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Sam Gan, ’18 ’19
Customer Success Manager for Skylight, a technology company optimizing the home renovation process

Hometown: London, ON

Year of StFX graduation and name of degree: BBA Entrepreneurship ’18 and BA Economics ’19

Could you describe in a line or two, the impact/influence StFX and the Gerald Schwartz School of Business have had on you?

StFX and the Schwartz School of Business primed me to look at problems from a different angle and work collaboratively with people of different academic backgrounds from my own. Through the Entrepreneurship program, I was also encouraged to look for opportunities outside of the norm, which is how I ended up in the Venture for Canada program and subsequently at Skylight. 

Why would you encourage other students to consider a Schwartz School education?

I never had a class size of more than about 50 people, and most of my business classes had less than that. This allowed me to develop strong relationships with my professors and classmates, creating a comprehensive support network for any problems I would encounter both inside and out of the classroom. One thing that stands out to me is the effort that Schwartz professors put into providing relevant and interesting content alongside normal curricula. I remember attending a presentation by Bruce Linton, the then CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation, Canada’s largest cannabis company, just as cannabis was on the verge of being legalized.

Any notable accomplishments?

I started two businesses while at StFX. The first was selling snacks out of my room in MacNeil in my first year, and the second was a window washing company called “Student Cleaning Solution” in Calgary, AB with two fellow MacNeil residents. 

Favorite class or favorite academic experience?

My favourite class was Strategic Management, which is the fourth year business class that all Schwartz students have to take. This class was memorable because it was an opportunity to reconnect with business students who had chosen different majors and streams, and it was taught by one of my favourite professors at StFX, Mark MacIsaac. The main project in this class was a case study asking how Samsung should respond to the issue of their exploding Galaxy Note 7 phones. We had to present our solution to the ‘board,’ and I found this experience to be one of my best memories at Schwartz.

Any advice you’d give current students?

“If you don’t stand tall enough, you won’t see far enough.” That’s a quote my grandfather used to say to his students. To me it means that everyone has goals in their lives, and you always have to keep your eyes on where you want to go, even when you face adversity and challenges. Keep your head up and keep moving forward, and you will make it where you want to go.