Joined virtually by two fellow fourth-year Business students, Audrey Collette hovered her mouse over the coveted email invitation in her inbox, ready to click ‘accept’ at the same time as her friends.
The trio was part of the exclusive group of 203 Goodman School of Business students recently invited to be inducted into the international honours society Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS).
“We were each at home and had a FaceTime conversation open while we did it,” said Collette, a fourth-year Business Administration Co-op International Double Degree student. “It was cute and tacky, but it was nice to share the experience. It made the moment feel more special.”
BGS is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive and is exclusive to business schools accredited by AACSB International — the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Twice a year, Goodman invites the top 10 per cent of its undergraduate students and top 20 per cent of graduate students to join BGS membership.
“Being invited to BGS made me feel validated for the hard work I put into my undergrad experience,” said Collette. “Some people say marks don’t matter that much to a career after university, but it did for me. I always give everything 100 per cent.”
Students who accept their invitation to join the society are encouraged to participate in a formal induction ceremony, which Goodman hosted online last week. At the beginning of the celebration, Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes asked family and friends of inductees to turn on their microphones and indicate their attendance by clapping.
“It was truly memorable,” he said of the event, which was attended by more than 135 people from around the world. “It was great to hear the applause and cheers of support coming from our students’ loved ones on this special day.
“Students inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma are the most accomplished business students in the world,” Gaudes said. “All excel academically, and many work part-time jobs and get involved with sport and student leadership initiatives. They truly are amazing and deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments.”
Collette was one of these exceptional students. In addition to her schoolwork, she dedicated her time to DECA U case competitions and student leadership roles with the Brock Innovation Group and the Brock Marketing Association. Despite a busy schedule, she said her involvement with the Goodman community helped her academic achievement.
“There’s just something very welcoming and inclusive about Goodman. It feels like no matter who you are, what your background is or what your future holds, there’s a spot for you,” she said. “When you participate in student clubs, you get to work with a diverse group of students who are in similar programs, but in a variety of years. There’s opportunity to act as a mentor to someone younger than you or be mentored by students who have already experienced what you have.
“When you are part of a community, working to get good grades and do well in school doesn’t feel like an extra thing on top of everything else. It all fits together nicely and becomes part of your overall Goodman experience.”
Like Collette, BGS inductee Liana Biktimirova is also highly involved in the University community. The fourth-year Business Administration Co-op student’s dedication to athletics, part-time jobs and student leadership roles earned her a $500 Beta Gamma Sigma Scholarship. The award was granted to Goodman as part of the School’s recent recognition at the 2020 Beta Gamma Sigma Outstanding Chapter Awards. Goodman was chosen from 600 member chapters in 190 countries to receive ‘Best Practice in Connections,’ for its activities, programs and events available to students.
In her scholarship application, Biktimirova explained how working as a research assistant and finance tutor, as well as being involved with DECA U, the Brock Badgers’ tennis team and the Goodman Business Students’ Association (BSA) exemplified BGS’s values of earnestness, pursuit of wisdom, and honour and integrity.
She is especially proud of leading the BSA in creating an emergency bursary for Goodman students struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I used (BGS’s principles of) honour and integrity to determine the appropriate amount (of funds generated by the Goodman Students’ Levy) to devote to this bursary that would allow (the BSA) to deliver the most value to students in need, while maintaining proper funding for the school year,” Biktimirova wrote in her application essay.
Last week’s BGS virtual induction ceremony was hosted by Professor Paul Dunn and orated by Goodman’s Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies Tek Thongpapani. Master of Business Administration student Chitven Mehta presented BGS’s values.
Alyssa Freeman, Goodman’s Accreditations Co-ordinator and BGS Chapter Advisor, received honorary membership for her diligence and commitment to advance Goodman’s BGS chapter.
Past honorary members of Goodman’s BGS chapter include Brock University President Gervan Fearon, former Brock University Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo, Goodman graduate Rhonda Klosler (BBA ’93) and Niagara business leader Robin Ridesic.