Program: Bachelor of Management | Major: Accounting

Straight out of high school, Gabriel entered the trades with the goal of becoming an electrician. After an injury on the job, Gabriel discovered his passion for finance and investing during his recovery.

Why did you choose ULethbridge?

Out of high school I entered the trades with the goal of becoming an electrician. I worked on what was then called the Destination Project or as more people know it, Science Commons, the new science building. After a bit more than a year, I injured myself on the job and had to take time to recover. During this time, I became extremely passionate about finance and investing. I chose to further pursue this passion at the University of Lethbridge and allowed me the opportunity to recover and pursue my future career.

Did you know what you wanted to study when you applied for admission to ULethbridge? What are your plans when you finish your degree?

Originally, I came to the University with the goal to graduate with my Bachelor of Management in Finance and pursue my Chartered Financial Analyst designation (CFA). As time passed, I realized I wanted to have a more managerial role within my community and pursuing my Chartered Professional Accountant designation (CPA) would be a better fit for me. I plan to stay in the Lethbridge area and develop  as a professional.

When I changed my major to accounting, I decied to take part in a co-op. Many accounting firms have a postive relationship with ULethbridge; this allowed me to network with multiple firms in southern Alberta in a short period. Ultimately, I secured an eight-month co-op at MNP and have been learning something new every day. I will be pursuing my CPA designation with them after I graduate."

To you, what are the benefits of attending ULethbridge instead of a larger post-secondary institution?

To me, ULethbridge has always offered personability. Smaller class sizes allow professors to be invested in your success. They usually had time to help me, even in some of my crowded first-year classes. Oftentimes, I would be stopped by a professor in the hall to chat and catch up. Having professors genuinely interested in your journey is something I don’t think I would find at larger institutions. You don’t feel like a number here, and that has made all the difference to me.

How have your professors affected your ULethbridge journey? Have any faculty changed your worldview or study path?

The professor who's impacted my education the most has been Dr. Vishaal Baulkaran. Funnily enough, I have never taken a class with Vishaal. I met him through the Finance Club in my first year. He was coaching the Rotman International Trading Competition (RITC) in Toronto. I showed up to the tryouts and made the team. Since then, I have competed at RITC three times and helped Vishaal with two research projects. It has been a wild ride, and I’ve met some brilliant people and some good friends along the way. Vishaal is extremely passionate and will push you to succeed. I highly recommend taking one of his classes.

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