#WCW: HCuO Founder & UN Nominated Rep

We caught up with Olivia Labonté, HCuOttawa’s founder, to see what she’s been up to since graduating. To say the least, we’re more than impressed and inspired by all that she’s accomplished! With a Masters degree, working a big-girl job in South Africa and being nominated by the United Nations to be the North American female rep on the UN-Habitat Youth Advisory board, we can’t resist but praise her like we would Beyoncé. You can vote for our #WCW’s UN Nomination here and read more about her below!

HC: What got you started with Her Campus?

OL: I started Her Campus uOttawa the summer of 2012 after having spent a year writing for Her Campus Exeter while on exchange in the UK. After having selected a wonderful team of dedicated writers and social media/event coordinators, we launched in September 2012. That year was filled with numerous successes (due to sensational team effort), such as repeatedly being one of the most viewed/read Her Campus chapters and being voted "Rookie of the Year" for the most successful new chapter launch that year.


HC: So what have you been up to since you graduated from uOttawa?

OL: After the University of Ottawa, I pursued a Masters of Economics in Montreal and I became the Program Director for Young Diplomats of Canada, a non-profit organization that seeks to include young Canadians at the highest level of diplomatic meetings.


HC: And you’ve been working?

OL: Although writing and editing remains a passion, I am currently doing policy analysis/research in the fields of urban and development economics in South Africa.


HC: Tell us more about your fantastic nomination with the United Nations!

OL: I was nominated by the United Nations to be the North American female rep on the UN-Habitat Youth Advisory board. This opportunity would allow me to engage with young people all over the world and promote the democratization of urban and city planning to create more inclusive cities. Voting takes less than a minute, so please click this link and vote!


HC: What advice do you have for collegiettes?

OL: Get involved! Academics are important, but so is getting involved outside of the classroom. Find a cause or topic that you feel particularly strong about and try to make a difference. Not only will you meet interesting and likeminded individuals, but you will also learn a lot about yourself and where your passions lie. It sounds cheesy, but I promise you it’s true!


Do you have any questions for Olivia? Comment below!

Don’t forget to vote for Olivia’s nomination here!