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Preparing for the future: HBA student wins Futures Fund Scholarship

  • Communications
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  • Dec 17, 2018
Preparing for the future: HBA student wins Futures Fund Scholarship

Sophia Calkhoven, HBA ’19 candidate

For Sophia Calkhoven, HBA ’19 candidate, winning the Futures Fund Scholarship from Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year™ is an achievement on multiple levels.

The $10,000-scholarship will come in handy to offset her tuition. It is also much-appreciated recognition of her leadership in academics and extracurriculars. As an added bonus, Calkhoven will have a chance to network with some of Canada’s most accomplished leaders at Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year™ gala in Toronto on February 26, 2019. Among them is Linda Hasenfratz, EMBA '97, CEO of auto-parts giant Linamar Corp., who is Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year for 2018. 

The Futures Fund Scholarship winners are invited to attend the gala as guests. They receive their scholarship money and meet the sponsors and other guests at an event in Toronto the day before the gala.

“I’m most excited about the opportunity to be in a room with people I can learn from and that I genuinely look up to and am inspired by,” Calkhoven said. “It will be great to hopefully get to know some of these leaders and see how I can take from that experience and add it to my development.”

Calkhoven said she’d like to follow in Hasenfratz’s footsteps and be a CEO herself. She is enrolled in Ivey’s Entrepreneurship Certificate program and hopes to start a health technology company. Prior to Ivey, she was in McMaster University’s Bachelor of Health Sciences Program, but later applied to the HBA Program after discovering her passion for the business side of health care.

Lessons on leadership

She credits Ivey, particularly the elective course Leadership Under Fire, for helping her to develop strong leadership skills. Leadership was part of the criteria used to assess the eligibility of the scholarship candidates, along with academic excellence and extracurricular involvement.

She has demonstrated those skills through extracurricular initiatives, including:

“Leadership to me is about guiding your team through challenging times and making sure they’re developing and doing the best they can,” she said. “I’m trying to give as much to the School as I can. I feel extremely lucky to have this honour.”

Since gender equality and female empowerment are two important issues for Calkhoven, she said a highlight for her will be to witness Hasenfratz being honoured.

“One day I’d like to have a foundation for gender equality and female empowerment – that’s my ultimate goal. It’s my biggest passion,” she said. “To have a woman honoured with the Outstanding CEO award the year I get to attend the gala feels a bit like fate.”

About the Futures Fund Scholarship

Each year, 10 universities in Canada are chosen to select a student to receive a scholarship grant of $10,000. The scholarship alternates each year between undergraduate and graduate students. This year, Ivey’s HBA2 and dual-degree students were eligible to participate.