John Suk graduated from Brock in 1973 with a degree in Biological Sciences. He’s continuously supported the University since 1983.
He is now the president and owner of Xigera Inc., a consulting firm focusing on Health Care and organizational culture and leadership.
What is your favourite memory of Brock?
As a science major, I spent my time on the lower campus at the foot of Glenridge Hill, a recycled refrigerator factory. This was a great environment for learning as well as building relationships. One of the best experiences was zoology, taught by Cam Lewis. It culminated with a wonderful field trip to Trinidad and Tobago and two weeks of scuba diving at Speyside.
What does higher education mean to you? Why is it important?
Higher education provides exposure to diverse areas of interest and rounds out a person. Ideally, it challenges preconceived notions and endows students with the tools to solve problems and the background to understand a complicated world.
Why do you feel it’s important for alumni to support the University?
Alumni benefit from the University experience in many ways. When accompanied by interpersonal skills, it enables successful careers. Giving back makes sense, and as the University’s reputation increases, so does the value of one’s degree from Brock. Finally, alumni donations are very valuable in supporting students and enriching their experience.
Which of the Bold New Brock projects do you feel is most important? Why?
The Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex is vitally important and is a much-needed addition to the campus. It will bring the lab infrastructure up to date. The Cairns Complex has multiple uses and will help in the re-engineering of the Niagara region. Having said this, I also very much support the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. It promises to be highly transformative for Brock and St. Catharines.
What jobs and experiences have led to your present position?
I spent my career in the pharmaceutical industry in Canada. I started as a sales representative, and ended up running a company of more than 200 employees. With an excellent reputation as an employer and also excellent financial success, I have recently retired and started my own business.
How did your time at Brock influence your career and the choices you’ve made?
Science was my passport to the pharmaceutical industry, but the tools that helped me in my career were analytical thinking, a healthy skepticism and interpersonal skills, some of which were learned in the seminars held at Brock.
What’s your “other side of the brain”?
I have strong interests in history as well as most things scientific. I cycle a fair bit, and try to keep fit. And last but not least, travelling and reading are always on my list.
If you had a chance to give one piece of advice to all of the young alumni graduating from Brock, what would you say?
Do not expect your degree to translate directly into a job. Be prepared to start at the lower levels in an organization and demonstrate your worth. Work to live but do not live to work. Only believe half of what you see and even less of what you hear. Remember Brock and keep in touch!