Scholarship winner is expanding her professional network in venture capital

March 12, 2021 |
Contributed by Izabela Szydlo, DeGroote Writer

Sydney Rivers

Meet the winner of the 2020 Felesky MBA Scholarship, Sydney Rivers

For Sydney Rivers, a DeGroote Master of Business Administration (MBA) candidate, becoming an Adam Felesky MBA Scholarship recipient has gone well beyond financial relief. The experience is encouraging her to consider a career in venture capital.

“Adam generously connected me with individuals in the venture capital space that specialize in biotechnology and health care, thus helping me to expand my professional network,” says Rivers of McMaster alumnus Adam Felesky. Felesky is a philanthropist and president of Portag3 Ventures, whose generosity supports the scholarship.

As an individual who enjoys investing, researching health care companies, and staying up to date with novel discoveries in the field, I am excited to take entrepreneur-based MBA courses and consider venture capital as a future career path.
Adam Felesky

Adam Felesky

Adam Felesky MBA Scholarship

The Scholarship, valued at $15,000, is an invitation-only competition. Each year, it awards a DeGroote MBA scholarship to one outstanding, newly admitted student. The Scholarship’s 2020 iteration was also originally envisioned to include a shadow experience. However, with COVID-19 restrictions preventing this opportunity, Felesky held individual conversations with the recipients.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially impacted students and career professionals, forcing us to adapt and persevere through adversity to achieve our goals,” says Rivers.

I have had to rely on (and improve) my technological skills to ensure I have access to an abundance of resources and the necessary tools to optimize my MBA learning experience. I have also strengthened my soft skills and emotional intelligence by learning to have patience and an overall understanding of others as we all try to adapt to a new and changing work environment.

These skills, Rivers anticipates, will align well with the future of work — whether in venture capital or elsewhere. Workers of the future, she says, will have to have a strong understanding of big data and analytics and how it applies to business. To succeed, they will also have to balance analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills.

One thought on "Scholarship winner is expanding her professional network in venture capital"

  1. Kathy says:

    Congrats Sydney – a fantastic start to a promising career. Well deserved.

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