Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
June 7, 2019
Class of 2019: International student Nik Golob graduates with his Haskayne BComm and friends for life
As only one of two Slovenians of the 33,150 students at the University of Calgary, Nik Golob, BComm'19, is proud to be graduating from the Haskayne School of Business and representing his country here on campus. The journey from being a high school student in Slovenia to becoming a graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce degree covers many miles, a lot of research and countless new experiences resulting in priceless friendships.
Looking for a new experience
Golob characterizes himself as “pretty above average in a lot of things but not exceptional in any one thing.” As he reveals his story, this is clearly an understatement. Growing up in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, Golob was a ski racer and travelled throughout Europe building a community with fellow racers and a sense of independence that would serve him well in his future endeavours.
Graduating from one of the top high schools in Ljubljana, many of his classmates were going directly into Slovenia’s only major university specializing in law or medicine, but Golob was drawn to business. With the University of Ljubljana only offering economics, he had to leave Slovenia and he wanted to go beyond Europe. Once he decided on Canada, he narrowed his choices by looking at competitiveness, price and work-life balance. Haskayne hit the mark on all three — with the mountains scoring top lifestyle points. He didn’t apply to any other schools.
Getting involved and making friends for life
Even though he had made his decision, Golob says, “I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Friends who went away to school said, ‘Make sure to get involved, you will make friends for life’.”
Golob took this advice and followed through with gusto. He has been involved in student government through the Haskayne Student Association. In his first year he was a director, second year he was vice-president external and third year he was the Students' Union representative.
“I first got to know Nik on the 75th Students’ Legislative Council as Nik was the Haskayne School of Business elected official and I was the Schulich School of Engineering representative,” says Manpreet Deol, who also became Golob’s teammate at the Engineering and Commerce Case Competition (ENGCOMM).
“During the months leading up to the competition, our team of four diligently practised but more importantly, became lifelong friends,” says Deol. “Nik’s role on the team was one that best reflects his skills; he effortlessly consolidated the team’s ideas, employed strong business acumen and attended to a high level of detail.” They handily won all three of the cases in the week-long competition.
- Above: At the Engineering and Commerce Case Competition (ENGCOMM) winning first overall, best business solution and best engineering solution, from left: Cam Welsh, Haskayne senior instructor and case competition coach, NIk Golob, Manpreet Deol, Coleton Strand, Megan Leslie and Sarah Chabli, president of the ENGCOMM 2018 executive.
Case competitions were not always such stellar successes for Golob. “My first case competition was at the end of my first year and it was horrible. We were four first-year students and we knew nothing.”
But it was after this first experience that Golob got caught up in the case competition world. He participated in JDC West in his second year as a substitute and in his third year won second on the international business team. In his fourth year, he coached the entrepreneurship team, including John Cartier.
“Halfway through the year, Nik approached me with an opportunity to accompany him and two others to represent Haskayne in a case competition in Rotterdam, Netherlands. I was very underqualified for the part,” says Cartier. “The year progressed and Nik kept helping me achieve my goals and progress my experience. The thing about Nik is he doesn’t judge someone on who they are. He looks at others, and sees the potential in them. I would not be even close to the position I am in today if it were not for Nik’s leadership.”
“Nik has been an active member of the Haskayne community since he arrived. Rarely do students get involved with their academic community so early in their career, but Nik is an exception,” says Sherry Weaver, Haskayne's associate dean (undergraduate). “Without being flashy, he has worked to leave a lasting impact on our community years into the future.”
Čestitke za diplomo — congratulations on your graduation
After attending the RSM STAR Case Competition in Rotterdam, Golob visited friends and family in Europe. He came back to Calgary for convocation to celebrate his years at Haskayne before he launches his career at Deloitte in Calgary. He is joined by his parents and grandpa, who are visiting Calgary for their first time. During their visit they will go to the mountains, but most of all they want to meet his friends and the professors who have had a big impact on Golob.
His 14-year-old brother also coming, being familiar with the UCalgary campus thanks to two previous visits. “He thinks he wants to come here too,” says Golob. When the time comes, UCalgary will happy to welcome one more Slovenian to campus.