With Carleton University’s classes having been moved online nearly two months ago, students have been deprived of the community and camaraderie which a university environment encompasses – so Sprott and the Sprott Business Students’ Society (SBSS) have come together and launched Sprott Connects to fill this void.

This program connects Sprott student for socialization to help students feel more connected to their schoolmates while we are apart. When signing up, students fill out a survey which is used to match them with a fellow student with similar interests.

A picture of Emma Wylie

Emma Wylie (BCom)

We interviewed some of the students participating in Sprott Connects to share their experience. They are:

  1. Emma Wylie: Emma is a Bachelor of Commerce student, with a concentration in accounting, and is currently in her fourth year of the program.
  2. Jackson Harada-Poulter: Jackson is a Bachelor of International Business student and is finishing the final year of his degree.
  3. Jake Cuthbert: Jake just finished his second year in the Bachelor of Commerce program where he is concentrating in finance.
  4. Lina Shikhhassan: Lina is a Bachelor of Commerce student with a double concentration in management and information systems, and just completed her final year in the program.
  5. Shyaun Yazdani: Shyaun is heading into his fourth year of the Bachelor of Commerce program and is concentrating in information systems.
  6. Taylor Vandermeer: Taylor just finished her fourth year of the Bachelor of Commerce program where she is concentrating in marketing.


  1. Why do you think this is such an important initiative?

This initiative is important because students, including myself, depend on social interaction with friends, family, schoolmates, professors, and other faculty members on a regular basis, which has now been taken away. Especially as business students, we are so accustomed to working with others, and thrive in that kind of environment – and feeling like such a large part of our life has been taken away is putting a strain on everyone. Luckily, we have the ability to communicate in this day and age over the internet and using that platform to introduce those seeking social interaction and support with like-minded individuals can do amazing things. Furthermore, this is an especially difficult time, and I think that connecting with someone in a similar situation, as well as with similar interests, gives you something to look forward to, and helps in navigating this crazy time with someone else by your side – other than whomever you’re quarantined with. – Emma

Jake Cuthbert's Headshot

Jake Cuthbert (BCom)

From a general morale standpoint, it’s really important that we stay connected during this isolation period and for those that feel cut off to be able to interact and communicate with someone. – Jackson

The Sprott Connects program builds off what Sprott is already known best for: its tight knit community. This program offers a way for Sprott to keep their tight knit community moving forward. – Jake

We’re all going through a stressful and an unusual time, so being able to connect to fellow students who know the community that you come from is important. – Lina

I think it’s important now as always to remain connected with others and share your best practices for coping through challenging events. Just like we always talk about our own study habits, routines, fitness plans, etc., I think now more than ever it is important to learn about how others are getting by and share what’s been working for you. – Shyaun

It brings students together when they’re having the least human contact. This allows students from different walks of life to get to know each other and broadens the Sprott love. – Taylor

  1. What led to you getting involved with Sprott Connects?

I have had the honour of being involved in the Sprott Community as a student representative for the Ontario Universities Fair in September of 2019, as well as through a few smaller events since then – and was able to be a part of Sprott call-outs recently, where we call students who have been accepted to Carleton, and answer any questions they may have. When I was reached out to be a part of Sprott Connects, I jumped at the opportunity, as I really enjoy connecting with students from all different backgrounds that I have never met and feel like I am always able to take something from the experience. And I hope that I am able to provide them with the same feeling after our conversations. – Emma

A picture of Jackson Harada-Poulter

Jackson Harada-Poulter (BIB)

I liked the idea of Sprott coming together as a community to not only keep busy, but also to create opportunities to network and meet others within the school. – Jackson

The program lets me learn from others. I learn best from hearing the stories students tell – for example, the physical experience of how a student encounters a challenge in university. The Sprott Connects program offers a way for me to share my personal story as well as hear others’ experiences and learn from them. – Jake

Two words – #SprottLove. – Lina

I’m always happy to get to know other Sprotties and with the new reality I thought I could benefit from hearing how other students are maximizing their summer as well share what I’ve been doing to keep busy and have fun. – Shyaun

I’ve been involved in the Sprott community pretty heavily over the past few years, I believe that any way to bring Sprott students together is a huge win for the community so when I was approached to participate, I was more than happy to say yes. – Taylor

  1. How has the experience been so far?

I have had the amazing opportunity of being in touch with new students over the past couple weeks and having this opportunity to talk to someone I may have never met otherwise has been an amazing opportunity for me. We have been able to share common interests, and learn a lot about each other’s lives, have conversations about the current situation, as well as everything else going on in our lives. I know that for me, this is a very enriching experience, and I hope that I am providing the same to the students I am connected with within this initiative. It has also kept me motivated to stay on track with my responsibilities, and one of the students I’m connected with and I have been reading together and checking in each week with our thoughts on the book, giving us both something to accomplish in between calls. – Emma

A picture of Lina Shikhhassan

Lina Shikhhassan (BCom)

It’s going great – I’ve found it really helpful to keep my mind on something and I think it’s helped both myself and those I’ve connected with to feel productive. – Jackson

The program has been a huge success. So far, I have connected with two different Sprott students. Having heard their story and experiences, I can confidently say that every student in Sprott should share their story. Everyone has their own unique time through university and the program offers up a great opportunity to share that. – Jake

It’s going well; however, I definitely believe more people should sign up for it to keep in touch with their fellow Sprotties. – Lina

So far, the initiative is fun and natural. The conversations have been comfortable, and I feel a sense of involvement with Sprott even though hanging out in Dunton isn’t possible. – Shyaun

So far, the initiative is going well. I’ve been introduced to the program and I’m excited to be connected with another student. – Taylor

  1. Is there something you would like to say to other Sprott students?

If you are having a difficult time in this situation, or just want someone new to connect with, this is definitely the initiative to sign up for. This gives you an amazing opportunity to be connected to someone with similar interests, have meaningful conversations, and build strong new relationships. We are all in this together, and this initiative is meant to bring us together as members of the Sprott community. – Emma

A picture of Shyaun Yazdani

Shyaun Yazdani (BCom)

If you’re having trouble keeping yourself busy or just want someone to talk to, swap hobbies, or play games with, Sprott Connects is a great way of doing this with people in the Carleton community. – Jackson

I am not getting into sales or anything but what I can say is – the program offers connections that will last for the rest of university. Some students get too focused on just learning from in-class work. I can say that through university, I have learned just as much, if not more, from programs outside the classroom just like this one. – Jake

A picture of Taylor Vandermeer

Taylor Vandermeer (BCom)

This is a great way to stay connected, but to also meet new people. Also, it is a great way to talk to upper years and ask them for advice and any help that they may need for the rest of their university career. – Lina

Singing up for Sprott Connects isn’t like signing up for a club or committing to an event, it’s just signing up to have a conversation with a fellow Sprottie and that could turn into a long term acquaintance, a good friend, future group member, or maybe a person who gives you tips on how to make this social distancing summer a bit more fun. – Shyaun

You never know when your next friendship will creep up on you, some of my closest friendships have flourished while participating in Sprott programs. – Taylor

*Note: These interviews have been edited lightly for length and clarity. *


Tuesday, May 12, 2020 in ,
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