Vikas Gill is not only a third year BCom Finance student, he is also a member of the Gee-Gees varsity men’s basketball team. Vikas is part of an elite group of only 300 varsity student-athletes on the uOttawa campus, and of only 34 studying at the Telfer School.
Even though Vikas was recruited by the Gee-Gees to play basketball, he first chose to study at uOttawa because of the Telfer School’s reputation. “ I’m from Ottawa and wanted to stay in the region and the more research I did, the more I saw how many great things Telfer has to offer. Choosing to study here was an easy choice for me, and lucky for me, it also allowed me to keep pursuing my passion for basketball.”
Being a student-athlete and having to juggle a full course load along with the demands of playing a varsity sport does not leave much time for Vikas for much else. When he does find himself with a spare moment, this self-proclaimed “nerd” enjoys analytics. “I like to look at sports statistics and draw comparisons. Statistics are more than just numbers, they really do tell a story and I love discussing it.”
Vikas has grown especially fond of the BCom program over the last year now that the class sizes are smaller. As a result, he has been able to forge close friendships with some of his classmates and professors. “My favourite class to date is the Business Decision Models (BDM) class. The way the professor presented the course content really left a lasting impression with me. He did not leave anything to assumption or chance, including simple things like doing additions in Excel. That is a style of teaching that I really appreciate and respect.”
For Gill, what he loves most about the Telfer School is the genuine interest that his professors show for him as a person both in the classroom and on the court. “It’s very humbling for my Profs to recognize my contribution to the University beyond the classroom. They have been extremely understanding of the reality of the being a student-athlete and by being so accommodating on the academic side, they’ve allowed me to excel athletically as well.”
What matters most to Vikas is to give back to his community and he does so by volunteering in inner-city schools and by motivating youth to stay in school and follow their passion. For Vikas, uOttawa has allowed him to do just that – study in a program that he is passionate about and play a sport he loves. “Even though uOttawa and the Telfer School may seem big, I would tell any prospective student not to be intimidated. There is a great sense of community here at Telfer. The Profs and students are great and there’s a wide variety of clubs and associations to peek everyone’s interest. My advice would be to get involved and take advantage of your journey here.”
Vikas has done just that during his three years at uOttawa, having been part of the three highest ever finishes in the history of the 94 year old Gee-Gees men’s basketball program.
In five years from now, Vikas plans to have a Telfer degree in hand working either in investment banking, or perhaps working for a sports entertainment group in a finance position.