The ASK Program enables alumni to share their professional and personal expertise with current students that will help prepare them for a successful future while also leaving a lasting impact on our community.
Saavin Lidder (Class of 2018) shares the story of how she and six other Southridge Alumni have worked together to create a new UBC publication, New Business Review.
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!
At Southridge, contribution is at the heart of what we inherit and pass on, and 25 years into our journey, we remain grateful for the visionary contributions of our parents, students, teachers, leaders, alumni, and alumni families. Reaching this important milestone as a community is a testament to the people who worked tirelessly to establish our school. The foundational principles they embedded in the Southridge culture have created a close and connected community, and they have had an enduring impact on our over 1,200 graduates.
On Saturday, March 7, 2020, we welcomed back to campus alumni and alumni families to reconnect with current families and staff, while also recognizing the accomplishments of our alumni.
As part of the 25 Years of Southridge celebrations, and in the spirit of recognizing those who continue to represent the values of Southridge, we officially launched the 25 Years of Remarkable Alumni initiative in December 2018. We reached out to alumni and the alumni parent community, along with other groups such as teachers, administrators, coaches, and peers to encourage them to nominate alumni who have had remarkable achievements since they graduated. From their contributions as volunteers and community leaders to their academic and professional successes, our goal was to encourage people to nominate alumni who are continuing to make a difference in the world.
The 25 Years of Remarkable Alumni event was so much fun – it brought together over 200 members of the Southridge community and it was a wonderful opportunity for the alumni community to re-connect. The evening's program included student musical performances, student-led campus tours, and a 'throwback' archive display, which was appreciated by alumni and alumni parents who had not been back in many years!
Here's a link to a full album from the event!
Last December, Southridge Alumni Association hosted a special 'Throwback' Christmas Feast in celebration of the 25 years of Southridge.
Last December, Southridge Alumni Association hosted a special 'Throwback' Christmas Feast in celebration of the 25 years of Southridge. We welcomed back to campus over 160 alumni, along with over 40 guests, including faculty and volunteers!
Highlights of the evening included a bustling cocktail hour, a delicious 'throwback' turkey dinner served by 9 alumni parent volunteers, and hilarious entertainment by Wes Barker - a Canadian award-winning comedic magician. And of course, some historical skits performed by our beloved teaching staff. This one-time only event was a great way to welcome back alumni and celebrate our special milestone anniversary with them. Thanks to everyone who attended!
Here's a link to a full album from the event!
Every spring, Southridge's most recent graduates are invited back to campus to participate in Fireside Chats with the current graduating class.
Every spring, Southridge's most recent graduates are invited back to campus to participate in Fireside Chats with the current graduating class. Alumni come back to share personal stories about university transitions, what to expect, and how to survive the first year of university.
In March, we were thrilled to welcome back 18 of last year's alumni from across North America. Our Grade 12 students genuinely enjoyed seeing their old classmates and actively participated in asking questions about course selections, life on campus, and how to balance school and personal activities.
Fireside Chats are a great example of the valuable support we offer our graduates every year and has become an important tradition at the school. We look forward to welcoming back our alumni each year and thank them for taking the time to share their experiences.