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Management student wins international women in business award

Third-year UTSC management co-op student Samantha Seto has won an international women in business award. (Photo by Ken Jones.)

Samantha Seto, a third-year management co-op student at U of T Scarborough (UTSC), has won a prestigious international award that recognizes young women who have demonstrated leadership and excellence in academics and extracurricular activities in the pursuit of careers in business.

Seto is one of 12 recipients of the prestigious Zonta International Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship. This award honours third- and fourth-year female undergraduates from accredited universities and colleges around the world. Seto is one of two Canadian winners this year. The other recipients come from the United States, Germany, Sweden, Australia and China. The scholarship entitles Seto to almost $6,000, which she plans to put towards her education.

“Winning this award means a lot to me,” says Seto, 20. “It recognizes that with passion and hard work, success is within reach. Although there have been increasing numbers of prominent female role models in the business world, I believe that this is a key area for growth, since mentorship is really important to all professionals starting out.”

Zonta is an international non-governmental organization that aims to advance the status of women through service and advocacy. It is made up of business executives and industry professionals and has close ties to the United Nations, to whom it directs issues of relevance to women. Zonta has 33,000 members in 1,200 clubs across 67 countries. The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship is named in memory of the former entrepreneur and member of the Zonta Club of Syracuse, New York.

Seto is an executive on the Management & Economics Students’ Association (MESA) at U of T Scarborough, a student group that aims to enrich student life on campus and promote career opportunities to management students. Outside of university, she serves in her church youth group and as a Sergeant in the St. John Ambulance cadet division, where she educates and coaches junior members on first aid and leadership. In December 2008, she received that organization’s Grand Priors Award, with more than 700 hours of volunteer service.

Her work with MESA and her extracurricular activities were recognized through the award. Seto was described in the nomination as “an outgoing and ambitious student who is a positive role model for our female management students.”

A co-op student, Seto is currently on her second work term with Ernst & Young LLP as a staff accountant, working in their assurance practice. She works with the company in auditing various types of organizations. “My interest is particularly in not-for-profit organizations, and this involves understanding the operations and financial processes of the organizations and providing assurance over the figures in their financial statements.”

Seto grew up in Scarborough and graduated from Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute in Agincourt. She hopes to graduate in 2011 with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) as a management specialist. She is interested in pursuing a professional accounting designation after that and exploring careers in teaching and corporate social responsibility.

“One of my visions is to be in a field where I can make a difference and break the notion that profit and social responsibility are on opposite spectrums.” Her long-term goal is “to work in a career that involves continuous growth that challenges me, while combining my passions for working with people and making a difference.”

Finding her passion, regardless of what challenges she is faced with, has always been a major driving force for her, Seto says. From her earliest days at UTSC, she says she always wanted to make an impact on the people around her. She strives to be proactive on campus and looks towards future opportunities, according to Seto. Each experience and challenge she has faced has helped her to redefine herself as a student, expanding her horizons and encouraging her to leap into new opportunities.

“I strongly believe in challenging myself and always seeking to learn,” she adds. “I also think that having a positive attitude and placing yourself in the shoes of others is the key to being a leader and team player.”

For more details on Zonta, click here.

by Lichi Chen (with files from Mary Ann Gratton)

© University of Toronto Scarborough