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Sofia’s MBA will enable her to make a positive impact

Sofia’s MBA will enable her to make a positive impact

After gaining experience in a variety of roles – including HR for Scotiabank and at Simon Fraser university, in her home country, Canada – Sofia Leposavic decided it was time to upgrade her education. An MBA was something I always had in the back of my mind,” she says. “It’s a way to get into the roles I always saw myself in.”

Sofia knew she wanted to study abroad – so it was important to her that Vlerick’s Full-time MBA is triple accredited so her degree is recognized back home. Another thing that drew her to Vlerick was the international approach.

I really value the international focus,” she says. “And I don’t just mean the participant group. It’s in everything – the courses, the projects, the study trips. Travelling is one of my passions, so I really appreciated this about the programme.”

Sofia describes her first few months in Brussels and at Vlerick as challenging – but also a lot of fun. “Finding a place to live, opening a bank account, and getting back into study mode – these were all things you have to do at the beginning, and all at once,” she says. “I’m accustomed to it now, and I like Brussels. The city is full of life and there is always something going on.”

Learning from experts

One thing that’s really impressed Sofia is the faculty. She says “I like the quality of the teaching. No professor is purely academic – they all have extensive industry experience, which is so valuable. And they’re international too so they bring diverse perspectives to the classroom. When I’m in class, I don’t feel like I’m in Brussels – or even in Belgium. I could be anywhere in the world

“But the most value comes from the in-company project (ICP) – where you work on a real challenge for an organization. In class, you can mimic business situations, but the ICP is a true business experience. Other schools don’t offer that.”

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Gaining the skills so she can give back

Sofia is still working on her plans for after graduation. “Hopefully my plans will solidify over the next few months,” she explains. “I would like to do something that has a social or environmental impact, perhaps in a project management role. I need a change especially after working in finance. I want to contribute through a role that is not only about making profit.”

“I enjoy travelling and seeing the world and how other people live. Exposure to other environments helps you learn and gives you a wider perspective. It has driven me to pursue a position where I can help people.”

Before that though, there are lots more experiences to come. Sofia is particularly looking forward to the energy boot camp. “One of the key trends in this sector is sustainability, something I’m passionate about. We’ll be visiting companies, attending a solar power summit, and working on assignments over the three weeks, with the same small group. That level of involvement in a subject is something I’m really excited about.”

Making the most of her opportunities

Sofia has some wise words for people considering Vlerick’s Full-time MBA. “There are going to be intense moments, but there will also be amazing experiences and friendships built,” she says. “Don’t stress too much about the academic side – it’s just one element, and you will gain so many other skills that will help you succeed.”

The MBA is about effort – what you put in is what you get out. Vlerick gives you so many opportunities – it’s up to you to take them.”

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