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The MSc graduate finds fulfillment through international business

The MSc graduate finds fulfillment through international business
The MSc graduate finds fulfillment through international business

 


Studying business wasn't always the plan for Shania Kalpee, MSc 24, who is graduating from Ivey's International Business MSc in Management program this week.

I never imagined that my academic path would go this far, she says.

Kalpee began her academic career studying Health Sciences and Environmental Sciences at Western. When it came time to graduate, her future seemed uncertain as the COVID-19 pandemic reached its peak. Instead of starting her professional career, she decided to pursue a master's degree in Rehabilitation Science. This experience made him want more.

I realized I felt a lack of fulfillment with my field of study, and coupled with poor mental health due to the pandemic, I knew I had to make a change, she says.

Applying to the Iveys MSc program was born out of this desire. Now, as Kalpee reflects on her time in the program, she describes her academic career as a challenging but rewarding achievement. Coming to Ivey made her realize the value of pursuing alternative careers in the health and environmental sciences sectors beyond a traditional role as a physician or an environmentalist.

Finding a new academic path

After hearing about Ivey's extensive network and community, along with the benefits of hands-on learning, she knew she was right where she needed to be.

I was able to take away a valuable, real-life applicable lesson after each class, she says.

Kalpee found the case method an impressive way to learn, but the International Business stream offerings were the main attraction. The Ivey Global Lab, which brought him to Thailand, ended up being a highlight of the program.

Living and working in Thailand was an invaluable experience, she says. It gave me an avenue to learn from others through their unique cultures and mindsets. This pushed me out of my comfort zone to absorb as much as possible.

In Thailand, Kalpee worked for T-ECOSYS, a digital platform company that connects corporations from different industries to improve product and service delivery. There, she worked with a team of other interns and learned the importance of playing a supportive role.

I was working with a team of people I had never met before, but we ended up becoming good friends, she says. The internship allowed us to be in a foreign country and opened us to different cultures, perspectives and ways of working.

Embracing global learning

After completing her internship in Thailand, Kalpee traveled to Norway to begin the dual part of the International Business MSc program at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). There, she faced a new set of challenges due to significant cultural displacement from Thailand. This adjustment period reinforced her commitment to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives she supported as EDI Vice President for MSc Association (MSCA) in Ivey.

Kalpee also served as an International Student Ambassador while studying at NHH. The role allowed her to connect with students and faculty, communicating the importance of EDI in an environment that lacks diversity.

I was the only person of color in my program at NHH and I felt called to use the opportunity to make myself felt, Kalpee said. I wanted to take space and show other minority women who will come after me that they can do it too.

Reflecting on a journey of gratitude

As she prepares to cross the stage at the gathering, Kalpee is proud of her personal and professional growth over the course of the program. But most of all, she is grateful for her experience with Ivey.

The opportunities I have had during my time here have been incredible and I know they will not end with my graduation, she says. I have developed so much personally and academically, and it is all because of the unique experiences I have had at Ivey.

Balancing passion and profession

When asked what's next career-wise, Kalpee says she's committed to combining her new business acumen with health equity, environmental action and EDI initiatives.

Wherever I end up, I want to feel impactful and fulfilled with the work I do, she says. I look forward to using the skills and experiences gained at Ivey to make a meaningful difference.”

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