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Today, The Journal. Tomorrow, the World.

Date Published: May 21, 2020

BComm graduate Braden Newell anticipates his future will be immersed in technology.

BComm graduate 2020Sobey School of Business student Braden Newell is graduating with his Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Computing and Information Systems, but he isn’t finished at Saint Mary’s. He will return in the fall as a student in the Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation program. With Braden’s history in Junior Achievement and Enactus, he has the skills and experience to make a significant impact.

Braden has already made his mark on the SMU community. The winter term marked the return to active publication of the Saint Mary’s student newspaper, The Journal. Braden breathed new life into the publication, but his impetus wasn’t a ‘call’ to be a journalist. I asked Braden, “What inspired you to take on revitalizing the Journal?”

“This is a funny question because I am not a writer, and not much of a media person in general. What I am is organized and willing to take charge. Mitch [Archibald, Braden’s best friend] was serving as Chair of SMUSA’s board of directors. I wanted a board experience after a failed attempt at joining that board. So I offered to join the Journal’s board. Shortly after, the current chair stepped down and I was asked if I would be interested. I then proceeded to take the Journal on as a project of mine and here we are, over a year later, with the Journal having 15+ staff, a 7-person board, a new constitution, and a brand new website.”

“We are constantly working to provide new content for the students. Not being much of a reader myself, I am excited to be pushing new video and podcast initiatives to deliver. We completed our first semester of publishing in about two years this past winter semester and we have a team ready to continue to publish through the summer.”

How would you describe yourself? 

“I currently work for Apple Canada Inc. and serve as the Board Chair and Executive Director of the SMU Journal Publishing Society. Outside of my busy life of studies, work, and extracurriculars I am a “dog dad” to a valley-bull mix named Sniper who is turning six this year, and volunteer with Junior Achievement Nova Scotia as a classroom volunteer.”

“To me, technology is everything. I would describe myself as a technology enthusiast. Often, I am an early adopter of neat new technologies, and believe that technology can save lives and improve our quality of living. In particular I am a huge believer in better access to cheaper and more reliable telecommunication services for the rural parts of the country.”

“It is because of this passion for business and technology that I have linked a BComm in CIS and the MTEI program plus my work with Apple. I also served as Enactus Saint Mary’s project manager for a technology literacy program called ConnectED, which provided at-risk youth with technology literacy skills, served as their Director of Technology, and served as SMUSA’s board liaison prior to joining The Journal.” 

What brought you to Saint Mary’s?

“I discovered my passion for business in grade 12 while doing the company program through Junior Achievement. This prompted me to apply to SMU, being the best business school in Atlantic Canada. I got to know Amanda in admissions during this time.”

“Through JA, I served as President of my technology training company called Tech Teens where we taught seniors, business owners, and job seekers about technology.”

“One weekend my mother and I came to Halifax to visit Dal, SMU, and MSVU’s open houses. We went to SMU first where I was offered an entrance scholarship and then the Santamarian scholarship shortly after that. SMU was my first choice, and already being selected for the program I wanted in the school I wanted, we decided to go home that day and not visit the other schools. Being from Lunenburg, I wanted to go to school in Halifax to still be near family. Four years later it is amazing to look back on how it all started.” 

What is your favourite memory of the last four years?

“To be honest, my favourite memory has to be meeting my best friend Mitch Archibald. We often joke forgetting how we met but remember being in a quantitative methods class together first year and being virtually introduced by Amanda. While it is not a specific memory it is this specific friendship which I have formed at SMU which made the experience alone worth it. It is a friendship I will value for a lifetime.” 

What are your future aspirations?

“Whenever anyone asks what I would like to do in the future is say “I want to be the CEO of Apple”. Shoot for the stars, right? Finishing my BComm in computing and information systems, doing the MTEI program, and obtaining various certifications such as being a Jamf certified associate, an Apple-certified iOS technician, and Apple-certified Mac technician, I hope to work in IT or information technology for a company. Perhaps start my own IT consulting business someday.”

“There are so many roads ahead for me, but every route involves technology. In the short term, I will still be working for Apple, running The Journal, volunteering with JA, looking after my dog, and running while completing my Masters of Technology in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In the long term, I suppose who knows? Hopefully I’ll be going there in a self driving car.” 


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