Student Spotlight - Josh Puszka
Written by: Rodvie Barnachea
Photographed by: Erica Hu
As seen in the December issue of Lazy Faire magazine
Josh Puszka is a third-year business student majoring in Operations Management. He is a familiar face at the Alberta School of Business, and is known for being one of the friendliest and most approachable people in the business community. Note: what struck me while conducting the interview was that Josh didn’t know what the theme of this month’s issue was, until the end, but most of his answers always came back to it. He is the perfect fit to be the face of Lazy Faire Magazine’s December issue of the “Gift of Giving.”
You have done things like VP Charity for JDC West and have volunteered for 5D4H. What attracted you to take on those positions?
I think it was me wanting to give back and hopefully have an impact in other people’s lives. With 5 Days for the Homeless, it was focusing on helping people in the community of Edmonton overall and supporting YESS (Youth Empowerment and Support Services). It was about supporting people who can’t even get the support they need, which is tough. For VP Charity for JDC West, it’s really cool in the sense that you’re not just doing charity, but you’re helping other people reach their charity goals, and helping with setting other people up for success.
How has your experience been volunteering for the Edmonton Food Bank?
I’ve really enjoyed the Edmonton Food Bank overall. It’s a really good way to visualize giving back through a hands-on approach. You’re actually integrating yourself within a community, with a whole different side of things that people don’t usually see: such as weighing out flour or separating eggs. I love volunteering on the Saturdays, because you can actually work in what they call the “hamper.” It’s where you can actually meet the clients that they help, and you’re the one giving the food to the people that need it.
Can you expand on the “things that I wouldn’t usually see?”
How they separate food is different. When they get donations, sometimes it comes in larger packs. If you think about daily essentials, such as flour, eggs, and milk, they actually separate that into smaller portions. On top of separating food, there’s things like weighing out flour so everyone has an equal portion or even separating eggs. It’s something that you wouldn’t expect to do overall.
What has been your most satisfying position you have done so far?
I would definitely say VP Charity for JDC West. It’s integrating two of my passions which is giving back and case competitions. You can’t find a better position for those two things.
What excites you?
I always want to do better in everything that I do. That’s the idea of “kaizen,” which is the Japanese word for continuous improvement. I definitely try to live my life that way where you’re always moving forward, and always pushing yourself to be better. That can be in so many different ways where pushing yourself might be actually helping others.
What’s your goal in life?
A huge goal in my life is to leave a legacy in the things that I touch and the things that I do. That means making sure that I have a high involvement and high passion in everything that I do. But that’s tough in the sense that everyone’s goals always shift, and it’s so hard to pick one thing that is going to be that one end goal. Right now, I want to go into Management Consulting and also pursue my Master of Science in Data Analytics.
In the School of Business or in general, what do you want to be the first thing that comes to mind for others when they think about you?
Happiness. I’ve heard from other people that have told me that I’m really good at helping others. That’s what I want people to think of ¾ that I’m that go-to person to help people if they need it or need someone to talk to.
So our theme for this month is the gift of giving. How has that been incorporated in your life?
Oh! I think that’s such a good theme. I think that goes back to the “theme of the month,” but I think that should be the theme every month. You should always be giving back no matter what. I think that’s something that people can always try to work on. It’s a good focus for the holiday season. However, people need to also carry that forward, and know that volunteering at the Food Bank isn’t just a one month thing. It’s a year-round type of thing and hopefully people see from this issue is that the gift of giving should always be continuous.