Hometown: Vancouver, BC
When recent Beedie School of Business alumna Stephanie Wong started her undergraduate career, she wasted no time in turning her Beedie experience into one that put her passion in life to work for the benefit of others.
As a long time advocate of equality and diversity for women in business, Stephanie founded the Simon Fraser University chapter of Young Women in Business (YWiB), a non-profit society for emerging female leaders in Western Canada.
Focusing primarily on mentorship, networking and facilitated growth, YWiB SFU brings members closer to front-line executives who are professionals in their specific areas of expertise.
Stephanie’s natural leadership instincts spurred her on to create two innovative programs: the Supporting Our University Leaders (SOUL) Mentorship Program, SFU’s only one-on-one professional mentorship program connecting SFU alumni with female students; and Project GIVE (Generating Innovative Visions of Entrepreneurship), which provides participants with the opportunity to develop ideas and business plans for social change while working alongside mentors from leading non-profit organizations.
“When I first arrived here I saw a gap for these initiatives and the opportunity to build a bridge between alumni and students. The Beedie School of Business offered me all the support I needed to launch the chapter, and I am proud to have seen something I started grow and spread into other faculties.”
Stephanie’s Beedie School of Business experience was not limited to the pursuit of equality and diversity, however. She took full advantage of the co-op placement experience available, participating in four co-op terms at four different companies.
Stephanie is a shining example of the benefits of co-op education: her final placement, working in Montreal in the brand management department at beauty industry giant L’Oréal, resulted in her securing a permanent position with the company after graduation.
“It was a huge burden lifted knowing that I had a position waiting for me after graduation. The co-op program allowed me to try out several career options, and enabled me to begin my career with confidence knowing I am suited to the role.”
Wong’s contribution to SFU and her engagement with wider communities did not go unnoticed. She was recognized with a number of awards during her Beedie experience, including the Student Impact Award, presented to the student who most inspires the entire Beedie School of Business community.
She also became SFU’s first recipient of the HSBC Women in Business Leadership Award, an award that earned her $10,000 per year toward the final two years of her degree.
“I realized early on that the best way to make an impact is to take a bit of risk and try as many things as possible,” says Stephanie. “The Beedie School of Business has so much to offer, and if you don’t take the initiative its easy to let it pass you by. I made a conscious effort to diversify the different opportunities I experienced in my time here, and it made my Beedie experience all the more enriching for it.”
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