Alumni Spotlight

Name: Nikhil Bhagwan  

August 2016 alumni profile

Kwantlen Program: BBA Accounting

Grad Year: 2012

Employed as: Senior Accountant, Grant Thornton LLP

Employer website:

What are your primary responsibilities at your job: I am a team lead for a number of engagements and supervise staff to ensure the work is done on time and within client expectations and I also work closely with partners, managers and internal client staff to ensure the jobs are scheduled and the timing works for everyone involved. On a broader level, I oversee the planning and execution of assurance work for our clients. I ensure that I’m well versed in my clients business to be able identify inefficiencies and improvements that the team can discuss with the client.

What is your favourite part of your work? I enjoy learning about my clients businesses and seeing them grow. I also take pride in coaching the staff that are on engagements. Finally, the “non-work” aspects at Grant Thornton make for a better environment. We regularly have social events that are tons of fun and keep everyone from burning out.

How do you like to unwind/handle stress? I try to get outdoor or unwind by going to the gym. Over the weekends, when weather is good, I can be found on a golf course or doing other activities while taking in sunshine. I also love discovering new places, be it a restaurant, or place to hang out. I scour the internet for cool local events and try to go to those when possible.

Who is the most famous person you've ever met? I’ve been within five feet of Michael Bublé as he was casually walking the sea wall with a family. As a real encounter with a famous person, I’ve chatted with both Tom from Hedley and Elise Estrada through my sister who is involved in the music scene, and meeting ‘The Weeknd’ is on my wish list.

If you had a time machine and could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would it be? I don’t think I need a time machine, but would love to sit down with Richard Branson. Not only is he philanthropic and someone who seems like a VCD (very cool dude), his sense of business is sharp. I admire him for identifying and creating opportunities which have led to his success.

Where does your inspiration come from? I try to inspire myself to be the best that I can be. I do have inspirational models for life and sports which include Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Tiger Woods and some others but on the whole, I try to ensure that I’m inspired to try new things. I learned how to ski just this year, I’m trying to learn more about wine, becoming a better cook, and volunteering more.  If I don’t continually challenge myself, I can’t inspire myself. I have learned that I can’t always rely on others to inspire me.

Where do you see yourself in one, five or 10 years? I’ll be looking to broaden some of my knowledge in tax having signed up for the indepth tax program with the CPA.  So I know I’ll be doing that for 3 years. Beyond that, we will just have to see.

What are you most proud of? I’m really proud of having done a lot of things on my own. I paid my way through college, worked the entire way through and made it through rigorous professional examinations. Everything I own or have done is on my own, that’s a far cry from the boy that immigrated here with my mum and brother when I was 16.

Greatest advice for life? I feel like I could use some to be honest! One of the best that I’ve heard that sort of keeps me grounded is “Only pack what you can carry yourself”.

Favourite Kwantlen moment? I knew I picked the right school when I was able to have a beer with a professor. Still one of the most memorable moments for me because it's very easy to get along with the professors as they are all great mentors.

What's the last book you read? The monk who sold his Ferrari – Robin Sharma

What's currently on your iPod? I listen to Spotify, but a lot of alternative R&B tracks. Will try to get my hands on Frank Ocean’s album soon.