Congratulations to Master of Science in Management (MScM) graduate Noah Friedman for winning the Ryerson University Gold Medal for the Ted Rogers School of Management.
The Gold Medal is the university's highest award, presented to students with outstanding academic achievement combined with extraordinary contributions to the life of the university and/or their professional community and/or the community at large.
Friedman is an exemplary student, achieving a perfect GPA during her master’s studies while also remaining committed to student life and environmental causes. Her thesis explored how community-based programs were able to motivate reusable coffee cup adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic, which made significant contributions to the literature on sustainable reuse behaviours. She also volunteered as the VP of Communications for the MScM Student Association, and participated in the MScM Peer Mentorship Program where she helped incoming students adapt to university life.
In addition, Friedman served as the graduate student representative on the Scholarly Research and Creative Activity (SRC) Committee, helping to boost the research culture at the Ted Rogers School. She aspires to apply the research skills gained in the MScM program in a career in marketing research.
Here is what Friedman had to say about winning this prestigious award, her proudest accomplishment and her plans for the future:
What does receiving the Ryerson Gold Medal mean to you?
I am truly honoured to be receiving the Ryerson Gold Medal for the Ted Rogers School. It is the crowning achievement of my educational career and a lifelong memory of the valuable experiences I gained during my journey at Ryerson University.
I am continuously reminded that one of the most important career decisions I made was to choose the Ted Rogers School for my Bachelor of Commerce degree. I was lucky to be part of the first cohort of the Marketing Co-op Program, gaining 16 months of invaluable industry experience where I discovered my passion for research. As I was finishing my bachelor’s degree, the Ted Rogers School introduced the MScM program, which launched my career in marketing research and continues to open new doors for me.
In addition, I am so thankful for the awards and scholarships I received at Ryerson over the years. They gave me the financial stability to focus on my studies and have time to dedicate towards the Ryerson community and community at large.
In short, receiving the Ryerson Gold Medal represents not only a one-time recognition. It is the culmination of a multitude of opportunities that I am grateful to have received throughout my time at university, and the dedicated staff and faculty who supported me and continue to guide my career to this day.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment was completing my master’s thesis. Writing a thesis during a pandemic had its challenges, but I am thankful for the guidance from my supervisors who kept me on track and helped me overcome the hurdles.
I knew I wanted to combine my passions for sustainability and consumer behaviour, as well as conduct research that would have a meaningful impact. After multiple iterations, I decided to study reusable cup sharing programs that make it easy for consumers to switch from disposable to reusable cups when purchasing takeaway drinks at coffee shops.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit just when I started data collection, which affected these programs financially and led to the additional struggle of heightened hygiene concerns. Instead of changing my topic, I pivoted to explore the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on reusable cup sharing programs and how they adapted to continue encouraging sustainable consumer behaviours.
I learned a lot while completing my master’s thesis – not only about marketing research and reusable coffee cups, but also about myself and what’s important to me. I believe that we all have a role to play in the fight against climate change. My master’s research project was my little contribution to tackling climate change – one of many contributions to come!
What are your future plans?
My career aspiration is to work in marketing research – which has already begun! Soon after completing my master’s degree, I started working at a marketing research company where I am conducting qualitative and quantitative research to provide insights to a range of clients. I feel that research is my true calling because I am able to learn new things every day and I have opportunities to make an impact.
I am certain that I will continue to be involved in environmental initiatives, whether it be through volunteering in the community or working in the area of sustainability. Wherever my career takes me, I know that my future will intersect with sustainability.
Although my time at Ryerson University is coming to a close, I will continue to give back to our community in the years to come as a proud alumna. So many doors were opened for me during my time here, and I hope to do the same for future students.