Ally Aboubakar Sekora

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Ally is a MasterCard Foundation Scholar who, in 2010, founded the Rwanda Agricultural University Students Union (RWAUSU) with more than 1000 members countrywide. One of the union’s core activities is to educate farmers about how to practice market-oriented farming and crop production. Through the Master of Food and Resource Economics program, Ally aspires to contribute to the development of his country by creating a platform that will empower and engage youth to utilize agri-preneurship, which will subsequently tackle rural poverty and youth unemployment issues.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

In this rapidly changing world, I believe a graduate degree is necessary not just for anyone’s desired professional field, but also to improve their career. I decided to take a graduate degree because I believed it would put me in a good position to increase my options and professional prospects while satisfying my intellectual curiosity and further sparking my passion.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

The one-year MFRE program is unique in the sense that it combines agribusiness management, policy analysis, and applied economics. This attracted me because I wanted to sharpen my skill sets with more advanced economics and real world applications. I’m taking this degree at one of the best universities in the world and in one of the best and most livable cities in the world – I could not think of any better destination!

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

UBC is a comprehensive research university; it has it all! Many resources are available, people are nice and helpful, and the city is gorgeous. These will make you forget that it rains literally everyday :)

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Be yourself, be engaged. Be curious – have the courage to pursue your passion. Concentration is key. Have some fun. Embrace and celebrate diversity. Your time here will fly by quickly.