There are over 150 ratified student clubs at the University of Saskatchewan. Although there is a group for almost any special interest, one U of S student found a lack of opportunity for professional development, so he started the Millennial Advisory Group.
MAG is a student group founded by David Verma, a fourth-year finance student, who says he was interested in creating a student group that was set up like a corporation, allowing students to work directly with clients and use the knowledge that they acquire in university to gain work experience. The group is incorporated as a non-profit organization at the moment, and they hope to be ratified as a student group in the next school year.
Verma, the current president of MAG, states that he founded the group to fill a vacant business opportunity for students on campus.
“I believe that there’s a lot of really awesome student groups on campus and that each [organization] provides students with an opportunity to improve their university experience,” Verma said. “I found it very difficult to find a group that would add value to my professional development, and that’s why I started MAG.”
MAG is an entirely student-run firm, and the group works with clients to provide consulting and advisory services for a number of different business ventures, as Verma explains.
“We want to act as an advisor to different management teams. Say a company comes to us and wants us to value a property or value a business that they want to purchase. That’s something that we could potentially help the client with,” Verma said.
Verma notes that MAG can help businesses in other areas as well, including financial modelling, market research and customer targeting. However, the type of project depends on what the client’s needs are.
Verma also explains that his intentions for starting MAG are twofold: to help clients improve their businesses and to provide students with experience that they can apply to their professional endeavours.
“Any undergraduate student will be eligible and are going to be encouraged to join,” Verma said. “The application process is going to begin with an interview, followed up by a small research project on a topic of the applicant’s choice. The reason we structured it this way is so that we can determine if the individual is results-oriented and has the ability to produce quality work.”
MAG is currently working on growing their client base, as they want to start an industry and market-research segment of the group. As Verma discusses, they also want to become ratified in the next school year.
“Going forward, we have a few main deliverables that we want to meet, and right now, we’re an incorporated non-profit,” Verma said. “We want to get ratified through either Edwards or the
U of S Students’ Union, but we’re still trying to figure out which route we want to take. We have a lot of really cool things that are going to be coming down the pipeline for the 2018 academic year.”
For Verma, MAG is an opportunity to further develop a skill set that will help students in the real world. He believes that the group will be beneficial to both clients and students, and he encourages those students who are interested to apply to the group in the next school year.
“Students in MAG are going to have an opportunity to work directly with clients [and] get exposure with real projects and initiatives,” Verma said. “I think that, if we’re able to help students apply their knowledge and skills that they’ve gained at the university, that’s going to be a huge value-add.”
Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer
Photo: Riley Deacon