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Niko Virvilis

MSc International Business & NHH Dual Degree 2019

Degree

MSc '19, Ivey Business School

Tell us about yourself.

Coming from an undergraduate program with less than 50 students, I found incredible value in the intimacy of my class sizes and the one-on-one opportunities with my professors. Joining the Ivey MSc program, I worried that the class sizes would take away that dimension of a personalized experience; however, to my pleasant surprise, the school's culture emphasizes and values the collaboration between students in and beyond the classroom, and professors show a genuine interest in getting to know each and every one of us. Another concern I had when joining Ivey was arriving on the first day with minimal academic exposure to business. What I soon came to realize was that being different is the greatest asset an Ivey student can offer. Anyone with an open mind, a determination to learn, and willingness to contribute can add as much value to the class as you take out of it.

Think back to when you were researching business schools. What did Ivey offer you that other schools did not? What made it a good fit for you?

Over my 23 years, I've been incredibly fortunate to have been able to travel the globe and experience the cultural and environmental diversity that this world has to offer. Ivey allowed me to continue pursuing my passion for travel in a professional setting by engaging with Ivey's global network and capitalizing on the unprecedented international opportunities like the Ivey Global Lab. As the world becomes increasingly globalized, the leaders of tomorrow will need to be equipped with the malleability to adapt to an interconnected environment. By developing a knowledge of business using real-world cases and pairing this with an opportunity to work in these international settings, I found there is no better way for a young professional like myself to prepare for the present and future economy.

What are your plans after Ivey? What do you hope to achieve by graduation?

I have a deep-rooted passion in understanding our Earth and how to manage it. After spending four years studying the planet and its rich resources, I know it's our responsibility as humans to find a sustainable medium between utilizing our planet efficiently and ethically. By pairing my undergraduate studies in geology with a specialization in international business, I see myself working as a consultant in the energy, environmental sustainability, and natural resources industries. Ivey's partnership with the Norwegian School of Economics is allowing me to fulfill my dream of studying management abroad, while focusing on global issues that are very important to me. By the time I graduate, I hope to have refined my understanding of business model development, strategic analysis, and the financial markets to be equipped with the necessary knowledge to provide organizations with profitable and sustainable recommendations to help make this world a better place.

Describe the relationships and culture of support at Ivey.

As cliché as it may sound, one word that comes often to mind when reflecting on the relationships I've created at Ivey is respect. Between students, professors, program office, and career management advisers, respect is what fosters the continuous support and devotion to individual growth. Everyone at Ivey knows how driven the students are in developing their personal and professional skills — and the culture stimulates this by emphasizing meritocracy and promotion of free thought. I have been so fortunate to have been placed in an environment where all ideas are welcome to be raised, just as much as they are to be challenged. Ivey encourages the expression of differences, which is why this incredibly diverse community has been able to grow so close in such a short period of time.

Education

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)- Geology, Western University