Business studies add up to success for Nunavut woman
Karen Kabloona has been accepted into a prestigious business program at Vienna University.
Karen Kabloona’s drive to succeed is taking her to Central Europe, where she’s been accepted to study marketing and finance at a prestigious business university.
Kabloona, 23, originally from Baker Lake, travelled to Vienna, Austria last week to spend five months there as a student at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.
“I’m really excited. I haven’t been able to sleep because I’ve been so excited,” Kabloona said two days before leaving for Vienna.
Kabloona, a business student at the University of Calgary, will complete the last semester of her bachelor of commerce degree at the Vienna University. She learned about the exchange program when an official from the Vienna University came to Calgary to recruit students.
Kabloona said her high grades, combined with her involvement in extracurricular activities, made her a good candidate for the program. The university also asked her what sort of experiences she could bring to the program, and they obviously liked her response.
“I said not only am I Canadian, but I’m Inuit and I have a lot of stories to tell and a lot of things to share,” Kabloona said.
Kabloona said she’s quite excited about sharing Inuit stories and traditions with the European students she’ll be studying with. She’s planned a presentation for them describing Inuit culture and the history of Nunavut, along with a display of Inuit clothing and tools.
While in Vienna, Kabloona will take courses in international management, international marketing and corporate finance — all taught in English.
She has a background in business and tourism, beginning in 1997 when she graduated from the University of the College of the Cariboo with a tourism diploma. She also spent her summers working as the assistant manager of the Sila Lodge in Wager Bay.
Kabloona credits her academic success to her parents, who she said both emphasized the importance of education.
Her mother moved the family to British Columbia when Kabloona was 12 so they could get good schooling.
“Both my parents really value education. My mom has her master’s degree in anthropology and my dad has always supported us going through university.”
“I think that without that support I wouldn’t have made it this far,” she said in a phone interview from Calgary.
Kabloona said students in Nunavut have the potential to succeed as well. “There’s tremendous opportunity there and people are really smart and the schooling is adequate,” she said.
Once she finishes her schooling in June, Kabloona said she wants to return to Nunavut. She plans to combine her tourism training with her business studies to start a career in the tourism field.