Chandra Wijaya Award in Financial Engineering
“Live not only for yourself, but also for others,” says Chandra Wijaya (MBA ’00), Executive Director, Control and Initiatives, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. “Growing up in Indonesia, this was an important motto that guided our lives.”
Chandra learned the importance of giving back to the community at an early age. While he was completing a Master of Business Administration degree at the Schulich School of Business, there was a financial crisis in Asia and he was unsure whether he would be able to afford to complete the program. A bursary for international students in financial need changed everything.
“I received the award at a time when I needed the support very much,” Chandra recalls. “I remember writing the application letter explaining that I was in a dire financial situation and needed help to complete my studies.”
As a young adult, Chandra dreamed of becoming a financial engineer. To achieve this, he enrolled in two universities and earned undergraduate degrees in Economics and Computer Science concurrently. He decided to attend Schulich to complete an MBA and the Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Engineering program after learning about the School’s strong reputation in the field of finance.
Following his graduation in 2000, he was hired immediately by the National Bank of Canada and today, as an Executive Director with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, he oversees Control and Initiatives in CIBC Wholesale Banking.
“I’ve been working in the banking industry for more than 12 years,” he said. “And in that time, I have recognized the importance of prudence, continuous learning, adaptability to constant change, discipline and commitment to excellence – values that are extremely valuable for a career in both business and the banking sector, and values that I learned while attending Schulich.”
“The bursary I received from Schulich had a big impact on my career,” said Chandra. “And, 11 years later, I couldn’t forget it. I called the University and asked about ways I could give back to the School.”
As a result, Chandra made a gift to the School to support the creation of an endowed award – the Chandra Wijaya Award in Financial Engineering. Eligible recipients will be second year, full-time MBA students studying Financial Engineering. The recipient must demonstrate academic excellence and demonstrate financial need.
“It’s important for young people to have educational opportunities because they will build our future,” said Chandra. “I hope this bursary will convey a message to future business leaders that there are people in the business world that care and want to help others in need. I want them to know that charity is still relevant in the modern business world and experience how it can help people in a tangible way.”
“Receiving a bursary from Schulich greatly impacted my life and I am grateful to have the opportunity to create this bursary in return. To the next generation of Schulich students – whatever your passion is, pursue it. People will open the way for you if they see you are investing in your dreams. Don’t be afraid or discouraged – pursue your goals.”