Alumna Victoria Bisram secured a Studio Y Fellowship in the MaRS Discovery District. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (’16) in Accounting from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
The Studio Y Fellowship for young professionals is a residency-based, eight-month program that develops leaders through intensive workshops, projects, coaching and mentorship. The 25 Fellows from across Ontario, under the guidance of MaRS experts, address complex issues in one of four clusters: Energy & Environment, Finance & Commerce, Health and Work & Learning. Bisram is focussed on the latter.
“Within the work and learning group, I’m leading a team in co-design around policy creation for the minimization of job loss due to artificial intelligence and automation,” says Bisram. “What can be done in terms of policy to help workers in the next 10 to 20 years? We’re looking six steps ahead at systemic issues and their impact, looking at the bigger picture and whether the problem is truly systemic or a symptom.”
Bisram credits her degree at York for helping prepare her for the Studio Y challenge.
“Let’s look at the community and then the degree; they facilitate each other. My professors and teachers taught me to think broader, to think beyond the normal set of defined assignments and tests. York’s biggest strength is in its faculty; without their guidance and their leadership beyond the normal day-to-day, I would not be where I am,” she says. “The Bachelor of Commerce contributed to my work ethic: being present and being able to have the foresight to stick through because it is a difficult program that requires commitment and dedication. In addition to commerce, my degree provided openness and flexibility to explore different areas.”
During Bisram’s time as a student, she was a member of the Student Council of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, sat on the Faculty’s tenure and promotions committee and the petitions panel committee, and served as executive director of the Ian Greene Award.
“Victoria gained a depth and breadth of knowledge in both general management and accounting during her four years as a serious student in the Bachelor of Commerce program, which she complemented with her active engagement in university affairs and activities beyond a purely academic setting,” says Professor Adriano Solis, Director of the School of Administrative Studies, which houses York’s commerce program. “That rich combination of learning inside and outside the classroom has certainly provided her with the appropriate mindset and flexibility to take on this challenging MaRS Fellowship.”
After graduation, Bisram held a two-year internship as a business and financial planning analyst at the Ontario Public Service, where she is also chair of the Strategic Professionals Association, Refined Knowledge Stewards. As chair, she develops partnerships and offers support to assist members in networking and advancing their careers. She is moving on to serve as a Senior Business Analyst at the Treasury Board Secretariat and is currently working toward the Chartered Professional Accountants designation.