Patrick Smith is originally from Montreal, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from McGill University, majoring in international business. He was excited to move out to the Maritimes as he has family out here – his mom is from New Brunswick. While at McGill, Patrick played on the golf and baseball teams, and has also played baseball for the Dal Tigers. In his spare time he enjoys basketball and playing the guitar. Patrick is on his corporate residency here in Halifax as an associate with Aon’s Health & Benefits division.
First of all, who organized the event?
Our MBA Society president, Christie Lang, had reached out to those of us on our corporate residencies here in Halifax with a number of volunteering opportunities. These are great chances for members of our program to give back to the community, which I think is important. There are always people who could use our help and it allows our program to develop stronger ties with the local community.
Which organization did you partner with?
Second-year student Mary-Eleanor Walker got a bunch of us to volunteer for Feed Nova Scotia. We sold 50/50 tickets at a Halifax Rainmen game. I was eager to help with this cause because I had experience doing the same thing at Habs games for the Montreal Canadiens’ Children’s Foundation. Feed Nova Scotia struck me as a great organization, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take in a Rainmen game, something I hadn’t yet done since moving here this summer.
Tell us about the evening and what it means both for you personally, the team and Dalhousie’s MBA program?
Ever since I moved to Halifax, I’ve been looking for a chance to volunteer some of my time to give back to the community. It was nice to be able to volunteer with a group of Dal MBA students; things like this always make me feel like I’m part of something special here at Dalhousie. It was a great feeling to be able to lend a hand and raise some money for a worthy cause, and hopefully we can do something similar in the future!
Can you speak to the overall experience and what you have learned/gained from it?
I think these are the types of experiences that help form bonds within the program. Some of the greatest opportunities from the program occur outside the classroom. These types of activities are where you form friendships with your classmates. We had people volunteering from both the 2013 and 2014 cohort, so it also helped with inter-cohort bonding as well.
What recommendations do you have for someone entering the program?
I would recommend that they explore all the opportunities they have outside the classroom. Our curriculum is important, but our experiences outside the classroom shape us both as a cohort and as individuals. When you’re out there on the job market, people want to hear about things you’ve done, not just the things you’ve learned! There are so many opportunities in this program to join clubs, organize events or, as in this case, volunteer for a good cause. Find what you’re passionate about and apply yourself!
Any final thoughts?
Volunteering is one of many ways for people to find their “thing”. It’s my belief that everyone needs to have a “thing” – a hobby or activity they do that makes them unique. Normally my “thing” is playing baseball, but during the winter I try to find other ways to occupy my time – and helping to raise money for Feed Nova Scotia seemed like a good use of my time. It really helps you become more employable if you have a “thing” that employers can relate to!