Ali is a second year student at the Sauder School of Business planning to major in marketing with dreams of one day becoming an entrepreneur. She was born and raised in North Vancouver, however, has always had a love for travel and a strong desire to visit South Africa in particular. She is extremely grateful to be a part of this year’s traveling team to the community of Phalaborwa and is excited to be able to apply and build upon her business knowledge and skills. From her involvement with the Arc initiative she hopes to not only gain a better understanding of business from a global perspective, but also to develop lasting relationships, and to be able to make a sustainable impact in the community. She is looking forward to develop upon the foundation and partnerships established last year and cannot wait to embark on what is sure to be an unforgettable and life changing experience!
I’m Maggie Wei, a third year Arts student at University of British Columbia. I major in History and minor in InternationalRelations and I cannot be more excited about this opportunity to work with the Go Global International Service Learning, Arc, and the Palabora Foundation. I care deeply about the issue of development in a global context, and I believe that this summer I will learn first hand what development means to a developing country and how students like me who are very interested in the field of international relations and political economics will be able to gain a different level of perspective surrounding this thorny issue of development.
Michael was born in the United States in Virginia but grew up in West Vancouver, Canada. He is a second year student in the Sauder School of Business at UBC and has interests in specializing in Finance and Real Estate. In 2009 Michael traveled to Vietnam, and it was that experience that sparked his passion for traveling across the world. Traveling to South Africa, while at the same time gaining and sharing experience made the Arc Initiative something that Michael wanted to pursue. Participating in the Arc Initiative, Michael is excited about the opportunity to work in an international setting and embark on one of the most memorable trips of his life. In his free time, Michael can be found at the ice rink playing competitive ice hockey, or teaching the fundamentals of skating as an instructor. Michael is an active individual and loves participating in many sports including Golf, football, mountain biking and in the summer water sports.
Monica was born and raised in small town BC and acquired the travel bug early as a result of periodically being taken out of school to travel with her family. After second year Sauder School of Business, she decided it was time to set off on her own and spent the fall of 2010 backpacking China and South East Asia solo.
She is now looking to complement her overseas experience with a different type of experience in South Africa. She anticipates that living with a local family and staying in one place for an extended period of time will facilitate a completely different type of interaction with the local culture and people. She is hoping that her time in South Africa will give her some ideas and direction regarding business development groups and projects, an area in which she hopes to become involved after graduation.
Sean was born in Toronto, grew up in Edmonton, and has lived in Vancouver for the past 5 years. He is in his 2nd year at the Sauder School of Business and currently, plans on pursing a specialization in Finance and Real Estate. Sean has always believed that people are a product of their experiences, something that this project is founded on. His varied background academically and athletically is a testament to this belief, as he has had a wide range of interest including architectural drafting, woodworking, playing and coaching hockey, and competing on the soccer field. He hopes to share his stories and experiences with the people in South Africa, and is excited to learn from them and hear their stories within the Phalaborwa community as well as in a business setting.
Tim Chang was born in Montreal, Quebec, and moved to Vancouver at a young age and is currently studying Accounting in his third year at UBC. The Phalaborwa project struck him as being unique in its potential to benefit not just one, but rather both sides involved. It’s an incredible opportunity to form meaningful relationships with the people of Phalaborwa, to learn from each other, and to inspire one another through our shared passion and commitment towards the same goals.
Veronica was born in Seoul, South Korea and came to Canada when she was five years old. She is going into her second year at the Sauder School of Business and had the opportunity to represent her peers as the first year representative of the Commerce Undergraduate Society this past year. Veronica aspires to pursue a career in International Relations, and hopes to engage with people from all over the world. She has extensive volunteer experience including working with the British Columbia Youth Parliament and founding a club aimed towards rebuilding war torn schools in Northern Uganda.
Veronica fell in love with Arc Initiative upon hearing about it in her Business Fundamentals class. She is interested in learning more about international development through knowledge and empowerment, which is what this project encompasses. She is passionate about Arc’s unconventional approach to aid, and is very excited to learn more about business in South Africa, a place she has always dreamed of traveling to. Arc Initiative marks the beginning of Veronica’s work abroad, and for that she could not be more grateful.
Read about her experiences here.
Vicky grew up in Naples New York and has always been interested in sports, business, and things that make her laugh. She loves meeting new people and working together to build great stories. There is no where she’d rather be than immersed in a diverse setting conversing, and experiencing hands on, the culture of South Africa. Vicky is a huge advocate of learning done outside the structured education system, which is why the Arc Initiative has cuddled up close to her heart. She hopes to improve her business skills in a real life experience, while hopefully making an impact on the lives of those in Phalaborwa.
Born in Calcutta, India, Stephen currently calls South Delta, B.C. home. Currently, as the Vice President, Corporate Development at Please Mum (Canadian national children’s wear retailer), he is especially proud of the Please Mum Foundation Fund. The Foundation Fund is dedicated to providing children the opportunity to have fun and participate in positive experiences in all aspects of life. The efforts of the Fund extend from Canada to developing countries in Africa including Mozambique, Senegal and Mauritania. He is also a moderator in both the CMA (Certified Management Accountants) and Executive CMA Strategic Leadership Program. He currently serves as Second Vice Chair on the Board of the Certified Management Accountants of B.C. and as Treasurer for DRS Earthwise, a not-for-profit organization that promotes sustainable communities through environmental education and stewardship. Consistent with the charitable efforts of the organizations he is involved in, he continues to see the opportunity to share, learn and pass on experiences and knowledge.
Aklilu has held a number of roles in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Currently he is the Chief Operating Officer of HOPE International Development Agency – an organization dedicated to helping the developing world, by teaching income generating skills and building community infrastructure. The Agency currently has projects in 19 countries and has an annual budget of over $23 million.
In addition to his work with HOPE International, Aklilu was Executive Vice President and CFO with Arrow Leadership International, and has lectured at the Sauder School of Business at the UBC and at Trinity Western University. Aklilu has also worked in various consultant and financial controller roles within the for-profit sector. For the Society of Certified Management Accountants, he is a moderator of the Strategic Leadership Program and is a frequent volunteer judge for post-secondary case competitions. He has also been an instructor in the Accelerated Program.
Aklilu featured in CMA Magazine Cover Story.
Tim was born and raised in Kelowna, B.C. and is President of Redekop Kroeker Development Inc., a real estate development company based in the Lower Mainland. He has developed a passion for travel, both in seeing the world and seeing how to make a positive impact on the world. He has traveled to Africa, spending time in Egypt, Morocco, and Zimbabwe. These traveling experiences combined with a strong family example have instilled in him a desire to make an impact beyond the “bottom line”.
Tim has been involved for twenty years with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Relief Sale, a yearly fundraising effort in Abbotsford, B.C. For the past four years he has been chairman of the Relief Sale Committee. The fundraising efforts of the sale directly impact impoverished communities throughout the world through the larger umbrella non-profit organization of MCC Canada.
As a business person, he also understands that every successful business starts with an idea, but that often the most difficult part is securing the financial start up costs. It is for this reason that he chose to be involved with the ARC Initiative and specifically with seed funding, as this will directly impact lives in the community of Phalaborwa.
Tim will travel to Phalaborwa to share his experiences in the Workshop and in the Business Ideas Competition. He is excited to see change, both in Phalaborwa and personally.
Michael was born and raised in Canada and is currently a fourth year Accounting and Marketing specialization at Sauder. Academically, he has undergraduate courses in numerous disciplines having switched his major twice until finally finding his true interest – commerce. Future professional aspirations include obtaining a professional accounting designation and perhaps work abroad. Part of his wish to work internationally stems from previous work experience where he managed international intermodal logistics and purchasing for a lumber company based in Russia.
Michael is enthusiastic about the prospects of this project and its immense potential. The ARC Initiative will be his first experience with international social entrepreneurship as most of his volunteer work is at the local community level. His goals for this project are to help create a sustainable impact and to engage in a broad two way learning experience. In his spare time, Michael is an avid sports fisherman and can be found chasing after the large salmon and sturgeon in the local rivers.
Natalie grew up on the North Shore and has traveled all over the world with her family. She spent the last year living in Australia and is excited to continue to travel and work abroad. She just finished her fourth year at Sauder with a focus in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and will have one more semester until graduation in December. Natalie has always been passionate about helping people and is looking forward to this opportunity to not only learn about business in a different culture, but to also provide business funding to upcoming entrepreneurs. This opportunity will provide experience in many different areas and Natalie is driven and passionate about this incredible adventure that she is about to begin.
Amanda has grown up in North Vancouver and is currently going into her third year in business at UBC and most likely double majoring in finance and real estate. When she was in grade 5 she traveled around the world for a year with her parents, she says it was a great experience and ever since she has had the travelling bug and South Africa is one of the places she have always wanted to visit. Until recently, she had been a competitive swimmer, she competed at Olympic trials, Pan Pac trials, and has multiple provincial records in relays. However, she has now chosen to direct her interests somewhere else and that is on expanding her learning and growth as a student at UBC, which she hopes to do through the ARC Initiative.
She is very interested in the ARC Initiative for many reasons; for one she loves the idea that we are deeply involved in the planning process before, during and after our trip. Secondly the set up for this project to be a two way learning stream is ideal, not only will she learn from the people she will be working with but hopefully will make a positive impact and learning experience for them.
While Alessia Yaworsky was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, she is a natural born traveler. Alessia is going into her fourth year at the Sauder School of Business, however she knows that in the future she would like to live and work all over the world. Alessia’s extensive volunteer work in the past has included working with the Rotary Club, the Peace it Together Society, and organizing a children’s acting camp in order to raise enough money to build a school in Mexico. Academically, Alessia was divided between the analytical world of Finance and the more creative alternative of Marketing. In the end she chose Marketing for it’s innovative aspects, yet actively applies strategic and analytical skills to all of her pursuits. Alessia’s current passion may be marketing, however her interests are far from limited there; in her free time, Alessia can be found reading, writing, playing tennis, painting, and acting. As an ARC Initiative participant, she is looking forward to the extensive learning opportunities present and is certain that this is only the beginning of her work on the global stage.
Sachithra is a Second Year Commerce student at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. He came to Sauder after working for ten years in the Retail, Hospitality and Utility industries in Canada and the United States. He was born in a little village in Seeduwa, Sri Lanka and grew up in Orange County, California. He is passionate about a career in Management Information Systems consulting and enjoys volunteering in community based initiatives such as the Stanley Park Ecology Society’s Evasive Species Project. Upon hearing about the Arc Initiative, Sachithra knew right away he wanted to be a part of it. Sachithra is most looking forward to the development aspect of the project; a mutual exchange of business knowledge and skills between the Phalaborwa community in South Africa and UBC. He hopes to gain a better understanding of the issues that the people of Phalabowra face every day and to acquire an international perspective on business. Further, working with a community partner in South Africa, he expects this project to be a long-tem, sustainable initiative.
Iris graduated from the Sauder School of Business in 2008 with an Accounting Major. Upon graduation, she articled with KPMG and recently received her Chartered Accountant designation. Iris believes strongly in giving back to her community and co-founded Financial Literacy for Youth, a non-profit organizationwith a mission to improve financial literacy among high school students. For her work in founding Financial Literacy for Youth, Iris was awarded with KPMG’s “CEO Community Excellence Award”.
With a strong passion for philanthropy, Iris travelled to both South America and rural China to volunteer. Through these experiences she learned the importance of understanding the culture and environment of the people she was helping. She hopes to make use of these experiences and skills to support the development of the ARC initiative. Iris’ goal in this program is to understand the local community of Phalaborwa and provide useful insight on leadership and business. Iris also wants to use this opportunity to give back to her school as an alumnus and contribute to what surely will be a project that Sauder students will continue in the future.
Born and raised in the Hong Kong SAR, Ryan has always had an internationally focused perspective. He has had the opportunity to visit 34 countries on all continents and plans to visit many more in his lifetime. While he currently studies acting at UBC, he plans to go into full time entrepreneurship upon graduation. Since January of 2010 he has been voraciously reading and finding out all there is to know about starting up a business. In the process he stumbled on the social enterprise movement and has been hooked ever since. He is currently the Director of Make Shift Limited, a Hong Kong-based startup, and is Marketing Director for the upcoming Social Entrepreneurship Experience conference this November in Vancouver. As part of the Arc Initiative travel team, he hopes to learn all he can about business and social development from his time in Phalaborwa while building lasting relationships with the people there.
Jennifer was born in Calgary, Alberta, and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to pursue her Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Accounting. Following an internship at KPMG after her third year, she spent a semester studying abroad in Vienna, Austria. After graduating in 2005, Jennifer joined KPMG full-time in the Financial Institutions and Real Estate group. Jennifer qualified with her Chartered Accountant designation in May 2008, and transferred to the KPMG London, UK, to join the Infrastructure and Government department. There, she gained exposure to many more local and global corporations, emphasizing the uniqueness of business practices from around the world. Upon returning to KPMG Vancouver, Jennifer joined the campus recruiting team, and was able to connect her skills in business with her passion for coaching and interacting with others. Since leaving KPMG, Jennifer spent a month and a half travelling through Australia, and is now looking forward to contributing to the ARC Initiative.
Jennifer has been highly anticipating this project because of the uniqueness of the two-way exchange between the participants in Phalaborwa and our team from Sauder and Vancouver. She looks forward to helping build the Arc Initiative by way of future projects. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys travelling, running, watching the Food Network, and trying new cuisines from all over the world.