What is your role in the student group as president?
I kind of manage all of our team members but I also ensure that we’re up to SAMU regulations and that we’re applying for all of our events in a timely manner. So maintaining that overall timeline, I suppose. Although I’m mostly focused on external partnerships. We work a lot with local entrepreneurs or with local organizations. So I network; I go out to diﬀerent events and I meet a lot of new people just throughout various projects.
What are the results of these networking meetings?
Sometimes we’ll go to an event and be introduced to a local business owner; we create workshops with those partners. So maybe we’ll work with Startup Edmonton, for example, or we’ll work with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. And they will introduce us to a potential entrepreneur that could host a workshop. And that means that our general members will be able to attend this and learn from a real entrepreneur how to network or how to create a business plan or how to get funding or how to apply for grants and all that kind of stuﬀ. So when I’m meeting them, I’m usually just explaining what our club is, what it is that we can and cannot do as a student group.
How do you help your group members?
We can’t actually provide funding to our students because we are just a student group. Unfortunately, some people kind of misunderstand and think that we are just giving a bunch of money away to student entrepreneurs, which unfortunately is not true. But we do try to create educational opportunities for our members through workshops and events.
What kind of events do you host?
We focus largely on creating workshops. We had incorporated a lot of diﬀerent members, like we’ve done some workshops with the design faculty. We actually brought in a professor to teach our students how to design products, essentially. We’ve also done a couple of just fundraising events that are fun little things like trivia nights, for example.
We also had a keynote speaker who was able to share their experiences and share resources, for example, grants or other competitions that are available in the city.
Is the student group open to anyone?
Yes. I suppose it’s been a bit intimidating for other people to get involved. This year, we completely rebranded and are trying to encourage people from all disciplines, all faculties to really enjoy it and get together. That’s our biggest mission right now, I guess is to really make sure that people know you can do it no matter what, like, no matter where you come from, everybody can be an entrepreneur. It’s not just the business people.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
If you feel like you’re a creative person and you like to push the boundaries of what the norm is a little bit, or if you just want to be your own boss, or even if you want to own your own business for the sake of not having to wake up early and go to a conventional job, come check out our events. You never know, you might meet the perfect person who will be the exact mentor or investor.
Edited for length and clarity.