op Coordinator - SFU Environment Co-op's Paul Degrace!

In future, Byron hopes to find opportunities to work in the mining industry, from a sustainability perspective. 

Byron on LinkedIn

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Kendra Wingerter

Int'l Studies Major, Co-op Student

Kendra Wingerter

Graduating this June, Kendra Wingerter is an International Studies major with an entrepreneurial spirit. In addition to her studies and her co-op work, she holds two positions in Delta Alpha Theta sorority, and owns her own digital marketing agency – NetWorked Marketing and Communications

And did we mention she also manages PK Promotions modeling agency?

In her current co-op work semester Kendra is Special Projects Assistant for SFU's Career Services department. She previously worked for Enterprise.

Kendra appreciated her CEO for a Day competition experience because "it forced us to learn so much about ourselves," she attests. "We had to become clear about what we like and why we like what we're doing."

Kendra on LinkedIn

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Loretta Yang

Marketing Concentration

Loretta Yang

Studying Marketing and Business Analytics at the Beedie School of Business, Loretta Yang is no stranger to business competitions. 

In fact, Loretta arrived at the CEO for a Day final group assessment, having just left a case competition! She has previously participated in the JDC West National Case Competition on the Marketing team, to name just one.

Describing the group assessment portion of the CEO for a Day competition, Loretta reflects on the institutional composition of the competitors: "I was suprised when I arrived on the final day of the competition," she says. "7/12 students were from SFU!"

Loretta is currently a T.A. in the Beedie School of Business. She served as President of the B.A.S.Society for a year, as well as VP of events for the same.

Loretta on LinkedIn

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