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Cindy Maxwell

Valedictorian, GEMBA-HLS '23
"We have created a new network, vibrant and strong, and I am grateful to be part of it."

How does it feel to be valedictorian?

I feel simultaneously honoured and humbled. I had much uncertainty at the start of the program as to how I would fit in, whether it would be challenging to be part of a new group, and to stretch my learning beyond the hospital walls.

My experience has been one of joyous inclusion and a group of people united to make some aspect health management in our society better. It is in that spirit of unity and common purpose that I approach this opportunity.

Why do you think your classmates chose you for this honour?

I am hoping I was chosen because my classmates believe I will honestly and respectfully speak on behalf of all the voices in our class, with reflection and celebration!

How has the program changed you?

The most important change I have noticed is a greater sense of confidence in my role in teamwork, as much of our learning was based on group learning and activities.  

I came to the program looking for knowledge and tools in order to work more effectively in health equity spaces, and already I am applying the business knowledge and strategy to my work.

Describe a highlight of the program.

Our academic journey was graced by the wonderful Professor Will Mitchell, and HLS 4 was among some of the last students to learn from this visionary educator. This poignant, bittersweet part of the journey will stay with us.

We will think of Professor Will on Convocation today and forever.

What makes my classmates / graduating year special?

The collective energy, knowledge exchange and mutual support of our classmates was our secret sauce. We needed all these positive elements to navigate the final lap of the pandemic, which threatened to upend our international modules, but failed to do so.

We were able to visit the homeland of one of our classmates in Singapore, visit the NHS in England where several classmates had worked in the past, and to Berkeley for some of the most creative parts of our educational journey.

Throughout the journey, we shared our successes and struggles, acknowledged the support of our families and friends, and appreciated the incredible mentorship we received throughout the program. We have created a new network, vibrant and strong, and I am grateful to be part of it.

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