A study in leadership

A study in leadership

Former NAITSA president continues work for students and recent grads

It’s hard to say where Justin Nand (Bachelor of Business Administration –Accounting ’16) did most of his learning: inside or outside NAIT classrooms.

The former NAIT Students’ Association president easily mastered the material for his coursework. But Nand’s experiences serving on NAITSA’s executive taught invaluable lessons about how to work with people and build consensus, especially in a large organization like NAIT.

In other words, his formal education gave him the tools for a rewarding career — he’s now an accountant at Distinct Infrastructure Group West Inc. — while the rest of his NAIT experience taught skills that will open doors the rest of his life.

It’s safe to say Nand made the most of his time at NAIT.

Serving the needs of students

Along with his NAITSA colleagues, Nand set out to build on the work of previous student executives and broker a donation to the Essential fundraising campaign. NAIT had approached NAITSA about supporting the campaign, which student executives were determined should meet the institute’s goals while improving the student experience.

“We felt it was very important to show that we all wanted the same thing. We searched for ways of aligning our goals with NAIT.”

“We felt it was very important to show that we all wanted the same thing. We searched for ways of aligning our goals with NAIT,” explains Nand.

Mike Meldrum, NAIT’s associate vice president of advancement, credits Nand and his team for never wavering from that goal.

“They worked constructively with the administration to find the win-win, and in the end, students were the beneficiaries,” Meldrum says.

Students responded by overwhelmingly approving a referendum that saw NAITSA commit $5 million to the Essential campaign. The funds supported the expansion of NAITA’s offices, services and operations, plus enhancements to the Learning and Teaching Commons, and the launch of NAIT’s OneCard technology. Nearly half was directed into a student enhancement fund to support future campus improvements.

All of these initiatives will improve the student experience, Nand says. The recently built Centre for Applied Technology also provides a central place for students to gather, he adds, giving them a sense of being part of a bigger institution rather than just their individual programs.

Scholarships vital to students success

When Nand represented students on the scholarships and bursaries selection committee, he saw first-hand the financial challenges many peers face.

While he believes there are enough scholarships in place for two-year programs, more is needed for students in four-year programs. As a scholarship recipient himself, Nand says it’s important to put enough student support in place so no one is denied a NAIT education.

Nand has once again taken on this issue, serving on the committee as its alumni representative. He’s also maintaining his connections to NAIT by working with fellow grad Dan Hein (Bachelor of Business Administration ’16) to launch an alumni chapter for graduates who have participated in the LEAD Program, an extra-curricular program that helps students develop as leaders and make a difference at NAIT and in the community.

It’s consistent with an ethos he strongly adheres to: “Making sure this place is a better one because I passed through it.”

NAIT is proud to celebrate the success of Essential: The NAIT Campaign. Thanks to thousands of donors, we raised more than $100 million for student success, applied research and campus development. In appreciation, NAIT is sharing 100 reasons how donors are having an essential effect on our campus and the community. nait.ca/EssentialEffect.