Carl Christian Madrid, third-year graphic design student, was chosen by the graphic design faculty to be the recipient of the new bursary. The decision was based on his work ethic and personality.


Carl Christian Madrid, a third-year graphic design student, has become the first recipient of the new Shopify Graphic Design bursary.

The bursary was initiated by Greg Beldam, an Algonquin graphic design grad who now works as the Ottawa-based e-commerce company’s director of product design.

“He approached us and said that Shopify wanted to set up an award for our students,” said Andrea Emery, Algonquin’s graphic design program coordinator. “The award is based on someone that has the same work ethics that Shopify values in their employees.”

After discussing what those values were, Beldam asked the faculty to put forward some student names that fit the bill.

“The faculty got together and we looked at some of our students who went above and beyond, who worked really hard, who were active in the community and we came up with a handful of names.”

After going over the names, and the students’ personality traits, Madrid was selected as the ideal candidate to receive the award.

“The wonderful thing about (Madrid) is how professional he always is,” said Emery. “That’s something that stands out.”

Madrid was in the dark about the award until the day he received it.

“I had no idea,” said Madrid. “(Emery) just told me ‘there’s going to be a surprise tomorrow’.”

Madrid, 24, discovered graphic design as a hobby while attending Carleton for engineering physics.

“It made life a little more interesting, I would have something to look forward to other than just number crunching,” he said.

The bursary is another way that Shopify has maintained a presence in the Algonquin community, along with hiring graduates and playing host to graphic design graduate shows.

“I think they’re willing to invest local, so that they’re going to get back what they invested,” said Madrid. “(And also) to let the students know that there’s opportunity to work there.”