Since she was in Grade 5, Tejashree Modi has dreamed of coming to Canada to earn her Bachelor of Business Administration degree – a lifelong goal she’ll get to realize next week as Yorkville University’s Class of 2023 valedictorian.
“I had an idea when I received my Yorkville University acceptance letter that this journey would be one of the best decisions of my life – and I was right,” said Modi, who graduated with honours.
“Now that I’ve graduated, this manifestation has come true, making me the first person in my family to own a Canadian degree.”
Since finishing up her studies last September, Modi has begun working as a shift manager at a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchise – a job she sees as a great first step towards fulfilling her ultimate goal of starting up her own restaurant one day, and eventually expanding it nationwide across Canada.
Modi recently sat down to reflect on her time at Yorkville University and her plans for the future. Here’s what she had to say:
What brought you to Yorkville University? Where were you in your life/career when you decided to continue your studies with us?
In 2019, when I completed the 12th grade, I fulfilled my childhood dream of coming to Canada to earn a Canadian degree, which I had been manifesting since I was in the 5th or 6th grade. Now that I’ve graduated, this manifestation has come true, making me the first person in my family to own a Canadian degree.
What drew me to Yorkville were the university’s three pillars, which are Honor, Integrity, and Excellence. I had an idea when I received my Yorkville University acceptance letter and filed my visa that this journey would be one of the best decisions of my life and I was right. All YU’s faculty and staff follow the university’s three pillars and so did I throughout my undergraduate career – and I still do today and always will.
What made you decide to pursue your Bachelor of Business Administration?
My dad and my uncle run a family dairy product business, so business has always been in my blood. I used to help customers and oversee the store with different responsibilities, while also looking into university studies related to business. Then I found out about Yorkville’s BBA Project Management program and realized that project management is a part of everything we do in our lives – whether it’s in business, moms working in the kitchen, or my dad making every product from scratch. It’s all project management!
I moved to Canada when I was 18 years old to attend YU and studied with all my heart and passion. I also had the opportunity to work as a peer tutor at Yorkville. For all my hard work, I received the Dean’s Honour from our president, Dr. Julia Christensen Hughes when I graduated in 2022. All these achievements have made my parents proud. It was a dream that, with their blessings and God’s grace, came true.
What is the most important thing you’re taking away from your studies at Yorkville University?
The most important things I am taking away with me from Yorkville are the core values of all YU staff members, who do their jobs with honesty, integrity, and pure excellence.
All senior faculty offers their insights and aid to students so that we can better understand and carefully analyze situations before making any decisions. I am lucky that I had such an excellent team of professors who guided me and my classmates to stay on the right path, so that we can climb to success with integrity and hard work.
What are your plans after graduation, both immediate and long term?
I am currently working as a restaurant manager for a Popeyes restaurant. With all the Canadian experience I am gaining, in the future I want to start my own restaurant business here in Canada, where I want to support new individuals in learning the core values of business and ethics. My goal is to run different branches of my restaurant throughout Canada and pass on all the knowledge I’ve learned from my family, my professors, my friends, and all those individuals that I have met to date. I learn something new every day, and I will continue to do so.
If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?
The only advice that I would like to give to incoming students is that you have come very far, and towards a better opportunity there’s always a ray of hope that gets us through our lives’ most unexpected and best turning points. Yorkville will remain a part of you, and you shall remain a part of Yorkville with Honesty, Integrity, and Excellence!