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Tanjit Nagra at the FLM Awards on February 4, 2016.

Lessons in leadership

Meet a U of M finalist for a Future Leaders of Manitoba Award

February 9, 2016 — 

What makes a good leader? We asked Tanjit Nagra, who was recently named a finalist for a 2016 Future Leaders of Manitoba Award. Find out what Nagra—a third-year political studies student and the president of the Faculty of Arts Student Body Council—had to say about being nominated, her love of politics and the power of young people.


Q: Who nominated you?

A: I was nominated by our new MP for Winnipeg South, Terry Duguid. I had the pleasure of working and volunteering on his campaign, and I learned a lot from my experience.


Q: The Future Leaders of Manitoba finalists are chosen for their strong leadership skills, their professional contributions and their outstanding service in the community. How did you show this?

A: Being a leader in my community—both on and off campus—has become a big part of my life. It’s opened many doors to new opportunities and it’s really added to my student experience. My willingness to help others began when I was very young, and I find volunteer work in my community very enjoyable and worthwhile. While serving as the president of one of the largest and most diverse faculties at the U of M, I have had several opportunities to represent students during various committee meetings and during consultations…. [Beyond campus] I was appointed to the City of Winnipeg Library Advisory Council.…  I also became a board member for the Marlene Street Resource Centre—an after-school program for children and a program designed to help immigrant and refugee families and those who have lower incomes.


Q: What does being nominated for something like this mean to you?

A: I am very honoured to be a finalist. I think it shows that young people have the power to challenge the status quo and to be contributing members of society.


Q: What do you do for fun? 

A: Politics used to be just an interest of mine, over time it became a hobby. In my first year I was planning on applying to Pharmacy and I even completed all of the prerequisite courses; my electives were Introductory Political Studies and Sociology. I found the arts courses very enjoyable and interesting. It was after much self-reflection that I decided to make a change in my ideal career path. So you could say I’m doing what I love! However, whenever I’m not at school or in some sort of meeting, I’m normally hanging out with friends, or shopping.

I always knew politics was something that I wanted to partake in eventually. My interest really sparked in high school where I graduated as Student Council President and Class Valedictorian. When I came to the U of M, I instantly got involved, and ran for an executive position on the University 1 Student Council. Through this initial step I saw more opportunities and heard so many stories from other student leaders on campus.

Being a U of M student I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a diverse campus—a place where there are countless ways of getting involved. One of the most valuable lessons that I learned in my three years at the U of M is that you can put a price tag on a textbook or a course, but you cannot put a price tag on the experience you gain from volunteering and serving your community.


Recipients of the 2016 Future Leader of Manitoba Awards were announced Feb. 4 at the Fort Garry Hotel. To learn more, visit

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