University of Lethbridge's Bill Nkeih (BMgt '21) believes that finance is one of the most important factors of business success. The international Dhillon School of Business graduate from Cameroon chose a major in Finance and a minor in Supply Chain Management. Bill says the major and minor allow him to integrate finance knowledge into the ever-growing supply chain industry that he says can bring about huge growth and success in a business.
Here Bill tells us about his most memorable experiences including his co-op work experience with McCain Foods and the most important lessons he learned as a student.
What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience?
Going through my academic journey at uLethbridge has been a memorable experience on its own. All my memories: the professors, industry professionals, and peers/students that I met and learned from, the amazing academic courses, the practical experiences that boosted my career skills, work ethic and overall academic and professional development are invaluable and were instrumental in my pursuit of academic excellence.
The experience I remember most was the eight months I spent as a co-op student with McCain Foods Canada. The amount of academic, professional and personal growth I got out of the internship exceeded my expectations. The guidance and support I received from the co-op office at the university, as well as my manager and co-workers at McCain were amazing and I developed new perspectives of my career.
Tell us a bit about your co-op work terms.
I joined McCain Foods as Agriculture Operations Intern for an eight-month period, during which I was fortunate to work alongside a group of amazing individuals in the agriculture department. Despite being an intern, I was welcomed and treated as a member of the team. I was given the autonomy to be creative in my work approach, but actively supported whenever needed. The challenges I faced and overcame were very rewarding and made me more resilient, while ameliorating my business acumen.
I believe the best thing about co-op is the practical learning experience. The fact that I left the traditional classroom setting and switched to a more “hands-on” approach was nothing short of mind-blowing. I was shocked by the quality and quantity of knowledge I gained from the co-op program.
What is the most important lesson you learned during your time in the Dhillon School of Business?
The most important lesson I learned during my time in the DSB is the importance of teamwork. Team building and collaboration are vital in achieving business success. The DSB addresses this by having most (if not all) courses include a teamwork component. Meeting a bunch of unknown people with different strengths, weaknesses, ideas, virtues, etc can be very scary and challenging. However, overcoming all these differences and finding a way to benefit from one another’s different skillsets is a very unique experience.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?
All the professors and instructors I met during my time at uLethbridge had an influence on my experience. I was very fortunate to meet, learn from and be supported by Dan Kazakoff, Bruce Thurston, Dr. Vishaal Baulkaran, Dr. Afrooz Moatari, just to name a few. They went above and beyond in providing me with whatever tools I needed to succeed and were often proactive in doing so.
A key influence on my uLethbridge experience was my co-op work term, so I’d like to especially recognize Jeremy Carter, who was my manager during my co-op work term. Jeremy is the Director of Agriculture (Western Canada) at McCain Foods. He, as well as Susan Roulston at the co-op office, played vital roles in the success of my co-op experience.
What advice would you give to those who are about to begin their journey at the Dhillon School of Business?
Do not fear the unknown. Open your mind to new possibilities and try hard to get out of your comfort zone. Post-secondary education is not just about sitting in classrooms and passing exams. There is a lot more to it and you can’t explore these by staying in your comfort zone. Ask questions, be inquisitive, be bold and face challenges head-on and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, don’t forget that your ability to focus will determine how much you achieve in life.
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.