Skip to Main Content
News@Ivey · Communications

MSc graduate finds fulfilment through international business

Jun 17, 2024

Msc Class Of 2024 Shania Kalpee

Studying business wasn’t always the plan for Shania Kalpee, MSc ’24, who is graduating from the International Business stream of Ivey’s 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 Science at Western. When it came time to graduate, her future seemed uncertain as the COVID-19 pandemic reached its height. Instead of beginning her professional career, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Sciences. That experience left her wanting more.

“I realized I felt a lack of fulfilment with my area of study and coupled with poor mental health due to the pandemic, I knew I needed to make a change,” she says.

Applying to Ivey’s 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, yet rewarding, feat. Coming to Ivey made her realize the value of pursuing alternative careers in the health and environmental sciences sectors beyond a traditional role like a doctor or an environmentalist.

Finding a new academic path  

After hearing about Ivey’s extensive network and community, coupled with the benefits of learning through the case method, she knew it was exactly where she needed to be.

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

Kalpee saw the case method as an impressive way to learn, but the International Business stream offerings were the main attraction. The Ivey Global Lab, which brought her 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 cultures and unique mindsets. This pushed me outside of my comfort zone to absorb as much as possible.”

In Thailand, Kalpee worked for T-ECOSYS, a digital platform company connecting corporations from different industries to streamline the provision of products and services. There, she worked with a team of other interns and learned the importance of playing a supporting role.

“I was working with a team of people that 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 up to different cultures, perspectives, and ways to work.”  

Embracing global learning  

After completing her internship in Thailand, Kalpee travelled to Norway to begin the dual-degree portion of the MSc International Business program at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). There, she was faced with a new set of challenges due to the significant cultural shift from Thailand. This adjustment period reinforced her dedication to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) – initiatives that she upheld as the Vice President of EDI for the MSc Association (MSCA) at Ivey.  

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

“I was the only Black person in my program at NHH and felt called to use the opportunity to make myself feel seen,” said Kalpee. “I wanted to take up space and show other minority women who are going to come after me that they can do it too.”

Reflecting on a journey of gratitude

As she prepares to cross the stage at convocation, Kalpee is proud of her personal and professional growth over the course of the program. But above all else, she’s grateful for her Ivey experience.  

“The opportunities that I’ve had during my time here have been incredible, and I know they aren’t going to end with me graduating,” she says. “I have developed so much personally and academically, and it’s 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 that I’m doing,” she says. “I look forward to using the skills and experiences I’ve gained at Ivey to make a meaningful difference."