On 9 October, 120 high-achieving Business alumni were inducted into the prestigious Beta Gamma Sigma Society. With 82 alumni attending in person, along with family and friends, it was an exceptional induction ceremony.
The AUT Chapter of the international honours society was launched in 2012. Only schools that achieve the distinction of accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) are invited to establish a Beta Gamma Sigma chapter.
The inductees and their guests were warmly welcomed by Professor Alireza Tourani-Rad, Deputy Dean - AUT Business School, congratulating them on their accolade. “In the same way that AACSB accreditation is a distinction for business schools globally, Beta Gamma Sigma membership is a badge of excellence for business graduates,” he said.
Mario Vulinovich, President of the BGS NZ Alumni Chapter, spoke next, highlighting the history and purpose of the Society, and its value to business graduates.
Alex Bartley-Catt, AUT Business School alumnus and Managing Director - SPACETIME, was the guest speaker for the evening. Sharing his journey from New Plymouth Boys High School to becoming a serial entrepreneur, he began by posing a question to the inductees.
“Do you know what made you the person you are today? What’s your purpose, your passion, and where do you want to be, ten years from now?”
Through his experience, first studying computational logic and then business, working in an ad agency to starting his own ventures, Alex said he realised that failure is inevitable - but it is not the end. It’s not something to be afraid or ashamed of, rather it’s something worth challenging.
He left the inductees with a few final words of wisdom. “When you’re looking into the eyes of failure, challenge it. When you need help, ask. Many people thoroughly enjoy helping others.
Go wide. Grab opportunities with both hands, even if you don’t see how it will benefit you now.”
Jim McElwain, Executive Director – INFINZ, was the 2019 BGS Honouree, which recognises leadership, service and distinction in business practice. He has lead INFINZ for almost eight years and also serves on the board of the Chartered Financial Analysts Society in NZ and the External Reporting Advisory Panel.
“The AUT Business School has had a long and fruitful relationship with Jim and INFINZ, particularly on Shadow a Leader and the AUT Bachelor of Business Workplace Experience component. We are delighted to welcome him into the BGS fold,” said Annie Gandar, Partnerships Manager.
Congratulations included two special awards presented on behalf of Beta Gamma Sigma – firstly to Alex Waddell for Outstanding Alumni Chapter Member for 2019. Alex became a BGS member in 2012 and now sits on the Leadership Committee for the BGS NZ Alumni Chapter actively organising programmes and events and promoting benefits for members of the NZ Alumni Chapter.
The second award was to Mario Vulinovich and Alex Waddell for the 2019 Best Alumni Chapter Programme for the Chapter’s Thought Leadership Labs, a series of regular presentations featuring topical content of interest and value to BGS members.
At the end of the formal proceedings, guests enjoyed mingling over congratulatory drinks and nibbles. Students and alumni, now BGS members, and their families, conveyed their delight at the success of the event.
Beta Gamma Sigma was established in the United States in 1913. A lifelong commitment to its members’ academic and professional success is defined in the society’s mission, “to encourage and honour academic achievement in the study of business, to foster personal and professional excellence, to advance the values of the Society, and to serve its lifelong members”.
Those eligible for membership are the high achieving graduates of a business degree programme.
These percentages are calculated according to a student’s GPA and/or class of honours.