Surrey, B.C. – Three students and one alumna from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) were recently recognized as members of Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25.
Hosted annually by the Surrey Board of Trade, the Top 25 Under 25 Awards acknowledge business- and community-minded individuals under the age of 25 who are working in or contributing to the City of Surrey in a meaningful way.
Among them are alumna Taylor Byrom, who launched her own design company out of the KPU Innovation space on Innovation Boulevard; soon-to-be alumna Sukhjiven Gill who, as an international student, is graduating at the top of her class and representing KPU internationally at business case competitions; entrepreneurial leadership student Saghi Ahmadi, who is successfully applying her education to real-world business solutions, and in her role as a lead trainer for MAC Marketing Solutions; and student Parabjot Kaur Singh, who volunteers with KPU’s Department of Languages and Cultures, serves on the board of the Punjabi Language Education Association and co-hosts a children’s radio show.
Taylor Byrom – Age 25
Fashion meets social entrepreneurship. Taylor Byrom is the owner of Taylor Hart Designs, an adaptive clothing company developed for children with complex medical needs. Using special fabrics and designs, her clothing is designed to be functional for children with feeding tubes, tracheotomy tubes, wheelchair dependency and sensory processing disorders.
A 2013 graduate from KPU’s fashion and technology degree program at the Wilson School of Design, Byrom embodies the essence of what KPU hopes for its graduates. As the first alumna to work out of the KPU Innovation space on Innovation Boulevard, she continually shows her ongoing spirit for giving back to her community, and alma mater.
Byrom recently hosted her first Wilson School of Design student intern, was invited to speak at the school’s 2016 convocation ceremony, and will share her insights on her educational experience as a KPU Day panelist. Her vision, empathy and compassion for children with complex medical needs drives her to build a prosperous company based on integrity, innovation and human-centred design.
Sukhjiven Gill – Age 22
It takes great dedication to study abroad while staying at the top of your graduating class, and Sukhjiven Gill is thriving. An international student from India, Gill will graduate with distinction this week from KPU’s bachelor of business administration in accounting program, after a final semester on the Dean’s Honour Roll.
As a volunteer, she committed over six months to work with a team of KPU students and faculty coaches to prepare for case competitions. She was chosen to compete along with two other students in the Chartered Professional Accountants Case Competition, Case IT International Management Information Systems Case Competition, and Singapore APEX Biz-IT Global Case Challenge.
Additional involvement in co-op programs paved her way to land a full-time accounting position at MNP LLP. In September, she will be in a Chartered Professional Accountant program, working towards earning a CPA designation by 2018.
Saghi Ahmadi – Age 23
Learning knowledge in school is one thing, but applying the things that you learn in a real-world setting is an often completely different. Saghi Ahmadi, a fourth-year student in KPU’s bachelor of business administration program in entrepreneurial leadership, is not only one of the top academic performers at university – she has successfully applied her academic knowledge to business solutions outside of the classroom.
Ahmadi has successfully administered projects with local H&M stores, Surrey Metro Taxi and Plan Canada. She is also a lead trainer for MAC Marketing Solutions, where she initiates corporate process enhancement. Her work resulted in significant improvements in system review, supply chain and contract review for her clients. In 2015, she was nominated for the company’s Spirit Award for embodying the organization’s core values of fun, teamwork and excellence. She plans to obtain professional certifications in operations management and aspires to become a quality process analyst in the near future.
Parabjot Kaur Singh – Age 23
Parabjot Kaur Singh believes that being a Canadian means you take pride in Canadian values while staying true to yourself and your roots. In that spirit, Singh incorporates her culture into her day-to-day life in a variety of ways, including in her position as a board director with the Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA).
Singh’s educational accomplishments show her commitment and motivation to bringing about positive change in society. Having been an ESL student in elementary school, she understands the challenges and barriers that come with learning a different language. She also wants to show others that one does not have to let go of their mother tongue in order to excel in another language.
Singh co-hosts the children’s program “Sade Bache Sada Virsa” (Our Children, Our Future) on RED 93.1 FM radio, where she shows her exquisite public speaking skills, creativity and confidence. At KPU, she is a member of the Creative Writing Guild and has been a persistent volunteer with the university’s Department of Languages and Cultures. Throughout these experiences, Singh has transformed from being a quiet student to a well-respected leader within the community. She aspires to become an instructor of English, Punjabi and psychology, and plans to pursue a master’s degree in education and international development.
More on this year’s Top 25 Under 25 Awards is available here.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at kpu.ca.
Photos from the event are available on Flickr.