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Sharing Luck and Dreams

Sharing Luck and Dreams

By Shukun Ma | May 1, 2015
Candidate for MBA, University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Note: Shukun Ma is a member of the Ross School of Business MAP team that has been working with ETR to explore new possibilities and opportunities for our organization's work boosting STEM education.

I believe opportunity and possibility make life exciting, and that education transforms life.


For me, earning my MBA and doing an internship with ETR has helped provide a pathway to my DREAM.


I was literally shaking with thrills when I received the offer to attend the MBA program at Ross School of Business. I saw this as a huge step closer to realizing my career aspiration—using business acumen to empower people. At the same time, it made me look back at my own trajectory. I could not have advanced as I had without resources of various types which had been offered to me and which, I realized, I had been taking for granted.

Gratitude for Resources

My heart is filled with gratitude for the amazing English teachers I had in primary and secondary schools. When I met Ms. Anderson, a teacher at one school we visited with ETR in Watsonville, her enthusiasm and dedication reminded me of those teachers from my past. They opened the door for me to a kaleidoscope of adventures—watching Friends and Life of Pi, listening to and singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” backpacking in Europe, having conversation with Kenya’s Vice President, and, now, studying at one of the best business schools in the United States.

Today, I understand the significance of resources and interventions that have the potential to change someone’s life. I consider myself very lucky in this regard. I aspire to deliver similar “luck” to those who may not have access to the same catalysts I’ve been given.

ETR: Sharing Luck

I chose ETR as my MAP focus because I believe in its mission of reducing risk and improving lives. I support the concept of implementing prevention and intervention for a better future, especially for those are not born into families that are able to provide them with “luck.”

Therefore, this seemed to be the perfect place for me to learn from others’ expertise and move forward.

It turned out to be true, and beyond my expectations! Conversations with ETR’s researchers and practitioners were eye-openers. They led me to a world that significantly aroused my interests. We took field visits to pilot projects that incorporate social justice principles into programming education at local primary schools. This was just mind-blowing!

Creating a Better World

The concept, the program design, the classroom dynamics, as well as the interactions between teachers and students, were beyond impressive. It made me hope and believe that children receiving mission-driven education like this are going to create a better world.

Youth need organizations such as ETR to provide opportunities and resources that prepare them for future success. I have been fortunate to be involved with their great cause for seven weeks, and look forward to seeing their further impact continue to unfold.


Shukun Ma is a member of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business class of 2016 and will graduate with an MBA emphasizing Social Impact & Corporate Strategy. He is also an avid lover of singing, dancing and making cocktails, and knows far more American pop music than his three American-born MAP teammates. He can be reached at and found on LinkedIn.


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