Frazer Sloan was one of 10 business students in Canada who got double the money for working hard and engaging with his peers, faculty and community, while making the most of his academic career.
Sloan, a third-year Faculty of Management student majoring in finance, was recently awarded a Futures Fund scholarship worth $5,500 at Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year gala in Toronto. Don Walker, CEO of Magna International, was named Outstanding CEO of the Year and he promptly offered to match each scholarship.
“Don told us ‘I want you to do something fun with it,’” says Sloan. “It was really neat to hear someone who’s been so successful in business still have that rounded perspective of the value of leisure.”
In keeping with Walker’s suggestion, Sloan spent some of his money on a rock climbing adventure in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada. He plans to put the remainder towards law school and into investments.
Last November, Sloan put together his application for the Futures Fund scholarship, which is based on academic grades, extracurricular involvement and leadership initiatives. He outlined the work he did as part of the Integrated Management Experience and the Student Managed Investment Fund classes, his work as the vice-president of finance for the Management Students’ Society and his participation in various case competitions. Winning the scholarship came as a surprise.
“I wasn’t on the honour roll ever in high school, not once. So it has been really neat to see the transition to having a seriousness of purpose in the things I do now. That’s what’s helped focus me,” he says. “I’ve surrounded myself with other students who are very high calibre so to be elevated for just a short time above that company was very, very humbling.”
The Toronto gala gave Sloan the opportunity to meet high profile people like Gov. Gen. David Johnston and Jim Balsillie, one of the founders of Blackberry. He was also able to rub shoulders with CEOs from a variety of industries and the other scholarship winners.
“It was an amazing experience. It was fun to be there but also it was kind of sad. How long will it be before I ever get to go to something like this again?” he says.
Sloan, who hails from Calgary, plans to go to law school after completing his management degree and ultimately hopes to work in business law, particularly in mergers and acquisitions. He chose to come to the U of L on the recommendation of others who graduated from the management program and went on to work in business and law.
Sloan’s interest in finance goes back to his youth when his accountant father showed him the basics of trading. He saw how valuable an education in finance could be, both professionally and personally. He’s been trading for the past half-dozen years and being part of the Student Managed Investment Fund, a year-long class where students gain experience by investing a real portfolio, has expanded his learning further.
“As an individual, it’s really easy to make on-the-spot decisions but the experience of not agreeing with somebody else and still working together toward a common goal helps slow down the process but increases the quality of the decision,” he says.
Sloan’s involvement in the Integrated Management Experience class, where students work with a non-profit community organization, also helped him gain valuable experience working with people from different academic backgrounds.
“It was very interesting to work with people from accounting, marketing and human resources. It was liberating to see other perspectives and be open enough to integrate those ideas with my own,” he says.
Participating in case competitions pushed Sloan beyond his comfort zone and added more skills to his portfolio.
“Sometimes case competitions are challenging for me because they don’t give me the opportunity to do the research I normally deem necessary. It’s definitely good experience though,” says Sloan.
Sloan says he typically goes above and beyond what’s required of him. That tendency has driven him to maximize his opportunities for learning as a student, including getting to know his professors.
“I’ve really pursued extracurricular activities and relationships with my fellow students and my professors,” he says. “They teach me so much in class but I almost learn more as I associate with them outside the classroom.”