Student of the Week
Bianca Ponziani, Joint Honours Poli Sci / Environment, U3
Q: What has been your favourite McGill event this year?
A: Honestly, I only go to the McGill events with my club, [the Management Undergraduate Society of Entrepreneur Society. I’m Co-VP Corporate Relations. [They’re] a lot of fun. There are a lot of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and it’s cool to meet everybody and hear about their business ideas.
Q: What kind of work does the Entrepreneurship Society do, exactly?
A: Basically, we want to connect budding entrepreneurs with the skill-set that they need in order to develop their business. We do that via the networking events that we have, and we also work with the Desautels management faculty, with the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship. We promote the Dobson Cup, which is a business competition coming up in March where you submit your business idea, and a lot of students participate. We really want to provide [entrepreneurs with] a community.
Q: Name one book you’ll never get tired of reading.
A: I’m a person who doesn’t like watching movies twice, I don’t like reading books twice, I don’t even like watching TV episodes twice. There’s too much good stuff out there to get through!
Q: Who is your favourite professor at McGill?
A: George McCourt. He’s in the McGill School of Environment. I guarantee that every single McGill School of Environment [student] that you speak to will laud professor McCourt. He’s just so down to earth, and really can connect with his students and can just have fun with them. He’s so smart, and just a fantastic teacher; [he] brings things to life. He’s so passionate about what he studies.
Q: Your apartment’s on fire and you only have time to save three things; what are they?
A: My violin, [because] that’s wood and it would fuel the fire. I would also save my laptop, because I would not want to rewrite the applications and theses that I’ve been writing. I’ve thought about this question before, but that was when I had a cat. Before she ran away, I would have found and saved Midnight from the house. Midnight, if you’re out there, I would have saved you.
Q: What surprised you most about McGill when you first came here?
A: It gets better every year—you learn more about what McGill offers. It’s [more] fun, the more you get out there. What surprised me is how little I actually took advantage of all the amazing conferences and workshops that they offer because you don’t have time for everything.
Q: If you could go back to any historical event in the world, what would it be, and why?
A: I would want to go back to any time that Italy won the FIFA world cup, and be in Italy when it happens. It’s a ruckus. Everybody loves each other, everybody’s on everybody’s shoulders. There [are] goats painted [with] Italian flags, older men are crying; it’s a blast.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A: “Enjoy the dance,” from my brother. I moved to Hong Kong when I was in high school, and it was rough; it was a challenge. He just said: “Enjoy the dance. [Whatever position you’re in,] it’s only going to be for a while. Even though it’s a challenge, relish it while you have the opportunity to do so.”
Q: What’s the very first thing you’d buy if you won the lottery?
A: I’d definitely buy my parents an alpaca farm in Peru, and probably a vineyard in Italy, so they can retire. For some reason, my mom really likes llamas, and my dad really wants a dog. I catch him petting the neighbour’s dog.
Q: What are your dream reading week plans? What are your actual reading week plans?
A: Dream reading week plans: organic farming in the south of France. Real reading week plans: I’m going to go visit my parents, who are working in Turkey right now. We’re going to go travel around, and maybe visit a Greek island.
Q: Why did you decide to come to McGill?
A: It’s a fantastic university, internationally renowned. The French aspect, for sure. People say that you can’t really use your French around here, but think about how much less you would be exposed to it [somewhere else], even in terms of looking at posters, interacting [with people] at the SAQ. Also, it’s not too far from home, not too close to home; the Goldilocks phenomenon.
Q: What’s one fashion trend you’ll never try again?
A: Those really tight corduroy leggings from The Bay, and skin coloured ones too. That was a bad day.