By: Iugene Ma

Rachel Lee is the most outstanding BCom (Honours) student, graduating in the top echelon of her class and epitomizing our business school’s model for rigour, respect and responsibility. She currently serves as the Head Teaching Assistant for the Sauder’s innovative COMM 101 course, orienteering new students with challenging questions and expectations. While effectively communicating as an instructor, she conducts higher level planning for an evolving curriculum that aims to impress critical thinking into COMM 101 students as they rigourously navigate each case.

Rachel took The Cavalier through a day in her life. Rachel makes sure that she has enough daily exercise to stay focused in her studies, practicing yoga and going for a run. She gets to school a bit before her classes start to preview the material to be more engaged with the discussion topics of the day. She has developed unmatchable time management skills to organize her study and leisure schedule which particularly helped her adjust to the academic rigour of her second year.

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Sophomore year stood out as the most memorable time of Rachel’s BCom career. Adjusting to her peers and attending numerous business classes accumulated into one year, made the most significant impact on her growth. Our Sauderite of the Month exemplifies respect as a humble member who truly saw her peers as a community. Rachel had an excellent grasp of all the topics but still viewed herself as an equal, focusing on the opportunity to build invaluable relationships with students who had so many courses in common.

This bright Sauderite extends her welcoming presence as an executive for the UBC Dance Team, a testament to her lifelong passion to pursue excellence in dance, exploring jazz, tap, lyrical and ballet genres. Just as she has been with the team since she began her undergraduate studies, so has her exposure to the COMM 101 program. She stayed with its development by being the change she wanted to see, gradually making the program a more and more valuable BCom toolset – particularly case analysis, exploring beyond theory and exercising public speaking.

Our SOTM recently won the business school’s inaugural Public Speaking Competition, an invitational event in which she was recognized as the most outstanding COMM 395 student. Rachel naturally characterizes the most critical aspects of how to be a successful student by confidently and effectively communicating her ideas, which allow her to be an excellent Head TA for COMM 101.

Rachel had planned a myriad of ideas to try under her administration, anticipating that some would work out better than others – an example of being well prepared and expanding the scope of what education can be. Rachel envisions the atmosphere of COMM 101 to ideally be interactive by incorporating new topics and mediums. She leads seven associates to ensure operations are running as smoothly as possible for over 750 new BCom students.

Engaging with such a large population does not faze Rachel. She and 3000 like-minded, academically rigourous and socially adaptable interns spent a week networking in Ernst and Young’s international leadership conference, held in Orlando, Florida. While basking in the delights of Disney World, Rachel embraced the global opportunities with EY, learning about different cultures who share the same values. Her engagement with the assurance service was commonplace to jumpstart her interaction with students from universities around the world.

Rachel made it clear what accounting experience she wanted gain exposure to – medium oil and gas sector clients, specifically relevant to her Calgary roots. In fact, we would like to extend our congratulations to Rachel on her offer from EY Calgary to be a full-time CPA audit associate. Rachel’s specialization propels her to become an expert to astutely serve her firm and its clients.

This strategy evolved from her fresh(wo)man ambitions to join many different organizations. She leaves BCom students with some of her bottomless wisdom, commenting that by finding your niche, you can develop the necessary expertise to best approach and maximize the value of your university education. This helps ensure that one is not spreading themselves too thin.

Rachel takes her responsibility as a student very seriously, making time to study and consistently challenges her education to keep learning. Each university course she takes is no match to her raw talent to retain and apply theory. Among her favorite areas of study is Commercial Law which demands analytical and communication skills; in fact, had she not pursued her public accounting career, Rachel would have moved on to graduate legal studies and would eventually practice law.

Rachel Lee may be our Sauderite of the Month, but she leaves behind an unrivaled legacy for academic excellence, a benchmark for leadership and public speaking and above all, humility.