Catarina Rodrigues Scheffer De Oliveira is University Canada West’s Valedictorian for 2019. She earned the honor for her academic accomplishments and her participation within the university.

As valedictorian, she spoke to her peers during her valedictory address. She congratulated them on reaching their goals and thanking the faculty as well as those close to her for supporting her.

“We aren’t superhuman. We make mistakes. Nobody has a perfect pathway, but we made it, we are the winners we made it,” she said during the convocation ceremony.

“I didn’t have anyone bankrolling me and it was hard. But, I am glad it was hard because now I feel like I personally earned this even more and so did you. You earned it.”

She was born in Santos, but grew up in São Paulo Brazil, until moving to Canada after high school to continue her schooling.

She first moved to Sherbrooke Quebec and starting her studies at Bishop University. She was pursuing an arts administration degree, but transferred to UCW in 2016 to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce instead.

When deciding what university to transfer to, Catarina conducted a lot of research to find a school that would suit her best. She knew she wanted to live in a big city, but had to decide if she wanted to move to Vancouver or Toronto. After exhaustive research comparing programs, prices and talking to recruiters, she chose UCW. This was partially for the smaller class sizes. Her previous university had large lecture halls.

“It was the bigger campus environment and I personally didn’t really like that,” she said. “I wanted the smaller campus”

Catarina prefers the direct interaction with faculty and that made University Canada West the clear choice.

During her time at UCW. Catarina volunteered around the campus spending her time working different events during the school year.

Most notably, she was part of the academic council as the student representative. Catarina liked the challenges the role presented, contributing to the discussions and she liked having her voice heard. She foldly recalled discussions with Dr. Charles Carroll, UCW’s undergraduate program chair, and Dr. Michele Vincenti, UCW’s Graduate Program Chair.

She enjoyed her time on the council and it even came with some perks. Last year she attended convocation as part of the platform party.

Looking back at her time at UCW, Catarina will miss all the people she has met in the undergrad program. She will also miss “the international feel” that she experienced when she was at school. The interaction of meeting, learning and interacting with different cultures which happened on a nearly regular basis at school.

Catarina is looking to work in the film industry and is currently volunteering at the Vancouver International Film Centre. She is also writing her own fantasy novel.

University Canada West is a business-focused university in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The university offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication and Associate of Arts degree programs to help students succeed in today’s ever-changing business environment. Email [email protected] for information about our programs.