Home on the range

Since settling in Calgary, Svetlana Miftahov Rapoport has been entrenched in the College.

Svetlana Miftahov Rapoport was born and raised in Aktobe, Kazakhstan. At the age of 18, eager to learn more about her Jewish heritage, she moved to Tel Aviv, Israel. While in Tel Aviv, she attained a Bachelor of Business and Communications from The Open University of Israel.

Although Svetlana loved Israel, a trip to Calgary in 2012 convinced her to spend a year abroad to gain international experience. After researching post-secondary institutions in the city, Svetlana says she felt, “Bow Valley College was the perfect fit with the career programs offered.” 

Three days after Svetlana arrived in Calgary, she attended New Student Orientation at Bow Valley College. Speaking little English, she was nervous to begin her studies. Luckily, from her first class, she began feeling at home due to Bow Valley College instructors. “Instructors aren’t just there to teach, they go above and beyond to create a personal connection with students,” she recalls.

Svetlana’s very first class was taught by Chiu School of Business Instructor, Jeff Kawalilak. According to Svetlana, “He was an inspiration for all students. He has a clear passion for what he teaches and how he teaches. We were all captivated by what he had to say.”

Svetlana came to Bow Valley College to complete a one-year certificate. Three years later, Svetlana graduated with a Diploma in Business Administration, majoring in Human Resources and Public Relations. Upon graduation, she decided she wasn’t ready to leave the College, and applied to work at the College. She is now a Donor Relations Officer within the Fund Development Department. When asked if she will return to Israel, Svetlana shared that “Calgary is now home.” 

To current Bow Valley College students, Svetlana would say, “Stay true to yourself and things will fall into place. Be inspired by others, but if you want to be successful, do it your way because nobody can do it like you.”

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