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Updated: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 12:16

McGill Alert. The downtown campus will remain partially closed through the evening of Monday, July 15. See the Campus Safety site for details.

Alerte de McGill. Le campus du centre-ville restera partiellement fermé jusqu’au lundi 15 juillet, en soirée. Complément d’information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention

Student impact front-and-centre at the 2024 IMSF Showcase Day

MONTREAL, QC – The McGill Faculty Club was abuzz on April 5, as students, faculty, and supporters gathered for the 2024 Integrated Management Student Fellowship (IMSF) Showcase Day. The event celebrated the work of IMSF Fellows, who spent the academic year researching and developing solutions to important social challenges directly related to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The IMSF is a two-semester, six-credit year-long experiential leadership development opportunity at the McGill Desautels Faculty of Management’s Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management (MDIIM). From Fall through Winter, IMSF Fellows conduct world class research with a McGill professor and work with their peers to develop and implement a community Impact Initiative project. These two components of the IMSF give students a foundational toolkit for creating impact, whatever their career aspirations may be. Students also develop their professional identity, personal goals, and managerial capacities – fundamental skills for the next generation of leaders.

At this year’s IMSF Showcase Day, students shared what they created and what they learned. In her opening remarks at the third edition of the event, Yolande E. Chan, Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Management, highlighted the importance of the program and the work of the Fellows.

“The research skills and experience you have acquired during this Fellowship will serve you well,” she said. “We need your ability to be changemakers.”

This year’s cohort did not disappoint. IMSF Fellows tackled issues such as healthcare access, climate change and sustainability, food insecurity, and more.

“The IMSF is such a unique learning experience,” said Dr. Sabine Dhir, Academic Director of the IMSF. “It’s a pleasure to see our Fellows develop their critical thinking skills over the course of the year, and really understand how to solve complex problems by taking on these important issues.”

During the morning and early afternoon segment, 14 teams took to the stage to present their Impact Initiatives. These Initiatives can take on many forms, and always connect back to one of the SDGs. Fellows then work with subject matter experts, community partners, and mentors to design a prototype solution to a challenge they have identified. This year, students developed food security programs for McGill students, grant-writing solutions for not-for-profits, data transparency initiatives, and much more.

In the afternoon, the IMSF’s research component was on display. Fellows engaged in 65 research projects with world-renowned McGill professors, 23 of which were presented as posters at the Showcase Day. These projects gave Fellows hands-on experience in academic research and partnership development, with the goal of improving critical thinking skills and making evidence-based decisions.

Yudi Su, an international student from Shenzhen, China, worked with Professor Yu Ma to identify food and nutrition inequities among First Nations in Quebec. Su said the project helped him connect to local issues and develop new skills – skills he hopes to use in his hometown.

“It really encouraged me to do more for my community,” he said.

The IMSF is designed to help students prepare for a meaningful and fulfilling future by developing new skills through research and action projects. With over 120 Fellows in the IMSF alumni network, there is a strong sense of collaboration between current and former Fellows. The program boasts a engaged community of thoughtful leaders who value supporting each other and creating positive change, said Dhir.

“Once an IMSF Fellow, always an IMSF Fellow,” she said.

Avneet Barbara, a 2021-2022 IMSF alum, concluded this year’s Showcase Day with a keynote speech, highlighting a key takeaway from her time in the Fellowship: ask the right questions. One by one, if we find answers to them, we can improve our communities and the world.

* Photo credit: Owen Egan

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