Sandra MacGillivray (Loran Scholar ’94) is a managing partner of Valency Inc., a firm that helps its clients implement best practices in managing capital projects.
As a Loran Scholar, Sandra graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science degree, although that was not the program in which she had originally enrolled. The combination of our summer program and the Waterloo co-op program allowed her to recognize a change in direction early in her undergraduate studies.
After a summer working in a law firm was different from what she expected, a term working in software design sparked her desire to learn more about the field. Practical experience in the finance department of Sears Canada convinced her that a science degree with a business focus fit her interests. Following graduation, she declined acceptance to law school in order to pursue work in the growing IT sector in Waterloo. Sandra comments that she is grateful for the freedom to explore her interests fully and for the connections made through her mentor, Kim Echlin, that led her to find a new passion.
Like many Loran Scholars, Sandra knew she wanted to strike out on her own one day. After several years of working in the United States, her career led her back to Canada and an opportunity arose to start her own firm, Valency. It’s an experience she describes as “exhilarating and terrifying.”
Since returning to Canada, Sandra also became more involved in the alumni network and has attended four Connexion alumni weekends. She sees the weekends as opportunities to meet and re-connect with fellow like-minded and driven individuals. “It’s good to know I can reach out to fellow alumni when I face big decisions with the knowledge that they’ve faced related situations and will have useful advice.”
On giving to the Loran Scholars Foundation, Sandra and her husband say that the decision was easy to give back to the organization that played an integral role in shaping her life. “Knowing firsthand how influential the opportunities that come with being a Loran Scholar are, I can’t help but want to open doors for new generations of scholars.”