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#UofTGrad17: Vivekan Jeyagaran

Though he is uncertain of where he will be in five years, Vivekan Jeyagaran hopes to be working in areas of International Development and Humanitarian aid.

Vivekan Jeyagaran is driven by the idea of serving others.

“I am passionate about being a voice and a source of empowerment for those that, for some inexplicable reason, are faced with unparalleled adversity,” he says.

A lot of his work to help those faced with adversity was out of the country. Including working in the Czech Republic with AIESEC as a Youth Development volunteer and he has been in Malawi since December volunteering as a Business Management Advisor through the World University Service of Canada for six months.

Most of his work off campus was done during his breaks from school, while his work on campus correlated with his Co-op Specialist in Management with a focus in Economics, Finance and Strategy.

He worked as part of the core team of the Management and Economics Students’ Association (MESA) which he calls his most rewarding accomplishment at U of T Scarborough.

“The opportunity allowed me to serve others and create valuable opportunities, but also empowered me to build relationships and memories with the team, peers, and other friends that I know will last,” he says. 

Where did you go to high school?

I went to high school at Bur Oak Secondary School in Markham. 

Why did you come to U of T Scarborough?

I can tell you more about why I’d choose UTSC again as opposed to why I initially chose it to be honest.  That being said, I came to UTSC for the co-op program and because a little bird told me that the students at UTSC had each other’s backs.  That sense of community was, always has been, and always will be important to me (my experience tells me that this bird was correct). 

Why did you choose your program?

This program promised to give me tools that could be leveraged across any industry. A Business Management and Economics program, teaches you skills (both soft and technical) that are intertwined in the way things fundamentally work across the globe.  You will find that there is an abundance of intersections between Management/Economics and others areas of study. 

What was your favourite class?

Corporate Strategy taught by Professor Kristina McElheran.  This course introduces you to analytical frameworks used in discussing, analyzing, and developing business strategies.  Professor McElheran is also a professor who I found to be great at bringing out the best in students, particularly because of her emphasis on case analysis and discussion driven learning!  Her class was challenging, but intellectually stimulating and I do wish there were more courses along the lines of this one. 

Where did you feel most at home on campus?

The IC building for sure. I feel comfortable there because it’s a small building and on a daily basis I come across my peers, close friends, friends of friends, new faces, faculty and staff so frequently. I love that I can get that kind of face time with all of them so easily, and I definitely miss that too.

Quick tip for new first years?

Be open to multi-disciplinary learning and development, as it will revolutionize the way you approach any problems. No matter what your degree/major, developing multi-disciplinary knowledge and experiences will do wonders for you throughout university, and years beyond. In your pursuit of becoming a specialist/ace in your area of studies, do not forget the value of being a jack of all trades as well!  

What is a “must-do” on campus – what should every student do before graduating?

The list goes on, but to keep it light, I think students have to become loyal customers of Nasir!! The incredible entrepreneur who sells hot dogs right outside the Student Centre.


To read about more of the class of 2017 graduates click here

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