Saavin Lidder graduated from Southridge in 2018 and is currently studying at the UBC Sauder School of Business. Saavin describes herself as a self-starter, so when she developed an idea for a new editorial publication project at UBC, she leaned in with all her passion. Not only did Saavin offer strong writing support, she managed to recruit a total of six Southridge alumni to assist her in content writing, graphic design, and technical support. These young Southridge alumni are getting a lot of attention for their contributions to the New Business Review, and we're proud to see the success they have achieved.
1) What is the New Business Review?
Around this time last year I was reflecting on some neat things I got to do as a research assistant at Sauder working with a few professors. They were frequently in the news or got to publish their ideas in various outlets. I would often put together an essay inspired by their work and run it by them and then later share it with my friends. It made me wish that there was a space for me and my peers to share ideas with an audience to essentially do what my professors did at an undergraduate level. That's how the idea for the New Business Review came to be. It's an entirely student-written and student-run business magazine at UBC that aims to distribute meaningful business insights.
2) What is the focus of the content published in the New Business Review?
We publish articles that discuss business strategy, macroeconomic events, or make strategic recommendations to companies or industries. NBR also features an interview with a notable Sauder alumnus through which we try to highlight their work, individual story, and strengthen the relationship between current students and alumni. To convince a busy person to give up some of their time for an interview with a student publication that hasn't yet delivered on a value proposition is very difficult. I was lucky that my advisor while I was at Southridge happened to be close with a very notable Sauder alumnus,
Nolan Watson. Nolan is the CEO of Sandstorm Gold Royalties and coincidentally also a Southridge parent; I reached out to him by sharing our mutual connection. I'm so grateful he agreed to do it, and to my Southridge advisor who told me about him a few years ago!
3) How has the Southridge alumni community supported your vision?
Even when the idea was starting to take shape, I still didn't know what it would look like on an operational level. Luckily Sooruj Ghangass (Class of 2014) was involved with a similar initiative at Ivey Business School and he kindly let me ask him a ton of questions and shared some advice with me. Based on the conversation I had with him, I knew how important it would be to have a strong team to execute this vision together. Some of the first people I asked to join the team were Southridge alumni—quite a few attend UBC. Sarah Vereschagin (Class of 2018), Haaziq Karim (Class of 2018), and Sabrina Redies (Class of 2019) were among the first people to hop on board. They're some of my best friends and seeing their excitement for the idea was even more motivating. About a month later we needed to expand our team to include artists, so I sent a message to Rachel Tong (Class of 2018), Samantha Chiang (Class of 2018), and Millenia Kitikul (2018) asking if they'd like to join. They are some of the most talented and creative people I know and I was ecstatic when they agreed to do it. Coming by people who you trust and are dedicated, hardworking, and fun to work with is hard and NBR wouldn't be possible without my former Southridge peers. This might sound cheesy, but they truly embody the school's new slogan of "strong minds, good hearts". They're the type of people who you can always count on to support you.
4) What has this experience taught you from an entrepreneurial perspective?
There were many times I looked back and thought about how I couldn't have accomplished this without having such a diverse and supportive network. The Southridge community is definitely very special to me and I'm grateful for the role it played in starting this venture, and the role it will continue to play in my professional life as I get older. One of the best parts about NBR was getting to re-connect with Southridge alumni at UBC and getting to showcase their work. Over the past few years I've realized that I'm very much an ideas person and I love building things up from scratch. However, I've left a lot of ideas on paper and NBR is one of a few that I was able to bring to life because I found a group of people who were just as excited about it as I was. I would say to embrace your network and get to know people who are working on things you're not good at or you don't know much about. You'll learn and grow from them, and they'll be your best bet for working on creating something together. You never know when pooling your skills with theirs might create something really unique.
Congratulations to Saavin and all of the Southridge alumni involved in this initiative on collaborating on such a great project!