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2017-18 CSA Executive Council, left to right: Peirce Dickson, Karlee Moist, Johnathan Reynolds, Celyna Yu, Matthew Thomson, Julia Grubert Van Iderstine, Jordan Delury

Asper CSA named “Most Outstanding Business Student Association of the Year”

March 16, 2018 — 

The Asper School of Business’s 2017-18 Commerce Students’ Association (CSA) has been named this year’s Most Outstanding Business Student Association by the Canadian Association of Business Students (CABS). The prestigious national award recognizes a business student association and its executive team that “execute to the highest level”.

CABS also awarded CSA President Matthew Thomson this year’s Executive All-Star – President Award.

The annual CABS Roundtable Conference gathers together top business student leaders from more than 30 universities across the country to share experiences and gain tools that help them take their student associations to the next level. This year’s conference took place in February 28 to March 4 in Windsor, Ontario.

Dr. Gady Jacoby, Acting Dean of the Asper School of Business, says both honours are well-deserved. “I have had the pleasure of working closely with Matthew and his team for most of their term as CSA Executive. I have been very impressed with their professionalism and the improvements they have accomplished for Commerce students. Each of them has been fully engaged in their individual responsibilities within the CSA Executive. They make the Asper community proud.”

“Both recognitions say great things about the Asper School,” says Thomson. “We truly are a hidden gem here in the prairies. It has been said that we ‘punch above our weight’ and I think that is absolutely true.”

The awards are a reflection of the student experience inside the classroom, he adds, as well as the school’s commitment to extracurricular activities, and the commitment of corporate partners and business leaders who support CSA events and services. “I think being well-rounded is key, and the Asper School embraces this notion to the fullest.”

“The highest standard”

The CSA accomplished a great deal over the past year. The association undertook a complete overhaul of its constitution and governing documents, and restructured the portfolios of its executive team to create more capacity for growth in future years. It also oversaw the renovation of its offices into a more inviting space for students.

“Throughout the year, we delivered all events and services to the highest standard,” says Thomson. “We saw extremely high student engagement at events and council meetings, and with our first-year students during orientation week.”

The executive team focused on living up to high standards through teamwork and collaboration, he adds. “We never settled for good enough. We invested time in team-building and having fun, which allowed us to form a very close group who support each other wholeheartedly.”

“Trust and support”

As for his own leadership, Thomson says being CSA President has been “by far the most challenging and rewarding experience in my personal and professional life thus far. When I ran for president, I campaigned on choosing the most qualified people for each role. I chose people who were smarter than me and who I knew could execute to the highest level as a team.”

Leadership has, in turn, taught him three things:

“One, set lofty and achievable goals WITH your team. Two, be present with and care about the team. Third, relationships are key. Many of the initiatives we pursued this year involved close collaboration with the Dean’s Office, The Associates, and other partners outside the walls of the school. I doubt we would have accomplished as much without their trust and support.”

Thomson points to The Associates of the Asper School of Business, a network of senior Manitoba business leaders who give back to the school, as deserving of special thanks for their mentorship and financial support.

“After attending six national conferences with business student association executives from all across the country, it has become clear to me why our CSA succeeds. Nowhere else in the country does such a network exist, and nowhere else do students receive the support from the business community like we do here.”

2017-18 CSA Executive

  •  Matthew Thomson (President)
  • Celyna Yu (Vice President of Operations)
  • Karlee Moist (Vice President of Finance)
  • Jordan Delury (Vice President of Corporate Relations)
  • Peirce Dickson (Vice President of Programming)
  • Johnathan Reynolds (Vice President of Student Services)
  • Julia Grubert Van Iderstine (Vice President of Marketing and Communications)

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