Thompson Rivers University

Embracing big data and big ideas from abroad

  Posted on: June 5, 2019

Vimaljeet Singh is TRU’s 2019 School of Business and Economics valedictorian, graduating with his Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in International Business.

Before coming to TRU and Kamloops, Singh completed a Bachelor of Technology degree in his home region of north-central India, where he specialized in electronics and communication. He knew further education was in his future and started preparing for Master of Business Administration entrance exams in India before deciding a foreign university would give him more exposure.

A family friend was already attending TRU, so Singh dove head first into research to see if the Interior British Columbia university was the right fit for him. “If I do anything, I do proper research.”

Singh went online to find out everything he could about TRU.

“I was very happy to know that TRU has a very good social media presence. Sitting at home I could already feel connected to TRU,” he said. “If you feel connected to an institution already, it’s easier to make the transition to coming here.”

He got a good look at the campus and its buildings, a feel for campus life and even learned about student services like the UPass.

“All the videos on YouTube just made me feel connected,” he said.

Sold on TRU, Singh then chose a post-baccalaureate to complement his technical degree. With the world pulling more and more toward globalization and a common culture of business ethics, international business seemed relevant given that he would be studying at a foreign university.

“I had the technical side of things. I had done my Bachelor of Technology. I am already an engineer, so I wanted to see the management side.”

His instructors were supportive and knowledgeable, and his apprehensions about being an international student were relieved in his very first course with instructor Peter Mullins.

“His class was the first one that I took and he made me feel really at home here. I was kind of awed by how professors and lecturers are all OK with seeing so many students from so many cultures. I thought maybe it will be awkward or something new happening here, but then it was all OK and all normal.”

Singh also appreciated that his instructors were all crystal clear about what knowledge they wanted students to take away from their course, a quality he really valued in a teacher.

“(It’s) a very straightforward way of doing things here at SoBE (School of Business and Economics), so that’s what I like the most.”

When it comes to plans after graduation, Singh has two goals in mind. First, he’d like to be a data scientist, an up-and-coming field where he already excels in its prerequisites of mathematics and programming.

“This is the age of information, there is a lot of information and the world needs people who can make sense of that data.”

He would also like to start his own business. “Hopefully it’s going to be a food truck business, but I do have a couple other ideas that I want to see how they pan out.”

He appreciated the support found in the TRU Generator and its events such as Startup Basics, that give students the opportunity to meet one-on-one with local entrepreneurs to share stories and knowledge.

Learn more about TRU’s School of Business and Economics

The best part of being at TRU?

“Every moment at TRU has been a highlight because everything I experienced here at TRU has been a first for me,” he said, such as performing Punjabi folk dancing at IDays and buying his first car. “Meeting all the teachers here and seeing how motivated they are to impart knowledge, that was a first.”

He also enjoyed having public study spaces on campus, something he had not experienced in India where studying is done at home.

“Other people are studying with you, it’s such a nice atmosphere,” he said.

Another contrast with his home country was the course structure and he was surprised to find he had different classmates in each new course. He met a vast range of people and has enjoyed finding a family away from family here.

“You make a lot of friends. I am really lucky to find a few people who really make me feel at home here,” he said. “Having those people around you who can share your problems and exciting moments and sad moments with, that is a big thing to have anywhere in the world. TRU has given me that.”

Something most people don’t know about TRU?

Singh believes many people may already know this, without realizing it: “When you are trying to do something you are scared of, there are three parts in this. The first part is you get the opportunity to do that. The second part is where you worry and think a lot, and the third part is actually doing it. At TRU there are so many opportunities for volunteering and helping the community and everything, TRU eliminates the worrying part in the middle. So there’s an opportunity, you skip the worrying part at TRU and come to the action part. The worrying part is gone from there and that is how TRU helped me.”

Valedictorian Vimaljeet Singh