Toronto Campus Grad Student Wins University- Wide Leadership Award

Toronto Campus Grad Student Wins University- Wide Leadership Award

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes.

TORONTO, Ontario—Puneet Kundu is a student in Northeastern’s Master of Science in Project Management program and a member of the first cohort of international students at the Toronto campus. He is also the first graduate student from Northeastern’s regional campus network to receive one of Northeastern’s annual graduate student awards. On the basis of his work establishing the Toronto campus’ first student organization, as well as many other contributions, Puneet has been awarded the 2021  Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Leadership. This award honours students who demonstrate significant leadership as well as a deep commitment to giving back to Northeastern and the surrounding community. 

Collaborating with Prof. Adel Zadeh and a number of other project management students, Puneet established the group and proceeded to launch a series of very successful events. These included events focused on helping newcomers to Canada get settled, and events designed to help Project Management students select their areas of academic concentration. 

Reflecting on his inspiration for starting the Toronto NUPM chapter, Puneet recalls thinking about new students’ needs and challenges in the context of remote learning and wondering how his organization could help to create a dynamic, on campus-like environment. 

Describing Puneet’s leadership and the success of the NUPM Toronto chapter, Prof. Zadeh remarked, “Puneet is one of my best students at Northeastern. He did a great job creating the NUPM board structure. He recruited seven board members, prepared election documents, and interviewed the applicants. We had seven or eight student events and webinars for those with a PJM concentration settling here in Toronto. Students are very happy and involved in working with NUPM. They’re seeing the benefits of these webinars and having this student association in Toronto.”

On top of his responsibilities as a full-time graduate student, Puneet is Assistant Director at the Project Management Institute (PMI) Toronto. It is the second largest of the organization’s 300 global chapters and is led by Prof. Zadeh, the current director. “Puneet has been one of the most active members,” explained Prof.Zadeh, “He handles all events for all colleges, universities and PM student associations, managing resources, connecting internal and external stakeholders, and making sure we are providing the right resources for these schools.”

Puneet is also active with Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies and has served as a Student Ambassador for the college, connecting with prospective project management students looking for a student’s perspective on life at the Toronto campus. His achievements would be noteworthy under any circumstance, but his level of activity and initiative is exemplary within the context of a global pandemic.  

Armed with an existing background in business analytics and expecting to graduate with his master’s in 2022, Puneet anticipates the next step in his professional journey to be taking up a role as Technical Project Manager in Data Analytics & Science and Business Intelligence. For others looking to balance their education, career, and personal goals, Puneet suggests “sketching a feasible plan, with equally distributed time towards career and personal goals,” noting that “monitoring and tracking your progress” is essential.

Congratulations again to Puneet and to all of this year’s graduate student winners at Northeastern. Meet all of the 2021 Graduate Student Award Honourees here.

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