These stories are from Bishop’s Alumni Magazine, edition No. 58 Fall 2022.
A particularly strong facet of the Bishop’s education is owed to continued involvement from alumni. Whether offering guest lectures, mentorship, or networking opportunities, alumni share knowledge from their Bishop’s experiences supplemented with their professional expertise to help current students navigate their time at Bishop’s and beyond. Such has been the case with Tyler Jensen “TJ” Smith ’19.
As a student, TJ was an active member of the Williams School of Business (WSB). Seeking productive ways to fill his time, TJ wrangled a team of his friends to participate in a case competition with him. When the team won, it propelled TJ’s involvement in the WSB and lead him to more case competitions, the BU Commerce Society (BUCS), SEED, and more.
The importance of supporting one another and participating in one’s community crystallized in TJ’s mind through these experiences, especially his leadership role in BUCS. He says: “When you’re in a position where people look to you, thinking this person must be good at this thing, maybe they can help me out, I take that very seriously. It’s a huge honor and privilege to be in a position where you can offer help. From that place, I try to lift everybody else up. I think we all do better when everybody is being lifted.” TJ witnessed the fruits of this philosophy as a student, notably through increased participation in BUCS and interest in leadership from the students who followed him. TJ spent his years at Bishop’s leading by example.
Through his involvement on campus, TJ also gleaned the value of the Bishop’s alumni network, which helped him get his professional start with PwC Canada. He found that other BU alumni generally recognize the calibre of Bishop’s graduates, understanding the leadership opportunities and social skills that students imbibe during their time on campus. TJ’s involvement connected him with many professors and alumni he might not otherwise have met, which turned into mentorship relationships and a professional network, all invested in his success.
Having benefited from alumni connections both as a student and after graduation, TJ wanted to pay it forward to the current generation of Bishop’s students. As such, he has continued to be involved in the WSB. Most notably, TJ returned as a JDCC 2021 Case Competition coach, his insider knowledge helping students secure the WSB’s first-ever gold medal in the accounting category. One participant, Rebecca Willis ‘22, explains the benefit of having TJ as a coach, saying, “TJ was instrumental in our JDCC accounting team victory; it simply would not have happened without his guidance, patience, and experience. TJ not only helped us better understand accounting concepts and apply them to case competitions but he also took the time to teach us concepts beyond what was taught in the classroom.”
For TJ, volunteering at Bishop’s is a no-brainer. He is eager to participate in the systems that he benefitted from, perpetuating the Bishop’s he attended and enjoyed. Furthermore, he asserts the great sense of satisfaction that comes from seeing one’s experience support others—a satisfaction that is amplified when your contributions lead to successes like victories in the case competitions.
Fortunately, Bishop’s hasn’t seen the last of TJ. In addition to coaching case competitions, TJ will be teaching an accounting course in the Winter 2023 semester where he hopes to engage his network and help students build theirs. “I am not exceptional,” TJ asserts, speaking to the willingness to help he has always experienced from alumni.
Click here to read the full Alumni Magazine from Fall 2022.