Challenge to Change | Alum discovers transformative power of BCom

Parvathi Subramanyam wanted her undergraduate studies to help her grow personally as well as professionally, so she sought a BCom from UBC Sauder.


Even before she began university, Parvathi Subramanyam recognized its transformative power.

“When I was deciding where to go, I wasn’t thinking of my career after graduation per se,” she says. “I was more focused on how my four years of undergraduate study would help shape me as a future business leader.”

Originally from Bangalore, India, Subramanyam was looking into Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) programs all over the world, thanks to an interest in economics she discovered in high school.


Subramanyam cultivated her interest in economics, and microfinance in particular, while working with several NGOs. At one, which helps bridge the gap between potential investors and microfinance organizations, Subramanyam worked as a marketing intern.

Not only did the experience give her an early glimpse into the business world, it helped earn her the International Leader of Tomorrow award, which came with a full-ride scholarship to UBC Sauder’s Bachelor of Commerce program.

“It was a huge honour to be recognized like that,” she says. “But it was just one of the reasons I decided to pursue at BCom at UBC Sauder; I liked that I could get a well-rounded education and take classes in other faculties too.”

Parvathi BCom quote


Intrigued by the opportunity to earn a BCom with a minor in Psychology, Subramanyam left India to attend UBC Sauder in Vancouver.

“It was my first time moving away from home and I moved halfway around the world, but UBC Sauder was such a warm environment, it was a very smooth transition,” she says.

“Vancouver is a great city to study in because UBC has a campus feel but you’re also connected to a big city. It’s a perfect combination.”

When Subramanyam first arrived at UBC Sauder, she took part in a two-week orientation program called Jump Start. Designed specifically for international students, it helped Subramanyam with practical things like setting up a bank account and also helped her cultivate a tightknit community.

“I built an international group of friends at UBC Sauder during those first weeks,” she says. “And I’m still friends with them to this day.”

In her UBC Sauder classes, Subramanyam found a similarly international makeup.

“Diversity in the classroom is invaluable,” she says. “Having students from every background who all brought their own experiences, made our project work infinitely richer.”


After graduation, Subramanyam worked at a consulting firm in Vancouver for a year before moving to Toronto. Here she started as an analyst and was promoted to associate at boutique executive compensation firm, Hugessen Consulting Inc.

“Every day I draw upon my BCom,” she says. “My knowledge of finance helps me when I’m speaking with executives and board members, and the skills I gained in my business writing and communication classes come in handy all the time.”

Ultimately, Subramanyam’s UBC BCom impacted more than her career, as she had originally hoped it would.

“The UBC BCom helped shape me,” she says. “The experiences I had and the people I met made me who I am today.”


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