Sworn to secrecy, the first thing University of Lethbridge student Jill Tataryn did when she found out she was the recipient of the Futures Fund Scholarship for Outstanding Leadership was to treat her mom to a coffee.
The fourth-year, Faculty of Management finance major explains that, “The news was to be kept confidential, so it was a struggle to keep it from my close friends and family.”
Accordingly, Tataryn had to celebrate that moment in secret by doing what she does best — giving back.
Tataryn is one of 10 university business students from across Canada chosen to be honoured at Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year Gala being held in Toronto in February. Award winners, who will receive grants of $7,500 each, had to have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills through academic achievement and extra-curricular activities to be chosen.
Tataryn, who hails from Lethbridge, lists the University of Lethbridge’s state-of-the-art trading room, the opportunity to play rugby for the Pronghorns and the opportunist nature of the management degree as reasons to why she picked her program. And at the heart of all of her work, she says, “There’s no better feeling than giving back to your community.”
In addition to earning a high GPA, Tataryn is active in a number of clubs at the University, including the Management Students’ Society (MSS) for which she was chosen to be director academic. Her leadership also extends to the rugby field where Tataryn is part of the women’s rugby team leadership group. She also spends time coaching both her teammates as well as the girls’ rugby team at Chinook High School. Tataryn is also a volunteer with the Good Samaritan Society, the Lethbridge Soccer Association and Project Paintbrush.
In fact, when asked what trait she possesses that she thinks has led her to such success, Tataryn named her desire to be involved.
“It has allowed me to participate in so many opportunities and experiences thus far. Putting yourself out there is the best way to be ‘lucky’ when it comes to getting a job, a volunteer position or a scholarship,” she says.
And on top of giving back and being involved, Dan Kazakoff, assistant dean, Experiential Education Programs, and one of Tataryn’s former professors, recognizes the other ingredient that has propelled the prestigious business-grant winner to success.
“Jill realizes that hard work is necessary to reach your goals and not only has she shown that in the past, I believe she will continue to do so over her career,” says Kazakoff. “Jill is well deserving of this award.”
To all who know Tataryn, all this is no secret.
Check back here in early March for an update on Tataryn’s experiences at and insights into Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year Gala.