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BBA: Zawad Zihan

BBA Student (2nd year)

“The best thing here at SFU Beedie is that it’s never too early or too late to apply for positions in student organizations or participate in co-curricular activities. Whenever I get involved in any co-curricular activities, it's always a learning experience for me where I can learn from more senior students and alumni.”

My journey

I am Zawad Muhammad Zihan, an international student from Bangladesh pursuing a business degree at SFU’s Beedie School of Business. I started my academic journey in fall 2021. At first, I found the transition to university challenging, but with mentorship from senior students and improvement in my time management skills, I was able to succeed at my studies.

Growing up, I saw my father succeed in his business, and I saw business as a profession that allows you to make decisions. This inspired me to pursue a degree in business administration. Moreover, my country, Bangladesh, is a business-friendly country. I chose SFU Beedie for my higher education due to its reputation as a great business school and the wonderful opportunities it provides students, such as various student organizations, co-ops and international exchanges.

Over the past year I have participated in various extracurricular activities at SFU Beedie. I joined SFU BASS (Business Administration Student Society) as an Independent Election Committee officer and, later, as a corporate relations coordinator, where I oversee relations with new organizations and existing partners. I also joined SFU SMA (Student Marketing Association) as an events coordinator and help with organizing the SMA pillar events, Brandstorm and MIF: Shift. Getting involved in these activities has helped improve my time management, project management and professional writing skills.

As part of the BASS Mentorship Program, I connected with senior students who gave me helpful advice about courses and student organizations. Their advice helped me develop a balanced plan for my upcoming semesters, which motivated me to stay focused on my studies and extracurricular activities. I was the winner of BASS Pitch-Off, which increased my overall confidence, public speaking and pitching expertise. I volunteered for the ELITE case competition and won second place in the PEAK case competition.

My experience at SFU Beedie

Applying to clubs and getting into student organizations were some of my best moments, allowing me to become more engaged with the SFU Beedie community. I gained experience, confidence and an expanded network, which helped me getting into other positions in different student organizations.

In first year, my team and I won second place in the PEAK case competition. This was an impactful moment for me, where I realized the potential of first year students and realized my own capabilities. It was a truly amazing feeling to be on a podium as first year students with comparatively less experience. The support from the associate dean and faculty advisors gave me confidence and boosted my interest in future case competitions.

By being part of student organizations, I was able to apply the knowledge I learned in textbooks to real-world situations. In my BUS 217W class, I learned about critical thinking and professional business writing, which translated well to my role as a BASS corporate relations coordinator, where I frequently used business correspondence to maintain connections with BASS partners and sponsors.

Most extracurricular activities are team-based. In my BUS 272 class, I learned more about teamwork and collaboration, as well as how to resolve conflicts. This knowledge has been extremely helpful in working with many different teams. As an events coordinator at SMA, my team and I were able to collaborate well together by ensuring proper documentation and record keeping so everyone contributes fairly, and we successfully managed several events.

My BBA major comprised of:

Education

Business Administration

Student engagement

SFU BASS

SFU SMA

ELITE Case Competition (volunteer)

PEAK Case Competition (2nd place winner)

SFU Beedie Protégée program

Where I am today

I’m currently going into my second year, and I intend to pursue a marketing concentration. Over the next few years, I would like to explore more opportunities at SFU Beedie, including working as part of different student organizations, co-op work terms to gain work experience, international exchanges to develop my leadership skills, and international case competitions. After graduating, I see myself working in a marketing firm or a multinational company as marketing personnel and later becoming a marketing manager.

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