Marcela Garcia Bueno is receiving the Robert Poulin Award for her dedication to Lakehead University

Photo of Marcela Garcia Bueno receiving the Robert Poulin Award trophy from Maria Vasanelli, Chair of Lakehead's Board of Governors.

Marcela Garcia Bueno received the Robert Poulin Award trophy from Maria Vasanelli, Chair of Lakehead's Board of Governors.

By Brandon Walker

Marcela Garcia Bueno is the recipient of this year’s Robert Poulin Award, presented to a full-time Lakehead University student for their outstanding citizenship.

She is an international student at Lakehead Thunder Bay who is from Guadalajara, Mexico.

Marcela was admitted into Lakehead’s Honours Bachelor of Commerce program in February 2020.

She was awarded one of Lakehead’s highest entrance scholarships, which she has kept by maintaining an average greater than 90 per cent during her first three years at Lakehead.

“In spite of COVID-19 and having completed my entire first year remotely from Mexico, I have been actively involved at Lakehead by becoming a Global Ambassador, being a part of the Senate Academic Appeals Committee (SAAC), being a project manager at Enactus, and hosting Lakehead International’s ‘Destination Unboxed’ podcast,” she said.

When she started her business degree, Marcela became interested in banking and investments. She currently holds a part-time job as a Banking Advisor at RBC and has decided to major in finance. She hopes to build her career on banking and investments.

Marcela has advice for anyone who is hoping to hold on to their scholarship while attending university.

“First, focus on your academic experience. When talking to many students – especially during my first year – I was told I was not going to be able to keep it. 

“Choose the parts of the advice you’re given that encourage you to move forward,” she said. 

“Second, trust your knowledge and skills. As people say, you are your worst critic. Take control of what you can control and let go of what you can’t. 

“Third, make sure you’re surrounded by the right people. I can’t stress this last one enough. I am confident I am where I am today because of the strong network I’ve been able to build around me, both personally and professionally,” she said. 

“Surround yourself with friends and people who want to see you succeed and encourage/challenge you to be the best. Be open to new conversations and valuable connections.” 

For prospective students who are considering attending Lakehead University, Marcela said be sure to enjoy your journey.

“Make sure you are doing what you like. If you aren’t, motivation can be a struggle. Make the most out of your university experience. In the end, it is truly up to you to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented – you just need to be ready to take them once they come to you,” she said.

Since 1952, Lakehead University has presented the Robert Poulin Award annually to a full-time student selected by their fellows, the faculty and administration, for contributing most to the welfare of the University through student activities.

Lakehead named the Robert Poulin Award after an outstanding Forestry graduate from the Lakehead Technical Institute who died at the age of 20 due to a workplace accident.