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Beginning a new chapter: Ivey OWeek 2019

Aug 30, 2019


Ben Varadi, HBA '94, of Spin Master, speaks at the Gala Breakfast.

"Is everybody excited?"

With those words, Ben Varadi, HBA ’94, kicked off OWeek 2019 for the incoming HBA Class of 2021 at RBC Place London on Friday, August 30.

Replete in a tux and top hat, Varadi, Director, Executive Vice President, and Chief Creative Officer of Spin Master, brought along Earth Buddy – one of the first toys he developed – to help teach lessons to Ivey’s newest students.

Here are some highlights from his speech:

Lessons from the car wash

Many of Varadi’s early jobs, such as delivering newspapers, working at a hot dog stand, and a car wash, taught him valuable lessons:

“I learned so much in doing those jobs. It taught me humility. It taught me that the world didn't owe me anything. And, most importantly, it taught me that nothing was beneath me. And those were very important lessons.”

Unexpected sources

An employee early in Varadi's career showed him the value of listening to everyone:

“Advice can come from anywhere, and anyone, so be open minded because you may learn something from someone you don't expect to learn something from.”

Enjoy the moment

Varadi encouraged students to take a moment to enjoy the ride:

“When I finished Ivey, I was in such a rush to get started. It was like the shotgun went off in my head and the race had started. I wish I'd taken, at some point, more time to just enjoy the ride. Don't make my mistake. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses, and don't forget to appreciate the moment. And don't forget to say thank you to people who help you along the way.”

This week, 624 students transitioned into first year of the HBA Program. HBA2 student volunteers, also known as Gurus, have planned a series of events and activities to welcome new students and provide an orientation to Ivey's campus life. Events include the first official Ivey Cup event, alumni speakers, a talent show, a case class, and a trip to Port Stanley beach.

Follow us on social, and keep an eye out for a student Instagram takeover with Tyler Weatherill, Head Guru, starting Friday, August 30.

Make sure to share your OWeek photos with us using the hashtag #IveyOWeek.