Victoria Hutt has won a prestigious Frank H. Sobey Award for Excellence in Business Studies, one of only ten such awards bestowed in the Atlantic region for the 2014/2015 academic year. Her near perfect GPA ensured her placement at the top of the Dean’s List three years in a row and a number of in-house scholarships—including the Board of Governors, MacDonald-Chisholm, Blakeley Scholarship, and the School of Business Advisory Board Impact Award—are a testament to her academic abilities. But GPA alone does not win excellence in business studies awards.
Professor Pat Corkum (FCA) says that Victoria’s
academic success has been achieved while simultaneously working to finance her education and spending countless hours continually contributing to her fellow students, the university community and the community at large. The extracurricular commitment and volunteerism of which Professor Corkum speaks has a decidedly empathetic tilt with Victoria’s involvement in such worthy causes as Coldest Night of the Year, Operation Christmas Child, Relay for Life, S.M.I.L.E., Shinerama, and Special Olympics. Clearly, what she has done out of the classroom is as important as what she has done within.
And while involvement in volunteer organizations is commendable, Victoria took the next step past involvement to create a unique altruistic venture: Acadia Backpack Relief Project. Like many excellent ideas that are hiding in plain sight, filling backpacks with winter necessities and then distributing them to the homeless seems obvious only after it has been demonstrably proven to work. Leadership in many cases is being a step forward from the crowd.
It was from this forward position that Victoria, as president of the Acadia Business Society, brought to fruition a case competition hosted by Acadia University for area high schools. This event was often talked about in the School of Business but never attempted. It involved organizing teams from three area high schools, appointing mentors, recruiting judges, and mastering a myriad of logistical details crucial for success. Ian Hutchinson, the director of the Fred C. Manning School of Business Administration, expects that the High School Case Competition will become a legacy event for the School. And he’s not surprised.
As the Director of the School, I am keenly aware of Victoria’s contributions. Whether it’s directing the Acadia Business Society to use senior students to introduce juniors to faculty, reaching out to international students, or leading the effort for more blood donation on campus, Victoria’s sense of community and compassion are her organizing principles.
KPMG discovered Victoria’s talent early when it sponsored her for a three-day leadership development program in Hollywood, California, in 2011. Not surprising, therefore, is their unwillingness to let go of star talent when they find it. After graduation, Victoria starts with KPMG where she will work toward a CPA designation with a particular interest in health care. But a career in academia also has its allurements.
I would love to get a PhD and become a professor because that’s one of the things that has impacted me most while at Acadia: the professors I’ve met along the way who are very willing to help if you are willing to learn. Along with community outreach and active benevolence, willingness to help appears to be another of Victoria’s organizing principles. And wherever those principles ultimately direct her, there, too, will be found the principal beneficiaries of her intelligence, dedication, and concern for others.
About the Manning School
Founded in 1957, the Manning School at Acadia University is home to over 600 students from over 20 countries. With 23 faculty members from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, the Manning School offers small classes that encourage concentrated interaction between students and faculty. Our students have opportunities to learn outside the classroom through co-op placements, projects with local enterprises, and international exchanges. Firmly rooted in a rich institutional legacy that personifies the very essence of a liberal education, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Acadia is challenging and flexible, allowing students to explore a broad range of interests and producing well-rounded graduates who are well-positioned to pursue varied professional opportunities. As testimony, our graduates work in leadership roles across Canada and around the globe, with many having made their Acadia BBA degree a pathway to prestigious graduate programs.