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MBA student nabs convocation award

Precious medals

By Meaghan Whelan

As a member of the Dean’s List, multiple scholarship winner, Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies and holder of the highest academic standing in the graduating MBA class, it wasn’t a surprise to classmates or professors when Wendy Brant won the University Medal for Excellence in an All-Course Master’s Program.

One thing that was unusual was that Ms. Brant was the eighth female MBA student to win the medal in the 12-year history of the award.

The legacy of success started in 1997 when Peggy Coady won the first University Medal for Excellence in an All-Course Master’s Program. Previous to that, there was one graduate medal which normally went to a student in a thesis-based program. When the new medal was created, female MBA students began a record of success that Ms. Brant is continuing.

Ms. Brant, a native of Belleville, Ont., came to Memorial after completing an environmental engineering degree at the University of Waterloo to find a general MBA program that had international opportunities.

“One of the highlights of my program was a semester at EGADE, ITESM, in Monterrey, Mexico. The chance to meet other students, live in another country and take courses with a completely different focus than those offered at Memorial was fantastic,” she said.

This international experience coupled with her previous degree gave Ms. Brant a unique perspective in the classroom.

“One of the strengths of Memorial’s MBA program is the diverse backgrounds of the students,” she explained. “Through discussions and group work you can learn a lot from your classmates that really complements the traditional in-class learning.”

She also credits the professors in the Faculty of Business for being so supportive.

“There are great professors in the Faculty of Business who act as mentors to their students in all business disciplines. For female students especially, there are great role models like Peggy Coady and Dale Foster,” she explained.

Ms. Coady, the inaugural winner of the medal, is now the director of graduate programs in the Faculty of Business and she nominated Ms. Brant for the award.

“I taught Wendy and I can attest to her intellectual ability, strong work ethic, and professionalism,” Ms. Coady said. “I personally believe she is one of the strongest candidates we have ever seen in the 25-year history of the MBA in the Faculty of Business Administration.”

When Ms. Brant graduated last month, she already had a position lined up that combines her environmental engineering background with her management skills.

“I’m going to be travelling for a few months and then starting work in Northern Vermont as a regional manager of environment, health and safety with Ethan Allan.”