Elena Mladenovska – Jelenkovic, a recap of her experience at the Schulich Executive Education Centre and job-shadowing in Toronto

posted September 7, 2017

Thanks to Macedonia 2025in July 2017, I was given the opportunity to attend one-week training at the Schulich Executive Education Centre plus one-week job shadowing in the company Summer Fresh in Toronto.

The Schulich Executive Education Centre is a strategic business unit of the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto and is ranked among the Top 10 World Business Schools by The Financial Times, Forbes Magazine, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal and the Economist. Founded in 1966, the Schulich School of Business employs over 750 people and provides courses for near 10.000 executives annually.

During my stay in Toronto, the first week I followed a course for managers and executives in the corporate and public sector - Leadership Competencies: What Senior managers need to knowThis was a unique chance to meet and to discuss with six excellent consultants, coachers, specialists, leaders and facilitators who teach at the university and work internationally with Fortune 500 companies as well as exchange experiences with the other participants on the program.


I was able to acquire skills necessary to achieve successful strategic change, nurture innovation, solve problems, and mentor teams to enhance performance, develop business recommendations with financial backup and thus compete effectively in the global economy.

The great value of my training was achieved during the job shadowing process in Summer Fresh, a company owned and run by Suzan Niczowsky, a remarkable women with Macedonian background who established this company 25 years ago and now is one of the leading food production companies in Canada. Her approach to business development is innovative and passionate which are main drivers for this success. She managed to gather a team of professionals that breathe with the company. The one week job shadowing in The Summer Fresh Salads Inc. was very inspiring experience for me.

During my stay in Toronto, I had the chance to attend the Macedonia2025 networking party “Business after hours” gathering at Montecito restaurant in Toronto. There I had the chance to meet over 30 successful expats and share my experience with the program as well as discussing some ideas about tactical steps that can help fulfilling the mission of Macedonia2025.

During my stay I also had the opportunity to visit the company Bozven Imports, importer of Tikves wines in Canada and learn more about Canadian wine market. I hope that all Macedonians living in Canada can have the opportunity to regularly buy our wines in the next period.

While I was in Toronto, everybody was preparing for the celebration of “150 years Canada”. I had the chance to see and feel the enthusiasm, the pride and joy that every Canadian citizen has for being a Canadian.

It made me wonder - People that belong to Macedonian nation, nation that has over 2000 years history, nation that invented the Cyrillic alphabet, nation that created the unique 7/8 music etc. , should be at least proud as the Canadians are (even more).  

How can we achieve this? Regardless of our current place of residence, our Macedonian origin is something that connects us and our identity is deeply rooted in the country that has great historical and cultural importance as well as civilization values. It is up to all of us to share them and make them known since they contribute greatly to the “art of living” in contemporary sense of meaning and can enrich experiences of each and every person. The wealth of Macedonian nature, culture and people has given us extraordinary and unique cuisine and wine and together with the members of the Diaspora we can do a great deal by working together in its promotion and popularization. We can all proudly consume and recommend Macedonian products, including wine, and help them become more accessible in various countries.

The visit of Canada as part of the Macedonia2025 scholarship program made me realize that the purpose and the goals of Macedonia2025, have not just economic impact but also significant positive “national” impact. I hope that there will be more expats that will join the organization and that the country can clearly identify that is crucial to define and conduct a strategy for establishing meaningful connection with the Diaspora. Macedonia2025 and its activities and programs play an extremely important role in this process by strengthening the capacities of individuals and organizations.