Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
“Economic thinker and relentless optimist hoping to help improve the world through business and politics.”
Hometown: Born in Edmonton, Alberta, and raised in Kelowna, British Columbia
Fun Fact About Yourself: I joined Ukrainian dance when I was three. It was a fun way to combine my high energy and eastern European roots – especially living in Edmonton, a Canadian city with a vibrant Ukrainian community.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of British Columbia, BSc (Biochemistry, Biology, and Chemistry)
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I worked on the policy team in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, leading youth, sport, and disabilities policy.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Playing my part on the incredible team that elected Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister and, later, assisting with the implementation of his policy vision for young Canadians. I am also proud of what was achieved over two summers in rural Zambia, where I worked with teachers to design and implement after-school programs that promote youth development and gender equality.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? The unique way they perceive and engage in the world through their varied experiences. I’ve heard some inspiring stories already.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Diversity. The program prioritizes gender balance, includes professionals from every sector, and attracts students from over 60 countries. I also chose to live in Oxford’s most international college, St Antony’s, because diversity fosters understanding and makes us better learners and leaders.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Finance Lab (also, ice hockey and long walks through Oxford’s beautiful meadows and dreaming spires).
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I wanted to develop my skills in finance and business economics and improve my understanding of how the world works, particularly from a market and macroeconomic perspective.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I was fortunate enough to be awarded Bill Ackman’s generous Pershing Square Scholarship, which funds business students committed to developing scalable and sustainable solutions to world-scale social challenges. I had the privilege of meeting Bill and playing tennis with him this summer. He won.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? HBS, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan
How did you determine your fit at various schools? First, I discovered Oxford Saïd has good scholarship support, which empowers students from different socioeconomic backgrounds to study here. Second, I valued Oxford Saïd’s commitment to cultivating business leaders equipped to solve global challenges through non-traditional business education. I figured that mission would select for students who see business as a potential force for good, and, in turn, foster a collaborative cohort culture. Finally, my brother studied at Oxford, so I knew it was an incredible place with a tight-knit community. I spent the past year here pursuing the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government through Oxford Saïd’s 1+1 program – which combines the MBA with a specialist master’s degree – and the experience was genuinely transformative.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Childhood. My parents raised me to be curious, value knowledge, and treat others with kindness. My grandparents used to read books with me endlessly. They brought us kids to every museum, zoo, aquarium, and science center in the province (my favorite was the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology). And I competed fiercely with my brothers and sister in sports, debates, and just about everything. We continue to push each other to this day.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? Work in business economics to generate sustainable prosperity and advance economic empowerment and inclusion.
Where do you see yourself in five years? At the intersection of business and government. Creating opportunities for underprivileged Canadians and transitioning sectors towards social and environmental purpose.
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