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Made by an inclusive and encouraging environment

Alykhan Sunderji, BA’05

Founder, (former Head of Legal - Amazon Fashion, Head of Legal -

Alykhan Sunderji

I came to McGill from Vancouver, BC, with a clear vision of the type of school I wanted to attend – a top-tier institution in a large city, one with an inclusive culture, a diverse population, and opportunities to grow and explore. I wanted a space where I had the freedom to study almost any topic (with the world’s foremost experts) and become whoever I wanted to be.  I am immensely grateful to have studied at such an institution in such a city.

McGill offers students a unique opportunity to obtain a globally recognized education and live in a city with incredible culture, innovative spirit, and rich history. While the entertainment and culinary scene is renowned (to this day, I still remember the phone numbers to my favourite restaurants in the city!), attending McGill and living in Montreal expanded my horizons and set me on a path to self-discovery by immersing me in a community of diverse people, interests, and ideas. I came to McGill with an idea of what I wanted to do later in life, but I didn’t realize how much I’d learn outside the classroom interacting with my classmates and the city.

Inside the classroom, I majored in Industrial Relations because I had seen many other Canadian political leaders do the same, given labor-management relations (the core focus of IR) is an important element of Canadian politics and social change. But it also provided a practical underpinning in people-management skills. This provided a range of post-graduation outcomes in academia and the job market, and allowed me to pursue a master’s degree in the same topic. Although I did not focus on this area of the law once I started in private practice, I use those management techniques every day.

Further to this, my advice to students and alumni is to keep investing in yourself. Spend your time on experiences that will improve your skillset and make you more marketable no matter the outcome of that particular challenge, job, or endeavor. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are growth-oriented and positive; you will mutually help and inspire each other professionally and outside your career. Twenty years later you will look back and see how much you have all grown together. Believe in yourself, because if you have already made it this far, you have the grit, determination, and education to achieve practically anything.

The lessons I learned at McGill University laid the foundation for my career and have continued to support me. When I was 17, moving to Montreal seemed like such a big step, such a big challenge. But it was the first of many steps and challenges, and it made each following step that much easier. I still remember walking home from the library late at night, looking out over the city. It was the beginning of quite the adventure. If only I knew.

McGill is very close to my heart because it was an amazing experience that allowed me to have so many more amazing experiences.