Hayley Combaluzier

Spring Convocation: Carleton Entrepreneur Dreams of Changing the World

By Susan Hickman

Hayley Combaluzier will tell you there are only two things that really matter: marketing and an entrepreneurial mind.

And as she graduates from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree (concentration in Marketing and Entrepreneurship), the 23-year-old feels inspired to change the world.

“I certainly made the right choice,” says Combaluzier. “I see business—with marketing and entrepreneurship in particular—as the best channel to fostering multiple careers. It’s a route that can take me anywhere and that freedom is exciting.”

Combaluzier was the first to request that combined concentration at Carleton. “They complement each other perfectly and really moulded me into a well-rounded business person.”

Growing up in a small town north of Toronto, Combaluzier says her failure to dream big changed at university. “I realized there is so much more out there and the world is really at your fingertips. I have transformed from a passive participator. Carleton allowed me to experiment, step outside my comfort zone and explore new areas.”

In fact, she co-founded two startups: Tenasity, a digital platform that connects students with organizations offering short-term projects and, more recently, Nature’s Mark, an eco-friendly wood jewelry and accessory business that plants trees in the Amazon rainforest with every purchase.

Combaluzier also had an empowering experience in founding ONE Carleton, the first Canadian campus chapter of The ONE Campaign, a program that targets poverty and disease around the world.

With big dreams of becoming a leader in sustainable business development, poverty alleviation and social activism, as well as a traveller and explorer, Combaluzier is one of 19 Canadians who will participate in the Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s International Youth Fellowship Program this summer. She heads for Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia in mid-July to work at a microfinance organization.

Carleton University will graduate about 3,580 students and confer 13 honorary degrees during ceremonies taking place from June 13 to June 16, 2017.  Carleton, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has grown from a small college in 1942 to a leading post-secondary institution today, one that has provided a unique educational experience to 140,000 graduates.