At Carleton, we believe experiences outside the classroom are vital to a student’s development and growth. We believe these experiences instill in students a sense of purpose and of global responsibility, both of which continue to shape their lives long after they graduate.

Over the next six weeks, we’re featuring stories from students and recent grads on the experiences they had at Carleton that forever changed their futures, and the moments they realized that they, along with all of us here at Carleton, are Here for Good.

Becoming a Global Citizen in Finland

Jacqueline de Sousa, 4th-Year Commerce Student Specializing in Marketing

Intense. Daunted. Stressed. Exhilarated. A rush of emotions funnelled through me as I stood with my teammates in Finland’s Satakunta University, ready to begin the championship round.

It wasn’t a competition of sport or physical agility. This was a competition of the mind.

In the final round of the Network of International Business Schools Worldwide Case Competition, only one team stood between us and our goal of defending Carleton’s championship for the second year in a row. That final moment of adrenaline-backed anticipation just before we began our pitch to a room packed with judges, 15 other student teams and various business professionals – in addition to an online audience – is something that will shape my future endeavours for years to come.

Early on in my studies as a commerce student, I learned of Sprott Competes, Carleton’s business case competition program that fosters strategic thinking and sound decision-making in real-life situations. In the program, teams of students with varying specialties compete to identify and pitch innovative, comprehensive and time-sensitive solutions to real corporate problems.

I thought when I joined that the program would help me develop my communication and presentation skills, in preparation for a career in marketing. It wasn’t long before I realized just how much I had underestimated its impact on me personally and professionally. After hours of practice and training, that’s how I found myself in Finland, competing against –and learning from – some of the smartest students from around the world.

Besides problem solving, case competitions are all about the dynamics of working asa team with other individuals who each bring a specific skillset and passion to the table. In a
lot of ways, bringing together diverse specialties is an advantage, though it can also be a challenge to adapt to at the outset: I look at problems through a marketing lens, for example, while my teammates see issues as they relate to finance, supply chain management or HR, depending on their specialties. The trick is to leverage each person’s specialty so you consider all sides of a problem and address it holistically.

Though it was a competition, by the end of our time in Finland, I felt a team-like kinship with the other students as well – like I was part of something greater than myself. In meeting people from all over the world with different cultures and ideas, you learn to appreciate opposing views and even seek out different ways of looking at things than you might have previously.

And that’s where I first discovered what it means to be a global citizen.

In a way, we’re all – all of us around the world – on a team together. Whether corporate, social or environmental, today’s toughest issues require innovative thinking, problem solving and collaboration with passionate people who each add their own unique specialties to the conversation. Just like in a case competition, it’s especially important for us as students, the next generation of leaders, to be able to learn from and join with others around the world to diagnose problems and identify creative solutions.

In one regard, I was right about Sprott Competes: It has greatly helped develop my communication, problem-solving and presentation skills in ways that are directly transferrable to the workplace and will aid my growth in my future career. What I didn’t anticipate, however, was how it would allow me to unite with people around the world and truly understand how we as global citizens can ignite change on an international level.

I wouldn’t have had this exposure without the support of generous donors like you who understand what it means to have a global impact by investing in something greater than yourself.

My role as a global citizen has just begun, and it’s thanks to Carleton and donors like you. Be Here for Good by supporting someone’s story today.

Student experiences at Carleton aren’t just about doing good for one period of time – they are designed to cultivate the desire and capacity to continue doing good well into the future. These important experiences cannot be possible without the support of donors like you.

When you support experiences for Carleton students, you aren’t contributing to a trip or a project: You are investing in the future of Ottawa, Canada and the world, making it possible for the next generation to do more good. Support the future of our world and join us in being Here for Good today.

Have your own Carleton story to share? Tell us by emailing us at Don’t miss next week’s story as we follow Ryan Maxwell on his adventure to Honduras!