Olivia Crichton '18
Olivia had planned to study Business in university until a Greenwood course changed her path. “I took Challenge and Change in Society, and it was life-changing for me,” she says. She began looking at arts programs, and eventually hit on one that seemed like the best of both worlds: the new Integrated Business and Humanities program at McMaster University, which incorporates both business education and the critical thinking and communication skills of the humanities. “A program blending both of my interests was very attractive,” Olivia says. “It was also a new program, meaning there were lots of opportunities for innovation and contributing to its growth.”
Olivia loves that the program is small, with only 50 students per cohort. “It allows me to fully immerse myself in my learning,” she says. “There are lots of opportunities for me to engage with my professors and other students.” While Olivia was well prepared academically, she also credits Greenwood with giving her the confidence to participate in class. “I was shy, but my teachers did such a good job at encouraging me to put up my hand,” she says. “It’s easy for louder students to overpower a room, but my teachers would say ‘Olivia, I know you know the answer’. I felt seen.”
Olivia has also been very involved in school life outside of the classroom. She joined the Degroote Human Resources Association in her first two years at McMaster; for the next two years she was a member of the Women & Gender Equity Network, which is a peer-support-driven service supporting women, trans folk, people who identify outside the gender binary, gender non-conforming folk and all survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. For the 2022-2023 school year, she will take on the role of director for the network. “It’s nice to be a part of a community that shares your values,” Olivia says.
Her role also ties into her involvement with the Diversity Committee and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance at Greenwood. “The Diversity Committee especially was a big part of my Greenwood experience,” she says. “Having teachers who really wanted to support it and being able to save space was really meaningful.”
Olivia spent her fourth year completing a 16-month internship with steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal Dofasco, working in supply chain. “I’ve learned so much and I’ve built so many connections,” she says. Working in supply chain during the pandemic brought its own unique challenges -- “just when you think you’ve solved a problem, another one comes up” -- but based on her experience, Olivia thinks supply chain in the mining and metals sector is what her future might hold. “It’s an industry I never dreamed of getting involved in, but it’s really interesting,” she says. “Every time I see a car, I think ‘we probably made the steel for that!’”
Olivia (right) poses with a coworker at ArcelorMittal Dofasco.