Concentration: Entrepreneurship and Finance
After only a year since graduating from SFU, Beedie alumnus Ridge Pinto already has an impressive employment history thanks to his involvement in the co-operative education program (co-op). “A lot of students under-utilize co-op because they want to rush through their degree,” says Pinto, an Account Executive at Microsoft. “But having co-op really helps you diversify your resume and experiences.”
This was certainly true for Pinto, who completed co-op terms at Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and Microsoft. Pinto landed his current job at Microsoft shortly after finishing an internship with the company during his last semester at Beedie.
In addition to making valuable contacts, Pinto’s co-op experiences gave him a chance to explore his areas of interest: “I always knew that Entrepreneurship was the right concentration for me – I love the idea of growing something from scratch – and I wanted a second concentration to complement it. I didn’t know if I wanted a future in Finance, but I knew I wanted to be good with numbers ,” he says. Pinto also diversified his academic course load with classes in Criminology, Kinesiology, and other departments. “The Criminology classes and working at CSIS helped me figure out that law school might be in my future,” explains Pinto.
Looking back at his time at SFU, Pinto realizes that his experience would have been even richer if he had participated in more student clubs or studied abroad. “I focused mostly on my grades in the first couple years because I needed scholarships to help pay for school,” says Pinto. “But it’s important to diversify your experiences too with opportunities like co-op and case competitions.” During his undergraduate career, Pinto earned close to $30,000 in awards, including the SFU Entrance Summit Scholarship and scholarships from Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal, SFU Beedie, and SFU Alumni Association. Pinto was also named as one of Surrey Board of Trade’s Top 25 Under 25 in 2015.
But out of all of Pinto’s successes, some of his fondest memories of being an SFU Beedie student involve the people and mentors that he met. “I still keep in touch with some of my professors as well as academic and co-op advisors . They were foundational people for me during my time at SFU.”
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