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Meet the 2024 Asper School of Business medal winners

June 24, 2024 — 

During convocation, graduates in the highest standing of each program are recognized for their outstanding work during their degree. The Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals in Management are awarded to the Asper School of Business graduates with the highest, second-highest and third-highest degree grade point average, respectively.

University of Manitoba Gold Medal in Management

William Cruise – BComm (Hons) – Accounting

Like many 2024 graduates, William Cruise’s early years in university took place in the context of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting public health measures.

In his first year of study, Cruise completed a research assistantship with Chi Liao (later named The Associates Fellow in Finance), and throughout his degree, he focused on developing his academic skillset, cultivating a strong work ethic built on consistency and discipline and advancing his technical knowledge in subjects like accounting and finance.

He looks back on his final four semesters with fondness, as he was then able to participate in the social life of the school in-person. One of the main highlights of his degree was joining the Asper Co-op Program.

“Not only did it allow me to bridge my academic learning by applying it to the workplace, but it also gave me a taste of the various career paths within accounting and finance,” he says.

After completing his first co-op placement at Parrish and Heimbecker, Cruise began a second placement at Ernst & Young (EY). Since completing his degree, he has continued work at EY while pursuing his CPA designation.

From an early fascination with business and watching his parents model the value of hard work, Cruise hopes to take his new perspectives on business into the Winnipeg community.

“This means implementing sustainable business practices and supporting local community projects with a holistic perspective, considering the social and environmental stakeholders in all decisions,” he explains.

“I believe that our graduating class has the ability to help Winnipeg businesses foster economic growth, but also become agents of positive change.”

University of Manitoba Silver Medal in Management

Emily Gibson – BComm (Hons) – Accounting, Finance

With a double major in accounting and finance, Emily Gibson worked hard to make connections during her BComm despite pursuing it remotely for much of the first part of her degree.

In the summer of 2021, she became an orientation volunteer. “I tried to make the best of it,” she explains, in reference to COVID-19 restrictions. “It was rewarding to help new Asper students make the transition into university life, while getting to know fellow volunteers.”

Gibson continued in this vein, becoming a member of the Asper School of Business Accounting Association (ASBAA) to connect with fellow accounting students and attending the Business Banquet every year to network with the broader Asper student community and the local business community.

This May, she began work at the Office of the Auditor General of Manitoba as a student auditor and is excited to begin pursuing her CPA designation in the fall.

University of Manitoba Bronze Medal in Management

Mitchell Klassen – BComm (Hons) – Accounting

Mitchell Klassen began his studies with a business administration diploma at Red River Polytechnic and joined the Asper School of Business in 2021 via the program’s articulation pathway with the college.

He graduated from Asper this year with a major in accounting and is the recipient of the Bronze Medal in Management. Klassen expresses how his experience at the Asper School of Business was as much about the coursework as it was the overall quality of the environment where he was learning. He describes the beauty of the campus and how enjoyable it was to simply be at Asper and UM.

“I always wanted to go to the University of Manitoba when I was looking into attending post-secondary, and the fact that I actually got to go meant a lot to me. I thoroughly enjoyed my entire experience at UM, and specifically Asper,” he says.

He recalls professors, mentioning Associate Dean (Undergraduate and International) Robert Biscontri in particular, who connected with students and had a unique approach to teaching a variety of subjects.

Klassen now looks forward to beginning his career in public accounting and entering the CPA program in the fall. He has even thought about returning to pursue an MBA at the Stu Clark Graduate School.

“Whichever path I choose, I am excited for what the future holds, and I could easily see myself returning to UM in the near future!”

Congratulations to the 2024 Asper medal winners!

Learn more about staying connected as one of over 22,000 Asper School of Business alumni here.

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