My name is Stefan Petrevski and I am originally from Skopje, but I have spent the last five years studying in Canada and the UK. Initially, I was awarded a scholarship by the Macedonian UWC Committee to attend Pearson College on the west coast of Canada, one of the 18 United World Colleges (UWCs) across five continents. I remain committed to the missions of diversity and intercultural education by actively participating in selection camps and recruitment activities, thereby encouraging ambitious Macedonian students to represent our country at these institutions.
After graduating from high school, I enrolled at the University of Oxford in the UK, where I currently study mathematics. Despite this, I maximise the time during my long vacations to return to Macedonia to my family and friends.
Before studying in Canada, I was an active participant in mathematics competitions and earned several national and international prizes and medals. While at Pearson College UWC, I had the opportunity to explore activities I had always dreamed of. For instance, I joined the astronomy club and observed and photographed through the school’s massive 25” telescope in Canada’s former largest private observatory. Moreover, I led the organisation of a TEDx conference in 2017, which required recruiting international speakers and coordinating over 30 volunteers on conference day.
At university, more emphasis was placed on academic achievements. In my first two years at Oxford, I was awarded first-class honours and I am hoping to stay on this academic track until graduation. Within the mathematics department I am currently working on a supervised project on industrial fluid dynamics, whereby I am trying to synthesize existing mathematical models to better understand the stability of foams.
On the less curricular side, I am working on charitable consulting projects in my free time. Thus far, I have advised a small Nigerian start-up on an HR strategy and developed an expansion model for an Economist-featured legal charity in Kenya. This summer, I was a global markets analyst for Hong Kong’s largest international bank. This was an incredible learning opportunity, as the role required understanding the politics and economics of countries such as Thailand, South Korea and India. I have greatly enjoyed quantitative and analytic roles such as these, which build upon my mathematical approach, but also require understanding of “intangibles” – I hope that my future profession will also revolve around such an approach.
Macedonia2025/ Giving Back to the Homeland
My experiences with studying and working abroad have never been an attempt to escape Macedonia, but rather to accumulate as much knowledge of the world as possible. To this aim, I have met classmates and peers from over 80 different countries and each time I strike up a conversation to learn more about their local culture, traditions, and politics. No country does anything perfectly and no cultural interpretation is strictly correct, but only by exchanging ideas with people who have experienced different systems can we be constructive and critical with ours.
It is hard to predict the exact role I would play when contributing back to Macedonia. Up until this point, I have mostly focused my efforts within education and I would certainly wish to participate in a reformation of the Macedonian educational system. The talent and drive amongst the youth here is immense, but multi-ethnic integration and practical learning could certainly improve. On the other hand, I might adopt a much less political role and give back as an experienced professional within a different industry. Either way, my aim is to contribute to the community in particular by targeting the ambitious youth.