Common Threads

2016-2017 Issue 1

PierreCThere are two common threads in Pierre Chanzonkov’s career: McGill University and wine.

McGill University was where he earned his B.Comm. As an undergraduate student he was active with the McGill Student Entrepreneurial Association, AIESEC McGill, and the yearbook. Soon after graduating he began working at Coopers & Lybrand, which would eventually merge to from PriceWaterhouseCoopers. During that time he enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting at the School of Continuing Studies. He was working towards his CPA certification, but decided to start a company instead. “I always aspired to be self-employed.”

Today, Pierre is living the dream. After serving 10 years as general manager for the Opimian Society, a Canadian wine club that at its peak boasted 21,000 members, he is now the publisher of Quench, a digital and print publication dedicated to wine and food. His two common threads intertwined last year when he again returned to the School, this time to present Quench magazine as a case study. It served as a project for Cases in Public Relations, an undergraduate course offered by the School. The students conducted research and provided feedback as part of their course credit. “They proposed some viewpoints that I hadn’t thought of before,” says Pierre.

And now that he’s an alumni, he can in turn provide feedback to the School’s students. His biggest piece of advice? “Don’t just stay in your classes – get involved. Explore different campus activities and interact with people from all different walks of life. It takes time to do it, but it’s worth it.”

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