Dhillon School of Business Bachelor of Management graduate Sean deVisser (BMgt '22) majored in finance and has high hopes for continuing to grow his knowledge and ability in the financial world. His future goals include working with small businesses and helping them forecast, budget and project their financial plans to become viable long-term companies.
Here Sean talks about the people who influenced him on his academic journey, important lessons he learned, advice to new students and more.
What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
Participating in the global CFA Institute Research Challenge representing the ULethbridge in the Western Canada Region. This competition let my team and I assume the role of a research analyst and rigorously tested us on our analytical, valuation, report writing and presentation skills. The competition really enabled me to use everything that I had learned about finance up to that point and then apply it to a real-world case study. My team and I put hundreds of hours of work into finishing our report and I believe that the real-world aspect of the competition really brought a sense of professionalism to the group work setting. Working with Vishaal Baulkaran (our faculty advisor for the competition) was a bonus. He was great at giving us guidance while letting us solve our own problems and establish our own thought on the finished product.
What is the most important lesson you learned during your time at ULethbridge?
Grades are important but developing social skills and applying knowledge gained in class to real-world conversations and situations was a far more impactful lesson. Conversations outside of the classroom, discussing real-world events and issues, helped me in a way that the textbook couldn’t. Instead, I have noticed that I pick up knowledge from listening and discussing topics with other people who share similar passions but might have different insights. Specifically, with professors, I found that many of them have a lot more knowledge than what they are able to share in class. Going to office hours and having conversations outside of class helped me broaden my knowledge in a lot of different ways. Same with colleagues; talking about interesting topics outside of a strictly learning-focused setting really helped.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
Many of the friends that I met throughout my time at ULethbridge were instrumental in helping me grow and learn. Matthew Todd and Vishaal Baulkaran are two of the professors that really enabled me to find success and enjoy learning. Specifically, Vishaal, for his approach to instructing classes and then contributing as the faculty advisor for the CFA Institute Research Challenge. He really helped develop my passion for research, academia and finance.
Did you receive scholarships and awards? If so, please tell us a bit about how they helped you throughout your studies.
Coming out of high school, I achieved a level of success that got me awarded the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship for my first year of school. Then through my small-town roots, I was able to apply for the Clifford and Louise Lougheed Scholarship which is awarded to several people per year from Nanton and the surrounding area. I received this scholarship during my first two years of university. I also received one or two minor awards that contributed as well throughout my time at ULethbridge. These awards combined with working summer jobs and other part-time work during school enabled me to pay tuition and living expenses while still budgeting in some disposable income for entertainment.
What advice would you like to give those who are about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?
Talk to people, talk to professors, speak up in class and learn from everyone you meet. I don’t know everything but talking to a wide variety of people from different backgrounds with different passions, I believe, is the best route to learning as much as possible about both the class material and its real-world application.
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