After Matthew Sentes (MSc Mgt '21) completed his undergraduate degree in Finance at the University of Lethbridge's Dhillon School of Business, he knew he wanted to continue on to tackle a Master of Science in Management. Matthew was awarded the School of Graduate Studies Silver Medal of Merit for his work on his thesis Director Charter and Firm Performance: Evidence from Canada with supervisor Dr. Vishaal Baulkaran.

"Matthew is an exceptional student as evident from his academic achievements in the MSc Management – Finance major program," Vishaal says. "His thesis was extremely rigorous and high quality and I have no doubt that Matthew will succeed in the Finance industry or in any Ph.D. program."

Here Mathew tells us a little more about his experience as a successful graduate student at the Dhillon School of Business.

What does your research focus on? What do you hope your research will accomplish?

My research focused on corporate governance. Specifically, it examined if director certification impacted firm performance, innovation and earnings management.

I hope that this research prompts further questioning into if and how education – especially for board members – actually impacts the firm as a whole.

What was your most memorable experience while at the Dhillon School of Business/University of Lethbridge?

The most memorable experience I had while at the Dhillon School of Business was defending my thesis. After all the time and effort I put into my thesis, having this one moment where I had an opportunity to explain in 30 minutes what I had spent hundreds of hours on was really cool.

Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your experience?

My supervisor Dr. Vishaal Baulkaran had a big impact on my experience. I think your supervisor can really make or break your experience as a grad student and Dr. Baulkaran definitely made my experience a positive one. I talked with Dr. Baulkaran on almost a weekly basis about my research and setting goals. The manner in which Dr. Baulkaran allowed me and trusted me to work just really meshed well with how I work best.

I also can’t leave out my wife – Natalie Preston – who encouraged me to apply for my master’s and was by my side helping me along the way. I am lucky enough to have a wife who completed her master’s previously, so she understood the process and helped me along the journey.

Finally, the rest of my family really helped me along the way and had a big influence on my experience.

What does this academic recognition mean to you?

I know I’m supposed to say it means a lot to me. But in reality, it just makes me more appreciative of those around me. Finishing my thesis and receiving this recognition would not have been possible without my family, my great wife and a supportive supervisor.

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

Go in with an open mind and look to learn as much as you can. If you do this, you’ll be absolutely amazed at what you were able to accomplish during your journey.

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.