Student Success

Premier Stephen McNeil on campus to congratulate Enactus team on the success of the Square Roots food token program3

Premier Stephen McNeil came to Saint Mary’s recently to congratulate Enactus team members on the success of the Square Roots food token program, as they prepare for a national competition. Enactus is a global student organization focused on addressing social issues through entrepreneurship. A total of 38 students are heading to Toronto next week to compete in the Enactus Canada National Exposition.

The Province of Nova Scotia recently supported Saint Mary’s work in entrepreneurship when it announced an $11 million investment for the creation of the Entrepreneurship, Discovery and Innovation (EDI) Hub on campus.

Graduate student team recognized for creativity at international competition

 The Saint Mary's team

The Saint Mary's team

A group of four Saint Mary’s University students from the MBA, Master of Finance and Master of Applied Health Science Research programs have received a specially created prize for best creative AI idea at the International Graduate Competition this week in Montreal.

Students Stuart Clow, Soheil Ahmadi, Felix Han and Maxwell Poole travelled to HEC with coach, Dr. Chantal Hervieux, to take part in the International Graduate Competition. Competing teams included the National Chenochi University, Queen’s University, Universidad de Deusto, and RMIT University (Australia).

Although the Saint Mary’s team did not move on to the finals, they received very positive feedback from the AI industry professionals in attendance, who instigated the creation of a special prize for the top AI idea specifically for the Saint Mary’s University team. The proposed solution takes aim at Montreal’s complex pothole problem through a unique coupling of AI construction planning and novel private financing. The students may be asked to keep working on their proposed solution with the City of Montreal.

As well, Stuart was recognized as Best Team Player, for outstanding collaboration.

To register, the IGC requires a cross-disciplinary team (no more than two students from an MBA program). The Saint Mary’s team featured a skill portfolio in international business, strategy, finance and IT.

Collaboration is a key to this competition: for part of the week, students were grouped into their skill vertical to learn from each other. They then regrouped as a team to incorporate what they learned.

Saint Mary's team wins ‘Distinguished Delegation’ award for their work at Model United Nations

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On March 29, the Saint Mary's delegation to the National Model United Nations (NMUN) in New York City, won a ‘Distinguished Delegation’ award for their work representing Bulgaria.

NMUN is the world’s largest Model UN, and can trace its founding back to the League of Nations. It is the only Model UN that takes place in the actual UN headquarters in New York, and sees 5,500 students from more than 130 UN member countries.

“It’s an extraordinary opportunity for students,” says Political Science chairperson Dr. Marc Doucet, “to get this kind of real-world experience, and interact with students from around the world.” Since Saint Mary’s first delegation in 2003, more than 200 students have attended, making the conference an opportunity to build international connections and gain a greater global perspective. This year was the most international Saint Mary’s delegation yet, with 21 students attending, from Canada, India, the Bahamas, Saint Kitts, Japan, and the UK attending. They represented fields of study including Political Science, International Development Studies, Economics, Sociology, and Business.

“It really strengthens our delegation because the UN is not solely political,” says Abby Dooks, a Political Science and International Development Studies student. “It deals with everything from education to human rights to business to economics, so you need that diverse expertise to understand the topics.”

This year, students visited the Bulgarian Permanent Mission to the UN, and met with diplomats at Bulgaria’s permanent mission to the UN, to discuss current global affairs and issues.

Dooks was attending this year for the second time. “The highlights were different from last year—this year it was really seeing other students achieve the same milestones I did last year, especially those were might have been nervous. One friend of mine was worried all year, concerned that she wasn’t going to be able to speak in front of the entire room, and so a highlight for me was when she did her speech and was just amazing. Those are the moments that make these experience so worthwhile.”

Student entrepreneurs from across Canada at Saint Mary’s for business development conference

  Pictured here are (l-r): event organizer Kaitlyn Touesnard; Dr. Patricia Bradshaw,   Dean, Sobey School of Business; Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax; Michael Sanderson and Sarah Meany, both of the   Sobey School Business Development Centre.

Pictured here are (l-r): event organizer Kaitlyn Touesnard; Dr. Patricia Bradshaw, Dean, Sobey School of Business; Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax; Michael Sanderson and Sarah Meany, both of the Sobey School Business Development Centre.

Andy Filllmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, helped welcome more than 180 budding business owners to the Starting Point Entrepreneurship Conference running at Saint Mary’s from Feb 20-22. Student entrepreneurs have come from across Canada to develop their business ideas, learn from experts and vie for business funding.

The conference brings student entrepreneurs from post-secondary institutions and high schools from across the country together to work with entrepreneurs, CEOs and start-up experts. The students have the chance to work directly with the entrepreneurs to help bring their business ideas to fruition or grow an existing business. At the end of the conference, students have a chance to win cash investments for their businesses.

“Young entrepreneurs play a crucial role in growing the Canadian economy and, as such, help ensure our country’s long-term prosperity,” said Andy Fillmore, MP for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “Giving this latest generation of innovators the tools they need to succeed is critical to building a strong and vibrant future for all Canadians. The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting business start-ups and creating jobs for the middle class and those looking to join it.”

This conference wouldn’t be possible without the support of the local business community, key partnerships and financial support. This includes an investment of more than $150,000 over two years from the Government of Canada through ACOA’s Business Development Program.

The conference is organized by the Saint Mary’s University Sobey School Business Development Centre (SSBDC). Over the past five years, SSBDC programs have provided opportunities to more than 4,500 students, allowing them to be engaged in curricular and extra-curricular activities.

To learn more about the Starting Point Conference visit www.startingpointconference.com.