Another Friday, another alumni feature! This week, we are proud to have Songah Chipanshi, University of Regina and Paul J. Hill School of Business alumni, sharing his undergraduate experience with us. A successful graduate and a great guy, Songah found his time in the CABS circuit to be among the most rewarding parts of his degree.
Songah began his extra-curricular career on the marketing social team with the Hill Business Students’ Society (Hill BSS) . Enjoying his experience, he then became the organization’s VP Finance for 2013 – 2014, a position he juggled with commitments to his school’s council and Enactus Regina programs. If this wasn’t enough, he competed in JDC West 2014 at his home school; not only did his Business Strategy team capture 2nd place, the Hill JDC West won School of the Year!
Currently, Songah splits his time between his role as a Staff Accountant in Deloitte Canada’s Assurance & Advisory practice, and further studies – he’s pursuing a Master of Professional Accounting and CPA designation from the University of Saskatchewan!
What motivated you to get involved on campus?
The person that motivated me to get more involved was former Hill BSS VP Marketing, Robbie Sahlu. During my second year, I worked with Robbie and his running-mate to promote their campaign. Working with Robbie required a crash course on the BSS and what exactly a student society does. I relished the opportunity to gain tangible experience while making a difference for the community through charity involvement, networking, and representing the concerns of the business student population.
What was your favorite part about being involved beyond the classroom at your university?
I loved meeting people within the local and national business communities. As a student, I felt the added pressure of finding a job and charting my career path. I realized that there were plenty of activities available to me as a student that would help to jumpstart my career. Getting outside of my comfort zone showed me that there are many crucial skills that you can’t learn from a book. Getting involved beyond the classroom allowed me to practice and showcase the skills that employers find valuable.
What would you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a student executive?
My greatest accomplishment and honour was ushering in the new Hill Legacy Program, along then-BSS president Jeanna Kozan, at the first ever Pinning Ceremony. The Hill Legacy program launch marked the culmination of the efforts of past and current members of the Hill School of Business family to unveil an iconic symbol of what it means to be a Hill student. The opportunity allowed me to reflect on my experiences and share them with a new class of promising students.
How has your extracurricular involvement helped you in your career?
Songah: My career has benefited tremendously from my involvement within my university. In assurance services, communication, teamwork and problem solving are just as important as financial acumen. Many of the activities I was involved with in university were ad-hoc, such as presenting in JDC West or planning a new dodgeball tournament. I learned to think on my feet and the people I worked with have now become some of my most trusted friends, colleagues and clients.
Do you have any advice for our current members?
Songah: Keep yourself open to new experiences, whether it’s volunteering at a school event, mentoring a younger student, or exploring the world while studying abroad. At the end of the day, a degree is piece of paper, your experiences are what will set you apart!
We know business people are always working to expand their networks! What’s the best way to get in touch?
Songah: You can reach me at Songah.firstname.lastname@example.org!