Clubs, competitions help Goodman grads net business tech jobs

For Goodman School of Business graduates Jayna Sutaria (BBA ’21) and Anna Cherdakova (MBA ’21), the equation to finding success in the business technology industry included not only their studies, but also their involvement in the School’s clubs and competition teams.

As a student leader, Sutaria was actively involved in clubs under the umbrella of the Business Students’ Association, including founding the Data Analytics Students Association, serving as President of Brock’s Women in Business club, and competing for the School on the JDCC and DECA case competition teams.

Through clubs, she got direct exposure to employers and was able to add valuable experience to her resumé.

“If it wasn’t for Goodman, I wouldn’t have the ability to build relationships,” said Sutaria, who graduated Friday, June 18 with her Bachelor of Business Administration. “Goodman is unique in the sense that the community really feels like your community due to the size of the school.”

Sutaria’s academic achievement was recognized at Brock’s Virtual Spring Convocation, where she was honoured with Goodman’s Outstanding Award of Excellence in Information Systems for obtaining the highest graduating average in her degree concentration.

When Sutaria was considering which path to take for her undergraduate studies, choosing a program that had a co-op component was important for her. During her time at Brock, she completed three co-op terms with Enterprise Architecture at RBC,  building relationships in the organization where she now works as a Business Analyst for the Engagement and Product Management Strategy team.

For some, excelling in all three of these areas — leadership, academics and in the workplace — would be overwhelming. Sutaria credits her ability to prioritize her time and mental health for allowing her to find balance and success.

“Prioritizing my mental health and finding ways to nourish myself to make sure I was not feeling burnt out left me energy to give my time to the areas I really wanted to focus on,” she said. “I had a really good support system of friends, family and resources at Brock that helped me do this.”

As for what’s next, Sutaria said what drives her career choice is the ability to explore new problems.

“Being exposed to new problems and finding out how to solve them at an enterprise level with technology is what gets me excited,” she said.

For Cherdakova, involvement in business case competitions and conferences paired perfectly with her studies in business analytics.

As captain of Goodman’s MBA Games academic team and a representative of the School at the internationally renowned John Molson Case Competition, she was able to refine her problem-solving skills and get creative when it came to developing solutions.

“It’s about seeing the big picture,” she said. “The MBA (Master of Business Administration) program and business games taught me how to see that it’s not necessarily about a specific skill, but about the ability to look at a business idea from a more strategic perspective.”

Events like the Datathon Education Conference held at Brock, which includes a data visualization competition, were extremely helpful for Cherdakova in networking with employers in the field and applying knowledge learned in the classroom.

Now, she is applying the holistic approach she developed in solving business problems to her job as a Marketing and Operations Analyst at Ample Insight, a business analytics company in Toronto.

“My courses and experiences have really helped me understand what clients need,” she said.

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