Meet three student leaders from the UBC Bachelor of Commerce Class of 2022
It’s graduation season and there is every reason to celebrate the UBC Bachelor of Commerce Class of 2022. This cohort has created a resilient community amongst themselves, one that uplifts and supports its members. They’ve made the most of their university experience, excelling in academics and embracing extracurriculars, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and unpredictability of recent years.
Today, we recognise three student leaders who embody the values and perseverance of their graduating class.
It’s hard to believe now, but when Jonathan Kim was fresh out of high school, he didn’t anticipate playing an active role in the fabric of the UBC Sauder School of Business. “What woke me out of that self-centred mindset was seeing the service of the upper-level students, the other people here who came before me,” says Kim.
With his predecessors as his inspiration, Kim set out to contribute by serving, learning, and building.
As Vice President of Student Engagement for the Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS), Kim estimates he served over 1,000 hours and impacted roughly 2,500 students through events and initiatives. Kim also built connections within in his combined major of business and computer science (BUCS), as a founding member of the BUCS Student Society.
When it comes to learning, Kim looks beyond the classroom at every opportunity and never shies away from representing UBC Sauder on the international stage. Last year, he and his teammates placed second in the Hong Kong International Case Competition. “I always tried to compete in case competitions or hackathons, so I could work on my business and technical skills.”
Lastly, Kim says he’s inclined to build whenever he sees a gap to fill. In his fourth year, he partnered with the UBC Product Management Club to create a three-week competition called the Produthon, which gave students the opportunity to network with product management and software engineering professionals.
“I am glad that UBC Sauder provided me with the platform and the environment to be able to do all these things.”
Kim will be formally graduating this November. In the meantime, he’s secured a sought-after summer internship as a Technical Program Manager with Microsoft at its Seattle office.
When he considers his aspirations in the long term, Kim says he hopes to continue serving his communities in whatever capacities he can. His time at UBC Sauder and his experience as a teaching assistant have been so impactful that he even hopes to become a professor one day.
Coming to UBC Sauder, Lydia Yoon knew that she wanted to make a positive impact. “To me, that meant that my university experience couldn’t just be centred around myself,” says Yoon. “Rather, I tried to make a strong effort to enhance the growth environments of those around me.”
Yoon was successful in her mission. She combined her personal interest in giving back to the community and her academic interest in marketing in two main ways: participating in case competitions and serving as a teaching assistant.
Yoon captained a team of 57 competitors for JDC West, the largest undergraduate business competition in Western Canada. They came first overall and took home thirteen awards – a record in UBC Sauder and JDC West history. Even after graduation, Yoon plans to stay involved in an advisory role as the team’s “godparent.” She also occupied similar leadership positions within the UBC Marketing Association, the Human Resources Club and the CUS.
As a head teaching assistant for three classes and over 3,000 students, Yoon discovered her love of mentoring the next generation. “The TA element was one of the most rewarding experiences – it was an involvement that helped shape my future career and aspirations,” says Yoon.
Yoon will be joining Kim in walking across the graduation stage in November 2022. She recently relocated to Toronto to begin her dream job with Google – currently as an Associate Product Marketing Manager Intern.
In the long run, Yoon says she also has her sights set on a career in academia. “The dream is to come back to UBC Sauder as part of the faculty one day. I would love to continue giving back to the community that has shaped who I am today.”
Kristian Oppenheim came to UBC Sauder wanting to connect with and support as many people as he could.
Oppenheim found ways to serve that matched his academic interests as well as his personal passions. He was President of the CUS, a career peer advisor, a teaching assistant, an orientation leader, as well an active participant in case competitions like JDC West. Oppenheim even used his background in musical theatre to create a production of Mamma Mia during his second year.
“The more I got involved in the community, the more I cared about UBC and my time here, and that ultimately led to me spending more time on my academics because I saw the broader picture of what I could accomplish,” says Oppenheim.
Oppenheim describes his approach to community involvement as one of ‘servant leadership,’ focused on uplifting others and meeting them where they want to be supported. “Words can’t describe how fulfilling that feels – to come to school every day knowing that I am going to have the opportunity to make other people’s days better.”
Oppenheim graduates this spring with a specialization in accounting. Like Kim and Yoon, his next chapter is full of promise. He plans to move east to work for EY Toronto and to pursue his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation and then his Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation. On his vision board, Oppenheim says, “I see president and CEO of my own company someday.”
For incoming and prospective UBC Sauder students, Oppenheim offers this: “It’s really easy to come to class and feel like you’re miles behind everyone, but just think about what makes you happy and do those things, and eventually the accomplishments you’re looking for, the opportunities you’re looking for, will follow.”
On behalf of the entire UBC Sauder community, congratulations to the class of 2022!