Our Alumna Kate Zhuzha For Financial Times On How CEMS Influenced Her Humanitarian Work
In times of crisis, it’s often the most unexpected heroes who emerge, armed with resilience, determination, and the knowledge earned through education. Such is the story of Kate Zhuzha, a graduate of our prestigious CEMS MIM VSE program, who is making an indelible impact in the face of adversity. So much so that an interview with her in which she describes applying the skills she earned in Prague to support the people in her homeland made the lead story in the Financial Times MiM Supplement, called “Business graduate uses lessons to help victims of Ukraine War.”
Getting on her humanitarian journey
Kate Zhuzha’s journey takes her from her CEMS days to the forefront of global operations at Meta, where she manages programs and projects aimed at risk prevention. But her story doesn’t end there. In March 2022, Kate, aCEMS VSE alumna and recipient of the 2022 CEMS Junior Alumni of the Year, co-founded with her brother an NGO known as the “Union of Help to Kherson,” a heartfelt response to the occupation of her home region, Kherson, in Ukraine, following the invasion on February 24, 2022.
“It wasn’t even a decision. There was nothing else to do,” she says.
Like many Ukrainian diaspora with family still in Ukraine, Kate’s initial reaction to the crisis was one of shock and grief. However, as the realities of the prolonged conflict became evident, she harnessed the skills and perspectives she gained through the CEMS program to focus her efforts where they could make the most impact. Utilizing her earned knowledge from our programme and CEMS community network, Kate’s NGO delivered targeted aid to those in need in occupied Kherson, all while navigating the challenges posed by Russian road blockades that prevented humanitarian aid from entering the region.
In an interview published by the Financial Times MiM supplement, she talks about how her CEMS training enabled her to articulate her mission clearly and demonstrate the value she brought to the cause, which, in turn, helped her secure essential funding and how she uses everything that was part of the CEMS programme in the non-profit sector: the know-how from the consultancy projects, the thinking style and the network of contacts to other “CEMSies”.
You can read the full interview here.