Success means not settling.
- Bachelor of Commerce student
Dipon Debnath left his home in Bangladesh to come to Saint Mary's in 2011. He was 16, finished high school, and focused on his future.
After researching business schools worldwide, he chose the Sobey School of Business, saying a scholarship and the unique features of the computing and information systems major helped sway him. Seeking a bigger understanding of the effects of technology, Debnath says his courses help him understand system interconnectedness. He enjoys project management in particular, and helping organizations embrace innovations. "It's what the world is working toward. Everything is interconnected nowadays," Debnath says.
Now 19 and in his fourth year, Debnath picked up a second major in finance, and is racking up accomplishments inside and outside the classroom. "I plan to keep working hard, innovating and learning new things every day," he says.
With a GPA of 4.17 and a commitment to giving back, Debnath has won a $15,000 Frank H. Sobey Award for Excellence in Business Studies. His application noted his volunteerism, which includes helping to write a corporate social responsibility report for Halifax's Laing House, successes competing in business case competitions, and initiative in starting a new student chapter of ISACA, an information systems global nonprofit. Debnath is also student representative with AIESEC, a global organization that creates leadership potential for interns, and vice-president marketing for the Sobey Accounting Society.
For Debnath, the award is an honour and also confirmation of his purpose and fit within his new community.
His two co-op terms to date have been with Bell Aliant, where he's worked with performance improvement teams to address customer service issues, and he's looking forward to completing his third co-op this summer. The co-op experience, he says, has taught him a lot, noting in particular the support he's received from Joanne Firth, his Employment Development Officer, with resumés and cover letters.
Debnath also credits the commitment of his professors with providing career guidance. He calls Dr. Karen Lightstone, who was his team's faculty representative at the recent Inter-Collegiate Business Competition at Queen's University, a "great coach." Debnath's team placed third in the prestigious national event, where in a pressure-filled final round teams have five internet-free hours to solve a complicated business case. For Debnath, who currently works on-campus as a teaching associate with the Centre for Academic Technology, and who one day hopes to work as a consultant for wide-ranging industries, the opportunity to troubleshoot real problems faced by retail, aerospace and telecommunications companies was fantastic.
When asked if he considers himself successful, Debnath pauses before replying that success is hard to define. "If you consider yourself successful, you'll stop working hard," says Debnath.