When Jenn Harper addressed Brock University’s top business students last week, she stressed the importance of recognizing the power of their thoughts.
The founder of Cheekbone Beauty, a sustainable and socially conscious cosmetics company, shared her insights in entrepreneurship and leadership while receiving honorary membership into Brock’s Beta Gamma Sigma honours society.
“Our thoughts have so much power,” she said, “and it first has to start with us believing in ourselves that we can do that.”
For Harper, that self-belief in growing her business comes back to the resiliency that she has developed.
“If I look at my people as a nation, as a group of people, Indigenous Peoples aren’t supposed to be here,” she said. “There were systems designed to have us removed. But guess what? We’re still here.
“It didn’t work, which proves how resilient my community is and how resilient I am as an individual. I had to believe in myself to make that all happen, and I couldn’t be more proud of the things we’ve done over all these years.”
Beta Gamma Sigma recognizes the top 10 per cent of the undergraduate class and the top 20 per cent of the graduate class at institutions accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Held in the Goodman School of Business atrium June 16, the ceremony saw 60 undergraduate students and 56 graduate students inducted into Brock’s chapter.
When Maryam Wajahat Faizan (MBA ’22) started her Master of Business Administration, she knew she would be reliant on her time management skills to get her through. With the goal of moving into a management position in the benefits field, she started the program part time while commuting to Brock from Oakville.
“I didn’t have the option to waste time,” Wajahat Faizan said. “If you manage your time well, it increases efficiency.”
Those time management skills she refined over the first three semesters were put to the test when she moved online to finish her program full time. Just eight days after welcoming her third child, Wajahat Faizan signed onto Microsoft Teams to start the next semester. She credits accommodating professors who understood when she’d have to turn her camera off to feed the baby during class.
Despite the balancing act of work, parenting and studying, her perseverance paid off as she not only got inducted as one of Goodman’s top graduate students but also returned from maternity leave working in a management role as the Supervisor of Benefits at Peel District School Board.
Professor Dirk De Clercq was presented with the 2021-22 Beta Gamma Sigma Professor of the Year award, which is voted on by current student members of the society. Professor Ernest Biktimirov who received the 2020-21 Professor of the Year award virtually last year received his medal in person at the ceremony as well.