Eric Turner (BMgt '21) has been interested in finance and entrepreneurship since he was in high-school.  Now, equipped with a Bachelor of Management with a major in finance and a minor in family and small business, he's well prepared to tackle his dreams of running his own small business. Eric is the winner of the 2021 Dhillon School of Business academic and student achievement Gold Medal.

What was your most memorable experience while at the University of Lethbridge?

My most memorable experience at the University of Lethbridge was co-founding a business with my friend, Mason Ring, in Bruce Thurston’s New Venture Start-Ups course. Together, Mason and I interviewed over three-hundred people to develop a business model and product that would resonate with consumers. We are still running that business and plan to continue growing the business after graduation.

The ability to apply theoretical coursework towards building a business was an immensely rewarding experience.

Additionally, moving into residence and meeting my roommates in first year was an experience that I’ll never forget. In my fourth year, I was part of the SMIF (Student Managed Investment Fund) program, and I also participated in the CFA Research Challenge. I am thankful for the opportunity to apply my knowledge of finance in both these programs and gain valuable experiences that will help me in future career opportunities.

What is the most important lesson you learned during your time in the Dhillon School of Business?

You are responsible for your own success. My experience at university affirmed that with continuous effort you can achieve whatever you put your mind towards. Focus only on what you can control and disregard distractions. There is often a clear path to success for most endeavours, it’s simply a matter of how diligently you pursue it.

What are your future plans?

I intend on pursuing a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) professional designation and to continue pursuing entrepreneurship. I’m interested in working in investment banking, private equity and venture capital in the future. While I intend on working in the finance industry, my dream has always been to run my own business full-time. Building businesses and having a positive impact on the world and those around me is part of my future.

What does this academic recognition mean to you?

It is an honour to receive the Dhillon School of Business Gold Medal and I am immensely proud to receive this formal recognition of my efforts at the University of Lethbridge. I have developed and grown as an individual at this institution, and so it is a great honour to receive the Gold Medal from the Dhillon School of Business.

What advice would you give to those who are about to begin their journey at uLethbridge?

First, new students should not hesitate to pursue opportunities. Opportunities tend to present themselves when you least expect it. For example, I took an entrepreneurship course as an elective in my second year and the business developed through that course has now been operating for two years. I even met my business partner in MGT 1000 of all places.

Second, take responsibility for achieving your goals and dreams. Life tends to get better when you become proactive, whether its academia or other personal pursuits.

Third, don’t waste time or energy worrying over things that are out of your control.

Fourth, university is the time to experiment and learn new things. Joining extracurricular activities is worth it. You meet new people and find activities that are fun and personally rewarding. At worst, you discover you dislike a certain activity. In the end, trying new things contributes to your personal development and compounds over time.

The Dhillon School of Business at the University of Lethbridge is known for its immersive experiential learning opportunities, connecting learners with industry, its supportive, personalized approach and for exposing students to emerging technology. Study options available in both Lethbridge and Calgary.