The Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA) is a student led organization that connects all graduate business students at the Beedie School of Business. The executive team, which consists of: the President, VP Academic, VP Communications, VP Finance, VP Engagement, and Graduate Student Society (GSS) representative, collaborate to boost student engagement. They work closely with class representatives from each cohort to ensure everyone enjoys their experience at Beedie. Although students are commonly attracted to Beedie because of its innovative culture and world-renowned faculty, a large part of the student experience is getting to know your peers. The GBSA strives to facilitate this not only through hosting social events, but also through community outreach projects such as participating in the January ‘Get Warm’ event.
The ‘Get Warm’ outreach project is a non-profit organization focused on local positive social change. Their goal is to keep residents of the Downtown East Side warm throughout the winter months. In order to achieve this goal, they assemble and deliver one hundred bundles to residents of the Downtown East Side every month from October to February. Bundles are reusable fabric tote bags filled with a blanket, a pair of socks, a pair of gloves or mittens, a toque, apples, bananas, granola bars, a toothbrush and tooth paste, soap, and a bottle of water. The ‘Get Warm’ project outreach gets support from various local organizations and individuals. This outreach project was started by Shauna Beaudoin, Sara McKenna, and Kristy McKenna in 2011. The project aims to establish leadership within the community by actively working towards positive social change.
Compassionate Beedie students and staff donated twenty-three bundles to the January 2016 “Get Warm” outreach day. The students’ generosity proved that giving back to the community is a fundamental part of their lives. The outreach campaign began with a goal of organizing ten bundles and coordinating a few students to volunteer for an afternoon. However, our original expectations were blown away by the level of involvement and generosity. In addition to the twenty-three bundles, eight volunteers gave up their Sunday afternoon to serve their community. The organizers were thoroughly impressed by the students’ efficiency and effectiveness in preparing the bundles and the turnout for outreach day.
The day of a Beedie student is filled to the brim with papers, lectures, and team assignments. Acquiring business knowledge is the main reason why you’re here. However, what sets Beedie apart from other grad business schools is the emphasis they put on the student experience. Smaller class sizes translate into stronger relationships with classmates. This support was evident at the community outreach project in January, where all of my expectations for the day were surpassed. The amount of excitement and support from not only the full-time MBA class but other cohorts and the staff at Beedie as well was unimaginable.
For more information on the ‘Get Warm’ outreach project, like them on Facebook here.
Emily Jo Heaps is an MBA candidate at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. She is currently the Graduate Student Society (GSS) representative for the Graduate Business caucus, an active member of the graduate business women’s council, and a Beedie student Ambassador. Emily is committed to serving others and building a stronger community. She has a background in fashion and a bachelor’s degree in design. She is passionate about innovation, marketing, and style. Contact Emily on LinkedIn or through email.