Reflections on student life at the Haskayne School of Business

Post Date: Friday, May 30, 2014
In the spring of 2014, Mayor Nenshi chatted with Alumni Connections for the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, his alma mater. You can view that article on page 3 using this link. The full text is below:

Reflection on student life: It’s all about getting involved

When Mayor Naheed Nenshi (BComm’93) thinks back to his time at Haskayne, he thinks of connectedness.

Not surprising from an alumnus who did everything from joining the ICBC team four years running, to serving as President of the U of C Students’ Union, to editing the Scurfield Squire (with his current Chief of Staff, Chima Nkemdirim (BComm ’94), who also served as Vice President External on the SU), down to simply taking the time to catch up with people in Scurfield Hall. All this involvement grounded the Mayor, and lay the foundation for the high level of involvement and disclosure he brings to everything he does. He has also maintained some key university connections.

Before becoming mayor of Calgary, Mr. Nenshi worked in the private, public and non-profit sectors including a stint at McKinsie & Company and starting his own consulting firm. He enjoyed spanning the three worlds, as they each had specialized processes. His consultancy was equally effective for retail as it was for the arts, proving that he had armed himself with the right tools and an attitude for success.

“It’s about more than transparency,” he explains, “it’s inviting people into decision making, and giving them the full information to make decisions.”

As for his love of Calgary and his alma mater’s role within it, Mayor Nenshi has some great advice. The university has done a good job of attracting talent, but he feels it is poised to do even more with undergrads. Calgary can keep the talent here with all it offers in quality of life—it has the arts, nature, and is an entrepreneurial, dynamic home for families to grow. It is no accident that so many head offices are in Calgary, especially when telecommuting is possible the world over. It’s simply a great place to be.

However, as alumni, we could do more. Mayor Nenshi asks his fellow graduates to advocate with our governments for accessible post-secondary education. “Post-secondary education is not an ivory tower, it’s the ticket to a great life for everyone.”

The Mayor encourages all University alumni to use the skills acquired to take up his “3 Things for Calgary” challenge. Bring your creativity and knowledge into what you pay forward. Everyone has the power to change their community, in their own way, within their abilities. Haskayne alumni have a special opportunity to use their management skills to make many improvements in the community.
Take up the Mayor’s challenge: “If everyone did at least 3 Things for Calgary, we’d have more than 3 million actions that would make this an even better city.” Join the board of a non-profit, help audit the books, use your management skills to improve public services. Do so with U of C pride!