Her first job was at an auto mechanics and she continued to work in the industry as an undergrad at Schulich, doing everything from getting her hands dirty repairing cars to managing the numbers as an accountant.
Now working for Lexus Canada as a Digital Marketing Consultant, the self-described car aficionado is right at home.
Olena who is currently taking the Accelerated 8-month MBA at Schulich, won the Young Marketers Competition sponsored by The Globe and Mail competing against 340 entries.
The Canadian competition challenged participants to get children outside and active using their company’s brand and target market. “We created this whole package with pre-planned day trips for parents to go to high-end luxury destinations using Lexus vehicles and accessories,” Olena said.
She then went on to represent Canada with her Lexus colleague Christian Di Vincenzo in the international case competition held in Cannes, where the team finished third.
“It is the biggest event in advertising and marketing in the world…and it was the skills I acquired at Schulich that helped me stand out.”
In Cannes they competed against 60 other countries in a sustainability case competition focusing on climate change.
“Our insight was that climate change isn’t the issue; it’s transparency,” said Olena. “The target assigned to us for this competition was millennials, who value practicality. We knew that Cannes was the one place where we could channel our creativity and try to make a statement that utilized our deep company values.”
Winning bronze and competing ion the world stage is an achievement Sapojnikova will cherish for the rest of her life.
“It is the biggest event in advertising and marketing in the world so just having the chance to be a part of the event is an honour,” said Olena. “It is a big boost to my career and it was the skills I acquired at Schulich that helped me stand out.”