QCLS: Five Years in the Making
Queen’s Commerce Frosh Week. The moment you first begin to learn about the brilliant uniqueness of the Queen’s Commerce program. You meet lifelong friends, make incredible memories, and are expected to learn about one million different things within the span of a few days. Out of the plethora of opportunities and information thrown at us first years, the Queen’s Commerce Leadership Summit made an impression on me that ignited a fire that has still not been put out.
Year 1: Building the Next Generation of Business Leaders
I had the incredible opportunity to attend the inaugural Queen’s Commerce Leadership Summit as a first-year student, and it was a game changing experience. Speakers like Mike Durland from Scotiabank fueled the desire to be authentic and original leaders. I had the chance to bond with delegates Zack Scott, Vlad Novosellov, and Rayna Pearlson. They revealed to me the caliber of individuals who I would have the privilege to call my peers over the next four years.
Lastly, the original Wolfpack (the Executive Team) was a unit that was jam-packed with phenomenal individuals, some of whom I can call my closest friends and mentors today.
The conference was a flurry of great moments that when brought together, taught me the importance of our first theme: Building the Next Generation of Business Leaders. I quickly learned that this next generation of business leaders was composed of everyone who attended the inaugural QCLS, which is why I decided to apply to be a part of the executive team.
Year 2: Lead the Pack
I walked into my interview with Tatiana and Vikram wearing an unconventional outfit of dress pants, dress shirt, tie and a cardigan. Tatiana told me she liked my outfit, so I was off to a good start. The interview was awesome, and I was applying for Delegates Coordinator as my number one choice. I still remember telling the interviewers that a song that describes my life is Over by Drake. I ended up being hired as a Sponsorship Coordinator with two fantastic teammates, Andrew Parkes and Andrew Kosc. Working to build a conference from the ground up showed me what it meant to Lead the Pack. Seeing the leaders of Wolfpack 2.0 orchestrate an incredible experience for not only delegates, but also speakers, sponsors, and the entire executive team made me want to continue building an incredible conference that was on its way to realizing its’ full potential. It didn’t hurt that we had Steamwhistle, Ben & Jerry’s, and Scotiabank as sponsors and David Cheesewright, CEO of Walmart as one of our speakers either!
Year 3: Reach Your Peak
Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga- three of the highest peaks in the world. That’s what this year’s conference was about: helping each other to reach our peaks, find what we are passionate about, and how to leave our mark on the world in the best way possible. Wolfpack 3.0 was incredible - hard-working, dedicated, and motivated to take QCLS to even greater heights. I
I missed the conference as I was in Vienna, Austria on exchange but followed along on every social medium possible. Seeing Vikram (the former co-chair) as a delegate was a highlight especially during our newly introduced simulation. New sponsors like CPP Investment Board and Bell allowed delegates to continue to recruit at the best companies. Engaging speakers like Dino Trevisani from IBM captivated everyone involved in QCLS 2015.
Our marquee workshop Eagles Flight, “a global leader in the development and delivery of business-relevant, experiential learning programs”, was an incredible experience for everyone who participated. Our delegate speaker series continued, showcasing the brilliant people and their stories that walk the halls of Goodes Hall. There began the idea for expansion for QCLS 2016.
Year 4: Howl Together: The Power of Collaboration
Loving eloquent language as much as I do, I recently came across a quote that was so impactful that I can’t help but share it.
’There is no such thing as a "self-made [person]". We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the makeup of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.’
In essence, this was QCLS 2016. Wolfpack 4.0 was an amazing team that Rayna and I will always remember as co-chairs. Nima came into the role as Executive Director, and I realized that the individuals we were working with will be remembered as some of our best friends and teammates. Our focus was to continue to refine what we were excellent at: speakers, workshops and socials, amongst other things. We pushed to expand and redefine what sponsorship meant to us with more in-kind and engagement from sponsors than ever before. Coca-Cola, WealthSimple, and BMO are a few of our noteworthy sponsors who showed us a new kind of sponsor relationship. Our speakers were some of the greatest orators I’ve seen live. Alison Lewis from Johnson & Johnson, Andrew MacBean, Jock Climie from TSN, Brad Long, and David Sculthorpe from the Heart and Stroke Foundation are the notable speakers who left all of those listening with incredible advice and inspiration. Our delegate pool was phenomenal, led by Andrew DiCapua and Ali Rimas. It was Andrew and Ali’s efforts that made our delegate pool so engaging and diverse, including multiple faculties. We launched a new simulation that was a combination of four fast-paced cases that incorporated relevant and controversial social issues. I would be mistaken to not mention our rebranded website, and the launch of our thought leadership forum, The Howl. Our newly launched logo, combined with these initiatives work to continuously improve the QCLS brand. As an ode to our theme we truly ‘howled together’ as a united group of executive members, delegates, speakers and sponsors. It was a conference that I would relive countless times if possible and not change anything. Thank you to Wolfpack 4.0 for making it the experience of a lifetime.
Year 5: A New Phase in Leadership
For our 5-year anniversary, QCLS will explore the changing environment in the leadership landscape. Professor Spitzmueller’s previous article in The Howl describes the theme perfectly. This year, QCLS is launching a formal mentorship program. To share experiences and knowledge with those who are going through something you’ve done is a way to build formidable relationships, and coincidentally, the next generation of business leaders. I wish Wolfpack 5.0 the best of luck and I know that they will not only lead the pack, but will help others reach their peak, and it will all be done through the power of collaboration. This is the new phase in leadership.