Lang students create new student organization aiming to close the gap in business for Asian students | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

Lang students create new student organization aiming to close the gap in business for Asian students

Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

Written by Issac Duong

ABL Co-Founders, Issac Duong and Aahna Patel

BComm student Issac Duong writes about his experience co-founding his own affiliated student organization with the Lang School of Business and Economics, Asian Business Leaders.

Over the past year, Lang has significantly contributed to fostering my professional growth, offering me numerous opportunities for personal and professional development. After completing my first year of the BComm program with a major in Marketing Management, I am currently working as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Dean’s Office. I have also been working over the last several months to establish a new affiliated student organization, Asian Business Leaders (ABL) alongside BComm student Aahna Patel, who shares my passion for advancing our goals.

At the beginning of my first year, I set out a clear vision for myself to create a meaningful impact within the Lang community. To achieve this, I wanted to build a community that fosters a sense of belonging and resilience among underrepresented students, while also promoting diversity and enriching the broader university community. After several months of dedicated effort and tremendous support from various individuals in our networks, Aahna and I successfully established Asian Business Leaders. Its recent approval from the student Board of Directors at the Lang School following our pitch presentation marked a significant milestone in my first year of university. Asian Business Leaders will provide a welcoming and inclusive platform for students of Asian descent to network with business leaders, cultivate leadership skills, and thrive in a diverse environment.

“My vision for ABL is for students to feel a sense of belonging by being provided with a platform where they feel empowered and can tap into their potential and have that reciprocate in their journey of self discovery whether that pertains to academics, future careers, or overall personal growth. Looking at the bigger picture, I hope ABL serves as an outlet for positive change when it comes to recognizing and celebrating diversity in leadership around Asian heritage, while enhancing the community here at Lang and the University of Guelph” said Aahna.

Looking ahead, Asian Business Leaders will embark on several exciting initiatives. In the upcoming summer months, we will kickstart the development of our social media presence and start the process of team hiring. Being involved with Asian Business Leaders, team members will participate in a comprehensive leadership development program. Through interactive sessions, workshops, and mentorship opportunities, we will equip our team with the tools and knowledge to become effective inclusive leaders in their academic, professional, and personal lives. Moreover, we invite students outside of the organization to interact with Asian Business Leaders through the variety of events being hosted throughout the academic year that will celebrate the rich cultural heritage and contributions of Asian communities. From cultural showcases to networking events, we will be providing opportunities for students to connect, learn, and grow together.

Stepping into university life for the first time just eight months ago, I never imagined the possibility of establishing my own student organization or forming such meaningful connections with peers like Aahna. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the vibrant community at Lang and look forward to continuing my journey of involvement, service, and leadership.

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