Goodman Spirit of Brock recipients honoured for giving back

For Bill Huynh (BBA ’23) and Deeya Chhabra’s (MBA ’23), making the most of their time at Brock meant giving back to their fellow students.

The new Goodman School of Business graduates received Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock medals on Tuesday, June 13 in recognition of their work to positively impact the student experience of their peers.

Presented during the University’s 113th Convocation, the medals are given to students who demonstrate leadership, innovation, inspiration and community involvement.

“Bill and Deeya’s passion and positive energy was evident in everything they got involved with,” says Goodman Dean Barry Wright. “They are both exemplary leaders who gave their time and energy to create events, opportunities and experiences for other Goodman students.”

Huynh, who graduated from Goodman’s Bachelor of Business Administration co-op program, considered other universities but chose Brock for its proximity to his home in Hamilton, Ont.

“What I didn’t know when I made that choice was that I would be finding another home at Goodman,” he said.

He got involved early on with student clubs and case competitions and soon found himself representing the School at case competitions and leadership conferences across North America.

“The events I was involved in changed my life,” Huynh said. “That’s why I wanted to use the student leadership roles I took on to create new opportunities for students.”

Huynh developed new networking opportunities for students and started charitable initiatives, including the Goodman toy drive and Goodman Gala, during his time as director of student engagement and vice-president of student engagement with the Brock Business Students’ Association. His contributions were recognized in 2021 when he received the President’s Surgite Award.

A man in academic regalia stands beside a graduate on stage during Convocation. The new graduate is wearing a Spirit of Brock medal.

Brock University Board of Trustee member Rob Welch (left) presented the graduate Spirit of Brock medal to Chhabra during Convocation on Tuesday, June 13.

“When I got my first taste of helping students, I wanted more of it,” he said. “It was a full circle moment when I realized that I got a chance to be a role-model for someone else.”

Huynh was able to  combine his passion for helping students and his marketing major during co-op work terms working in campus recruitment and employer branding. During an exchange semester in Singapore, he was also recognized with the award for the top marketing campaign developed for the country’s Housing Development Board.

Like Huynh, Chhabra’s experience was also shaped by the activities she got involved with early on at Goodman. She stood out in her Master of Business Administration (MBA) classes and at internal competitions and was selected to represent the School at the prestigious John Molson International Case Competition during her first year.

“My classes let me practice being a leader in a smaller and more comfortable setting before I stepped out into the real world,” she said.

After her first year, Chhabra planned to visit her home in Bombay, India. But when an opportunity came up to help take on a staff role for Goodman’s Business English and Skills Transition (BEST) program, she changed her plans and got to work on ways she could improve the transition to Canada for the next cohort of international business students.

“I just wanted to make the BEST program a little more welcoming for the students by creating cross-cultural bonding and a chance to engage with the students outside the structured aspect of the program,” Chhabra said.

During her co-op term she was able to secure a prestigious spot as a student consultant at BDO Canada. That co-op opportunity turned into the full-time position she currently holds as a Junior Consultant on BDO’s Management Consulting and National Advisory team.

Looking back on her time at Brock, Chhabra’s advice to others is to get involved.

“Just put yourself out there, the opportunities are there,” she said. “For a lot of people enrolled in the MBA, this will be their last time as students so focus on your academics but enjoy the student life and opportunities as much as you can.”

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