Studio Y Fellowship
What is the Studio Y fellowship?
Designed for young professionals, the Studio Y Fellowship is a residency-based leadership program that also offers a full-time placement option.
Our flexible eight-month program develops leaders through intensive workshops, project work, coaching and mentorship.
Our 25 Fellows come from across Ontario to receive guidance from leading experts at MaRS, as they address complex challenges in four cluster areas.
Applications for the 2017/18 cohort are now closed.
The Fellowship curriculum
Our core curriculum teaches Fellows the foundations of systems leadership, by employing lateral thinking, drawing from different disciplines and bridging theory with practice. Flexible programming and experiential learning are applied.
Course Stream 1: Understand Systems Change
This course lays the foundation for the program, with a focus on examining complex problems using a whole-system lens to understand how change happens.
Course Stream 2: Lead Systems Change Work
When engaging across industries and promoting cooperation among multiple organizations, successful leaders promote change by demonstrating influence rather than exercising control. This course deals with developing strategies for change, empowering others to lead, and leading ourselves.
Course Stream 3: Cross-Sector Connectivity
Strong networks underpin the work that our leaders do and the impact that they have. This course teaches the skills required to build these networks, convene diverse groups, and facilitate effective collaboration.
Course Stream 4: Innovation to Solve Problems
Addressing complex problems often requires disrupting the status quo. This course teaches entrepreneurial thinking and design thinking, which our Fellows apply to developing solutions that are innovative, entrepreneurial, creative and responsive to the needs of various stakeholders.
Course Stream 5: Anti-Oppressive Practices
Anti-Oppressive Practices (AOP) address the social and economic inequalities that are built into our society. This course teaches Fellows to analyze how power and privilege intersect within systems. Fellows are then guided in applying AOP in their careers.
The Studio Y fellowship runs part-time September through May. Fellows divide their time between:
A mix of classroom work, facilitated dialogues, coaching, pitches and presentations.
Time commitment: A 10-day introductory session followed by five 5-day sessions held approximately every five weeks. Program closes with a showcase and graduation.
Fellows work in industry-specific teams of four to six to apply their learning through real-world challenges. They develop innovative prototypes and scalable solutions.
Time commitment: Approximately six hours per week over 35 weeks. Fellows complete this work in parallel to their other commitments.
Fellows put their learning into practice by working or running their own business full time. Alternately, they can complete challenging work placements within MaRS.
Time commitment: Full-time in the weeks between sessions.
Support and coaching will be available to Studio Y fellows throughout their training.
Networking & mentorship
A network of organizations and leaders from across Ontario’s sectors and industries will be available for collaboration. Each Fellow will be matched with a mentor who’ll provide them with career insights, coaching and feedback.
Supported by specialized coaching and workshops, Fellows will develop a ‘Professional Leadership Plan’ that will help them assess their current performance, plus areas for growth and learning.
The MaRS ecosystem
Staff and partners at MaRS will act as faculty members, mentors, coaches and collaborators for Fellows.
Financial support and funding
A personal stipend is provided to all Fellows. Fellows who complete a placement at MaRS will receive additional funding.
Living stipend options
Fellows who are working or running their own venture will receive a $8,000 living and travelling stipend for the duration of the fellowship. Alternatively, Fellows may apply for a placement within MaRS and receive an additional $22,000 living stipend (for a total stipend of $30,000).
Assistance with travel and accommodations is available to those travelling from outside Toronto who face financial barriers. Access funding may also be requested if a Fellow experiences a financial barrier to accessing all or part of the program.
What is systems leadership?
As our world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, we need systems leaders who can solve problems in new ways. The key hallmarks of these leaders—alternately called integrative public leaders, collaborative leaders or civic leaders—are that they often work across organizations. Systems leaders go beyond their individual professional disciplines and work within a range of cultures.
What will you learn?
Fellows will be guided by experienced educators and facilitators in systems thinking, leadership, cross-sector collaboration and innovation. Learning will be done through a unique combination of case studies, interactive dialogues, simulations, readings and coaching. Fellows will come out with a rounded education. See more details in the Curriculum Overview.
How will you spend your time?
The 2017-18 Studio Y Fellowship program runs from 15 September 2017 to 27 May 2018. The program is part-time and includes over 280 hours of programming across seven residencies. Fellows are also expected to work on their projects and other Fellowship work in between residency sessions for approximately six hours per week.
Fellows are required to attend a minimum of 80% of the sessions throughout the year, in addition to working on a team project. Given the intensive nature of the program, as well as the scheduling of some events during work hours, Fellows must obtain the support of their employers to participate in the program.
What makes you eligible for a fellowship?
Our Fellows typically have three years of professional, entrepreneurial or postgraduate experience in their focus areas. They will have demonstrated an interest in developing and scaling their work.
We are seeking people who possess expertise in one or more of the four MaRS industry knowledge areas, complemented by specialized skillsets. For example: technological innovators, conveners, designers, policy analysts, data specialists, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.
Can you tell me more about the placement opportunities?
Applicants may apply to the placement opportunities as part of their Fellowship program. Studio Y Placements are opportunities for Fellows to work full-time with a business unit at MaRS over the course of the program. Placements provide an applied and rigorous immersion that builds Fellows’ experience and networks across sectors. This allows for numerous opportunities to apply the Fellowship curriculum directly to their work and will be supported with an additional $22,000 stipend ($30,000 total funding package).
The selection for Placement Fellows is more rigorous to ensure fit with both Fellowship and MaRS business unit, requiring a cover letter, references and an additional interview with the business unit’s manager.
The Theme Areas
Fellows work in MaRS’ four theme areas:
Abtin Parnia is passionate about understanding the sociopolitical and economic systems that shape our health, environment and well-being. After completing a master of public health in epidemiology at the University of Toronto, Abtin worked as a researcher for U of T and Cancer Care Ontario on projects related to health and the environment with newcomer […]
Alexander Banh graduated from Queen’s University with two degrees: a bachelor of arts in economics and an honours bachelor of commerce in finance and strategy. Throughout his time at Queen’s he co-founded and led four student-run organizations and completed consulting projects for Shell Canada, MCW Custom Energy Solutions and the City of Brockville Facilities Department. […]
Alexandra Heim is a junior building analyst for Integral Group, where she works in the field of commissioning, looking to optimize building energy performance by implementing deep-green engineering tactics. She has a background in bioresource engineering and is passionate about finding meaningful change at the intersection of creativity, technology and sustainability. She is also interested […]
Alice Chen aspires to create high-quality, person-centred and efficient healthcare for all, using her skills in clinician engagement, project management, and program/process redesign and implementation. Alice’s first step in pursuing a career in healthcare was undertaking a bachelor of science in health studies from the University of Waterloo. Having explored many areas of the field […]
Ashmin Varma is currently working with local social enterprises to flesh out growth initiatives across their existing lines of businesses and to develop future revenue streams. Ashmin graduated with an honours business administration degree from Western University’s Ivey Business School in 2014. He most recently held the position of strategy manager at Microsoft where he […]
Aysha Nesbitt is a junior economist who is leading the development of a Social Finance Practice within the Ontario Ministry of Energy. Prior to her work with the ministry, Aysha helped lead Queen’s Social Investment Initiative, Canada’s first university-led impact investing organization. She also has experience working as a corporate responsibility analyst in Singapore and […]
Chantale Bielak is a policy analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) where she works on the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, a leading and innovative study that explores a new way of supporting people in reaching their full potential. Prior to joining MCSS, Chantale worked and volunteered with several health-related organizations, […]
Eesha Sharma has a master of arts in child study and education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Upon completing her degree she received an award for academic excellence and outstanding leadership contributions to the program. Currently, Eesha is working as a lead instructional designer at Vretta, an […]
Elvis Wong is a bachelor of commerce graduate from Queen’s University. Over the past two years, Elvis has worked as a management consultant at A.T. Kearney where he has gained experience in financial services, healthcare and transportation. His work has had him travelling across Canada and the United States, including stops in Montreal, New York […]
Evrard Muco is passionate about the potential of fast-growing early-stage companies to solve social and economic issues. In particular, he is exploring the impact of fintech on financial inclusion. Evrard’s recent professional experience includes working as a management consultant at Accenture, where he advises enterprises on their digital strategy and transformation, and leads the firm’s […]
Josh Ingram is the general manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association, where he employs the study of commerce and business sustainability—and the use of tools to create economic capacity—to guide the organization’s research and development. Prior to holding this position, Josh was the deputy creative director of an international design firm. He also […]
Justin Faiola is a communications specialist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), where he provides communications support and expertise on strategic projects that the hospital pursues. Through his experience working in healthcare communications, Justin has become increasingly aware of the complex challenges the healthcare system is facing. He is passionate about exploring ways in […]
Mala Dorai is a healthcare consultant with Deloitte Canada LLP. She has global experience working in public and mental health, and has previously worked with the World Health Organization, Health Quality Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services. Mala is passionate about enhancing access to mental health services and identifying efficiencies in […]
Mandeep Bumbra has an MBA with a double concentration in healthcare management and strategy and entrepreneurship from the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor. While undertaking her MBA, Mandeep worked with several organizations within the health sector, including VON Canada and Windsor Regional Hospital, engaging with various stakeholders and providing strategic opportunities. […]
Mayur Mutaki is a systems thinker and business strategy enthusiast who has undertaken a diverse set of academic and professional endeavours spanning three continents: Asia, North America and Europe. Prior to joining MaRS Advanced Energy Centre as a Studio Y Fellow, Mayur worked in consulting as a HubSpot certified digital marketer and a Shopify partner […]
Nadia Gilani is passionate about the role technology plays in advancing global economies. In her current role as a consultant at Deloitte Digital, she works to bridge the gap between business and technology groups to enable large-scale digital transformation projects. Nadia’s interest in government has led her to represent her political riding on a national […]
Natasha Puri is the co-founder of Emp(a)th(y), a startup that works to eradicate mental health stigmas on college campuses. She is also a contributor to the Huffington Post. Natasha previously worked on the implementation of Ebola protocol at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and helped to develop the Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program […]
Nikhil Mittal is a strategy manager at Telus International where he is responsible for identifying growth opportunities on a global scale. Nikhil is passionate about helping companies to grow their businesses in a sustainable manner. Before joining Telus, Nikhil worked on various multi-million-dollar organic and inorganic growth initiatives for Algoma. He has an MBA from […]
Nirooya Sivapalan has an honours bachelor of science in cell and molecular biology from the University of Toronto and a master of science in immunology from McMaster University. Niroo works as the health and safety officer for Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) at Sunnybrook Hospital. In this role she is responsible for program and policy development, […]
Rachel Song has a master of applied science in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto. She has been keenly involved in several cutting-edge research projects, including novel power systems driven by renewable energy, off-gas detection and quantification in steel-making furnaces, and combustion optimization and pollution control in advanced research centres and laboratories. Upon completing […]
Richelle Ji is the co-founder of Ensural, an insurtech startup that enables insurance companies to optimize their underwriting and risk management process through artificial intelligence. Prior to co-founding Ensural, Richelle held various positions at AIG, Bank of Montreal and Sun Life Financial, where she gained experience in property and casualty insurance, banking and enterprise risk […]
Suthen Siva graduated with a bachelor of business administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University and developed his expertise in finance and strategy working at Walmart Canada. He is currently a manager on the enterprise strategy team at Rogers Communications, where he is responsible for building the annual and long-term operating plan […]
Tobi Adeyemo is passionate about integrating health information and emerging technologies to create innovative solutions to healthcare system design and service-delivery problems. Tobi’s work experience includes conducting cancer research and quality improvement projects in the department of surgery at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. She has also combined her interests in epidemiology, biostatistics and geographic information […]
Tyler Rothfels is focused on combining literacy in environmental and earth systems science with finance and business acumen. He graduated from Western University with an honours double major in finance and environmental science. Tyler is currently a corporate development analyst with Accenture in Toronto. He predominantly works with the company’s energy and utilities clients on […]
Victoria Bisram has a bachelor of commerce in accounting from York University and is currently working toward her Chartered Professional Accountants designation. Upon graduating from York, Victoria secured a two-year developmental opportunity in the Ontario Public Service’s Ontario Internship Program, which offers interns invaluable work experience in strategic planning and business relationship management, while also […]