Sept. 13, 2022Print | PDF
The Business Technology Management Students’ Association (BTMSA) is a student-run association serving students within the Business Technology Management program (BTM) at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. The BTMSA has gained a strong student body presence and outreach across Laurier’s Brantford campus through hosting networking events, developing mentorship programs and connecting students at the Laurier Brantford campus.
The 2022/23 school year welcomes co-presidents Wesley Choy and Evan Vandenberg, third-year BTM students. Recently, we had the opportunity to virtually sit down with them to discuss their presidential vision, involvement with the organization and plans for on-campus initiatives.
Lazaridis School: How long have you been involved with the BTMSA?
Wesley: Evan and I both joined the Business Technology Management Students’ Association (BTMSA) in August 2021. Before becoming co-president alongside Evan in May of 2022, I was the Director of Finance and Administration.
Lazaridis School: Why did you first get involved and why have you stayed?
Wesley: I first got involved with the BTMSA because I wanted to make an impact in the program by assisting other students to succeed. I wanted to help plan events that will enrich the extracurricular experience and boost the morale of students, creating an enjoyable and welcoming atmosphere for all BTM students. I decided to stay in BTMSA executive team because I would like to continue working with the amazing team, providing support, and creating connections with BTM students.
Evan: When I first got involved with the BTMSA, I was the Director of Events and Operations. That position was a lot of fun because of the opportunity it gave me to brainstorm more casual events for BTM students to attend. I have continued this year as a member of the executive team because of the valued camaraderie that has developed between myself and my peers and the potential to provide support and engaging events to the upcoming year of BTM students.
Lazaridis School: Why did you decide to run for co-presidents?
Evan: Initially I was hesitant to apply for the position. A few close friends suggested the idea and I decided there was no harm in trying my luck. Reflecting, I am very grateful I made that decision simply because of the sheer number of students I have been able to connect with and the community I have been able to participate within.
Wesley: I decided to run for this position because I was encouraged by my friends and the previous Vice-President of Clubs and Associations of Students’ Union to apply. I also wanted the opportunity to challenge myself and learn new things.
Lazaridis School: What has been your favourite BTMSA initiative since you’ve been involved?
Evan: The BTM gala was a highlight this past winter. I particularly appreciated some time spent near the end of the night swapping stories and laughs as we reflected on our shared past experiences.
Wesley: For me, the highlight of the gala was being able to network with many students and alumni in person. We look forward to holding another extraordinary BTM gala this year!
Lazaridis School: What are you excited to do with the team in the 2022/23 school year?
Evan: This upcoming year we are excited to be offering monthly social events, giving the BTM students an opportunity to get a much-needed break from studying and connect with their peers. In addition, we plan to provide academic support through organizing facilitated study sessions and advocating on behalf of students whenever necessary.
Wesley: I am excited to work with the team to continue offering the BTMSA Mentorship Program for the 2022/23 school year. In this program, BTM student mentors connect with other students to help them succeed in academics and co-op. I had the opportunity to be a mentor in the program last year and really enjoyed connecting with other BTM students, helping them succeed.
Lazaridis School: Your presidential platform included supporting academic success and an increase in social/networking opportunities. Can you tell us about that?
Evan: I am particularly interested in supporting students academically. This can range from organizing study sessions, to advocating on behalf of students to professors related to midterm/exam scheduling. This practice was demonstrated to me by members of the BTMSA in previous years and it was much appreciated as a student.
Wesley: I wanted to focus on having social events to help students network, bringing everyone back together after two years of remote/hybrid learning. We are pleased to be offering events that will give students the opportunity to connect while giving them a break from academics.
Lazaridis School: Anything else you’d like to share?
Evan: The final thing I’d like to add is to encourage everyone to get involved! I had heard it many times throughout my first year at university, but I was unfamiliar with my own program’s student association until quite late in my university experience. Participating within this association has fostered unexpected friendships and experiences that will last a lifetime.
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