By now you’ve had a chance to meet GBC President Kikeloye Oyerinde, whether at your orientation, a welcome event, or in the Schulich hallways, where she has a smile and a hello for every student.

Kiki has the presence of an elected leader; someone visibly beloved and bolstered by the community around her. Having lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Dubai and Nigeria prior to starting the IMBA program, Kikeloye brings a uniquely diverse and global perspective to the role, with a special understanding of the student transition to Schulich.

Enhancing Student Support

“I had an amazing time transitioning into Schulich,” Kiki remembers. “I felt at home before I arrived here. But I know that I was lucky to have had that experience, and I want to champion the same for other students.”

Her executive team has made unity and support for the study body a major priority in their mandate for the upcoming year. Now that Schulich has so many different graduate programs, these objectives are more important than ever.

Equally important is the need to strategically design support systems that take into account the uniqueness of the student experience, Kiki reminds us. “Schulich is so diverse that you simply can’t provide one offering to reach all students,” she says. “We’re learning to customize our services.”

Actively Engaging with ‘EQ’

Kiki’s desire to truly understand students’  different journeys, identities and needs speaks to the leadership qualities she finds critical in any change-maker: empathy and emotional intelligence. These are buzzwords that we see everywhere, but to Kiki, they’re an authentic part of the fabric of Schulich life.

“A lot of recruiters are talking about diversity and EQ,” she says. “Schulich is special because we have ORGS 5150, where we put these into practice. That’s unique to us; that’s our Schulich DNA.”

Kiki makes an effort to interpret and apply these lessons actively in her leadership. “Practicing empathy is what allows you to connect with your team and motivate them.”

And in fact, connection is one of the most important things to build during your fleeting time at Schulich.

“Things go from 0 to 100 really quickly here. You have to cultivate a network that will support you for the next 40 years,” says Kiki, who encourages students to start with their student government.

“The GBC’s doors are always open.”