Emily Haugen, a recent Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) alumna, is making a positive impact as a leader within the non-profit industry.
Haugen’s dedication is best described through her time as a KPU student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a marketing concentration, alongside a certificate in NGO/non-profit studies.
Throughout her studies in both programs, Haugen demonstrated a strong commitment to education through academic performances that resulted in multiple Dean’s Honour Roll achievements. Haugen balanced this alongside a variety of student initiatives that supported the KPU community in Surrey and beyond, including being a board member for the Kwantlen Student Association and president of the KPU Case Analysis Network.
While dedicating herself to academics and participating in student initiatives, Haugen took the opportunity to further her polytechnic education by gaining relevant work experience with the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practices. Haugen began working with the organization in 2018, after being recruited by an instructor in her first year. This has evolved into her current post-graduation role with the organization, as a project coordinator for communications and strategies.
“I think there is so much value in working while pursuing your business degree,” states Haugen. “The ability to apply what we learn in the classroom to a real work environment solidifies the theoretical concepts in a way no classroom could replicate.”
In addition to her work experience with the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practices, Haugen participated in the Melville Business Strategy Internship, a hands-on, six-month paid internship with an industry partner. This opportunity focused on developing Haugen’s skills in business development and marketing strategy, through a placement with iGen Education Group.
“The internship was like nothing I could have expected: challenging, rewarding, sometimes ambiguous, and always interesting.”
Equipped with an applied education built on work experience, Haugen became motivated to co-found a non-profit society while attending KPU. Her initiative known as She Connects is a sustainable non-profit that provides mentorship to young women through an online-based platform that fosters relationships from learning through the experiences of others, while supporting one another to reach their own personal goals with an emphasis on mental health.
She Connects programs are also inclusive to women, girls, and gender non-conforming individuals of all identities. Since launching nearly three years ago, Haugen has helped grow She Connects to over 20 mentors across six provinces.
These accomplishments have cumulated in a dozen awards for Haugen’s academic success, community involvement, and leadership, including the David Dryden Award, the Peter Podovinikoff Award for Community, and the E.B. Horsman Award.
Haugen’s achievements and dedication showcase how diverse, community-oriented leaders thrive through a unique educational experience at KPU, where thought meets action.