Venture for Canada Fellow
Huron students are motivated by our Liberal Arts perspectives, and we're going to take them in different directions to create a better world
Huron wants to wish Annika Lui a huge congratulations for earning a spot with the Venture for Canada Fellowship. Currently, Annika is completing the fifth and final year of her dual degree, which combines Huron’s Global Studies and Ivey’s Honours Business Administration (HBA) program. In December, she was delighted to be notified she had secured her position as a Venture for Canada Fellow where she will continue to blend her passions for social innovation and business best practices that will transform local and global communities.
Venture for Canada is a not-for-profit that trains top graduates to work at Canadian startups with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship. Annika’s application was one of 1,700 and she faced a gruelling multi-step process to rise to the top of this formidable competition. We couldn’t be more proud of her success and her dedication to Leading with Heart – while at Huron and far beyond its hallowed halls.
Annika’s journey began in Vancouver where she was an extraordinarily involved high school student (she participated in 23 extracurricular activities – to be exact). One of those activities included a philanthropic trip to Peru where she worked in health clinics and orphanages. Her interactions with this level of poverty and suffering were the driving force behind Annika’s desire to pursue a globally-focused degree, but one that would also empower her with the tangible skills to lead change.
“I had a very specific list: I wanted a university with small classes, a global development program that also fostered business acumen, and the opportunity to study abroad,” Annika explains. “Huron was the only institution in Canada that checked every box on my list. It offers a holistic and interdisciplinary Liberal Arts education – that’s just not available anywhere else.”
In her first year, Annika went to the Queen’s University Bader International Study Centre in England through Huron’s study abroad program where she served as the Student Body President. And, she hasn’t stopped blazing her trail since: she became a part of our Student’s Council, the World University Service of Canada and led Western’s Habitat for Humanity initiative to push its annual fundraising from $1,500 to $10,000. Now, she is the Co-Director of a new organization at Ivey that educates community members on the importance of diversity and inclusivity in workplace settings.
Annika’s leadership at Ivey is the perfect example of how Huron’s dual degree empowers students to combine our Centre for Global Studies’ anti-oppressive methodologies with Ivey’s case-based business courses. While trying to find a happy marriage between these seemingly oppositional interests can be, at times, a challenge – for Annika, it’s worth it. “The way I approach my life and career is that I want to do something meaningful,” she says. “In business, the intention to do good measurable impact may be there, but a strict business degree may not give you the conceptual framework to approach doing something impactful in a way that’s not developmentally harmful to the communities you work with.”
Annika will further her commitment to combining these approaches to personal and professional fulfillment throughout her Venture for Canada Fellowship. She acknowledges how her professors have been an integral part of fostering her ability to successfully do this. Annika explains the value of Huron’s unique environment as one that gives students the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with our faculty, so they know you, care about you, and will go out of their way to help you define and follow your path. This is another component of Huron’s Distinct Advantage, she shares, that is a rarity amongst Canadian universities, and one her friends at different institutions can hardly imagine.
At Huron, it’s not only the professors who encourage you to make a difference in the world around you: “I can confidently say, all my Huron friends have altruistic goals to do work that generates positive social change. It’s not just about monetary gain for us or our amazing alumni. We’re motivated by our Liberal Arts perspectives, and we’re going to take them in different directions to create a better world.”