Meet Charity Dugbartey, one of the first cohort of students to be completing the new master in management (MM) program at UVic’s Gustavson School of Business. Dugbartey’s passion for tackling social issues through business has led her to lay the foundation for a career addressing equity, diversity and inclusion.
Like her MM classmates, Dugbartey was not a business student in undergrad. (The MM program is designed to build experiential business skills for recent grads from non-business programs, to equip them with the tools to launch careers they are passionate about). Dugbartey’s interest was sparked by the intersection between diversity, equity and inclusion and the business world while completing an undergraduate degree in English with a minor in business at UVic.
“As a result of my lived experience of bias paired with my education, I have found a passion for making change through combatting social and cultural problems.”
As a business minor student during undergrad, she had a grasp on business fundamentals, and wanted to deepen her knowledge further, which led her to the MM.
“I love being able to leverage my experience from a different discipline and combine it with my passion for business,” says Dugbartey. “As an English student, I have always seen immense value in bringing together different faculties. I had the opportunity to complete a co-op initially intended for engineering students in my undergrad where I saw first-hand the strength of interdisciplinary teams. The MM program’s ability to bring together students from diverse backgrounds was a significant strength I considered when choosing a graduate program.”
“Business needs diverse perspectives,” says Vivien Corwin, academic director of the MM. “Bringing together a group of curious minds with widely varied backgrounds and exploring through the lens of business makes for a rich classroom experience, and graduates young professionals prepared to think differently about business.”
Dugbartey’s favourite aspect of the program has been the real-life learning opportunities it has offered. “From working on an applied project with my peers, to doing a co-op work term, the ability to have hands-on learning was a requirement I looked for when choosing a master’s program,” she says. “In my current co-op with the Department of National Defence, I am working on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and preventing sexual misconduct and other harmful behaviours. This is in line with my passions, and I am gaining valuable experience tackling ‘wicked problems.’”
Dugbartey’s passionate interest in EDI isn’t limited to the work she’s doing on co-op, as she has also joined Gustavson’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee. “I was super excited to get the opportunity to be involved in the Gustavson EDI committee! I am hoping to make tangible change and gain tools that I can carry forward to further support oppressed, marginalized or disadvantaged groups to experience education in more positive ways at all levels,” she says.
For Dugbartey, the program has given her a unique opportunity to expand her education in a new field while exploring her interests.
“The MM program has allowed me to practice my leadership, and continue to develop professionally through connections with faculty, coaches, mentors, outside companies and peers,” she says.
“Through working in interdisciplinary teams, I was able to recognize some strengths I had previously taken for granted and practice my team leading/management skills by helping others.”