A student from Beamsville has won a prestigious scholarship to study at McGill University in Montreal after an intense seven-month interview process.
Will Stephenson, who graduated from Grimsby High School in 2017 and is currently completing an integrated business and humanities program at McMaster, was one of 20 recipients of the MacBain Scholarship, out of a pool of 700 applicants.
He is now set to start a master’s program in management and analytics at McGill in July. Her tuition and fees will be covered, along with a living allowance of $2,000 per month, mentorship, and a leadership development program.
Stephenson began the rigorous seven-month application process in August, which included a full written application and interviews in Toronto and Montreal.
“I applied to try, but I wasn’t sure what would come of it,” Stephenson said. “It was a very long process, but I learned a lot about myself.”
Applicants were judged not only on their academic strength, but also on their character, community involvement, leadership potential, and entrepreneurial spirit.
During his sophomore year at McMaster, he served as Director of the Environmental Sustainability Club and recently began coaching the West Niagara Flying Aces, Beamsville’s local minor league hockey team.
He also served on his program’s operating committee and participated in the business school’s debating club.
Stephenson said he didn’t follow a “big, overarching plan” to get to where he is now, but approached every opportunity with a “what could I do to discover new things” mindset. ? It could be a way to meet new people.
This is only the second cohort of MacBain scholars, which Stephenson attributes to a lucky twist of fate. “I was lucky with the year I was born,” he said.
Although he has no concrete plans for his future after the program, he wants to use his education to “empower nonprofits and social entrepreneurs” and “address challenges in Canada and around the world.”
Last September, he worked on a project with a Ugandan nonprofit analyzing its microcredit program, looking at data that might have been overlooked. The team he worked with saw a geographic disparity between different loans in different regions, and they were able to present those results to the microcredit program.
“Maybe I’ll continue down a nonprofit-oriented path,” Stephenson said, “but there are many avenues available.”
Another potential interest is business ethics, particularly when it comes to how companies handle analytics.
He asks the question “as analyzes become more and more capitalized, how to ensure that they are treated in an ethical way? How do you ensure companies are doing the right thing, not just for their bottom line? »
While he may not know where he’s going after McGill, he wants to thank those who helped him get here. He highlighted the “immeasurable” support he received from his teachers, professors, friends and coaches, saying he felt “incredibly supported as an individual”.
“My time at Grimsby High School prepared me really well,” he said. “I had such good teachers.”