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Patrick Hickey admits it's hard to know how to feel about his latest achievement.
The 22-year-old has packed a lot into his young life. He decided to study business after finishing high school at Holy Heart of Mary in St. John's. Earlier this year, he graduated from Western University in London, Ont., with a bachelor degree in business administration. He was on the dean's list for the duration of his studies in Ontario and has earned lots of awards and scholarships, but nothing quite like the latest one.
Hickey was one of 11 recently announced Rhodes Scholars from Canada for 2019. He'll study for two years at Oxford University in England.
"It's overwhelming," Hickey told The Telegram. "You feel a lot of gratitude for everyone who helped you get to this point, that's for sure ... The only thing I've really been able to process in the moment is that this has just changed my life forever, and I don't know exactly what that means yet or what that's going to look like, other than the fact it's happened and it's going to continue happening for the next couple of years and maybe forever. It's really going to change the trajectory I'm on."
Due to begin his studies in the fall, Hickey intends to pursue a Master of Philosophy in nature, society and environmental governance and a Master of Science in financial economics. He was
in London previously for leisure but has not been to Oxford, which is approximately a two-hour drive from England's captial city.
"I've only heard incredible things from folks who studied there and folks who visited there as well, so my expectations have been set really high by others," he said.
1. What is your full name?
Patrick James Paul Hickey — after my father James Paul Hickey.
2. Where and when were you born?
I was born in 1997 in Stephenville on the west coast. When I was very young, my family moved to St. John's.
3. Where do you live today?
Today I'm living in downtown Toronto. I never thought that would be the truth. I work in global investment banking and I'm a mergers acquisitions analyst.
4. What is your favourite place in the world?
Being anywhere in Newfoundland and Labrador, I feel at home. Throughout my undergrad I found myself in Labrador at times or around the province, not necessarily surrrounded by my family or folks who I knew, but I still felt at home and loved being in the province. I guess in terms of a really local place, just being with my family in the province. Oftentimes that's visiting my grandparents with loved ones around.
5. Who do you follow on social media?
I love Twitter. I think's it's the future of journalism ... I find it's a great way to keep up with the different areas of your life. I follow sports journalists just to keep up on the sports world. I follow folks from the mental health field, where I did a lot of work over the years. I follow folks in the fishery. I have interests there. Also friends and family.
The best account I follow is Christopher Canning. He's my former manager from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. We've both since moved on, but his Twitter is just so real. I Iove it.
6. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I think people would be surprised to learn I have three older sisters. I'm the youngest of four. In upper Canada, people are often surprised to learn when I'm studying at business school that I'm interested in the fishery — a concept so foreign to folks living in a concrete jungle. Sometimes by my age. I found myself over the years in different settings, and people kind of gawk at you in being young.
7. What's been your favourite year and why?
I think it would be the year of 2017. I spent my summer working with a seafood processor in rural Newfoundland, which was fantastic. I absolutely loved it. And then in the fall I started business school at the Ivey School of Business at Western University, which to date was one of the most enriching experiences I've had and kind of started me down the road I'm on now. It just opened my eyes to a lot of things that I learned or have remained interested and have a real passion for.
8. Can you describe one experience that changed your life?
Receiving a scholarship from the government of Newfoundland and Labrador to participate in a Students On Ice expedition to the Arctic in 2014 changed my life. Sailing around the Arctic provided so many profound connections for me, and really informed what it means to me to be Canadian.
9. What is your greatest indulgence?
It's a hot beverage called a London Fog. It's an Earl Grey tea latte, and I could take those through an IV. And anything my mother or grandmother bakes ... Especially partridgeberries. Baked goods with partridgeberries — I'm a real sucker.
10. What's your favourite move or book?
I love anything Michael Crummey writes. I really liked "Sweetland." I just read "The Innocents," which I found to be quite good as well. I don't watch a lot of movies. People always ask, 'Have you seen this?' I always disappoint them with a 'No.'
11. How do you like to relax?
I like to relax in a couple of ways. Often my partner Sarah and I will host people. We love to prepare a meal and have folks over. The preparation isn't necessarily as relaxing as when you get everyone around you.
That's what I find really relaxing — being able to sit back with people you care about around you and just see how people are doing and talk about people and talk with people about things you have a shared interest in or with people you share common values with.
12. What are you reading or watching right now?
I currently am reading"Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" ... by Yuval Noah Harari — a prof at Oxford and a book that's done quite well. It was recommended to me by a friend whose opinion I trust, so I picked it up. And I'm loving the show "Queer Eye." Whenever I have time, if I can watch it, I will. I've been working super late up here. I've been home at three in the morning, and I'll still put an episode on even though I should be asleep.
13. What is your greatest fear?
I don't often think about fear. I do worry about the future and the things you can't control. I think about 20 years from now. I think about what we conventionally would think of someone's position and where they should be — settled down with a family and a home and things like that. That's fine and dandy to think about and plan for, but there are a lot of elements in that equation that are really out of our control, and sometimes I do worry and am fearful — are things going to work out for me?
14. How would you describe your personal fashion statement?
I try only to wear things made in Canada, so my fashion statement is fairly subtle. I don't necessarily dress in a way that says much aestehtically, but I do try to dress in a way that tells a story in the fabrics used and in the production backstory. That's often quite expensive to do, so as a result, I don't have as much clothes as others might. But I do try to buy from brands I believe in.
15. What is your most treasured possession?
I have a script. It was actually made in Canada. It's a cloth script and it's quite old. The poem is by Rudyard Kipling. My grandfather gave it to my uncle, his son, and my uncle gave it to me a number of years ago. I have it hung on my wall at my parent's house at home. It's very special to me, the meaning of it and where it comes from. I actually read it the morning before my (Rhodes Scholar) interview, just before I left my bedroom. I love the message. To me, it's all about integrity and character.
16. What physical or personality trait are you most grateful to a parent for?
Both my parents are very giving people, and I attribute it to them both equally in different ways. It's something apparently I was just raised to see, and it wasn't even something that was ever really talked about. You see it in their daily actions ... They're so willing to give to people and spend time with people. That's really what I mean when I say giving.
They are so giving with their time for others, be that through their careers, little gestures, being there for friends when needed ... I try to embody that.
17. What three people would join you for your dream dinner party?
My good friend Donovan Taplin. We can debate and talk about things forever. We often do. I think my partner Sarah East. They don't come any sweeter than her. And the third guest, my long-time friend and tireless comedian, Alex Duff. For his ability to keep us laughing throughout the meal.
18. What is your best quality?
I would say that I'm very observant. Often done quietly, but I notice things, and I notice a lot of trends that maybe go unspoken, and I think that's a quality I'm really grateful for.
19. What is your worst quality?
I think often times I could really benefit from putting myself out there a bit more. I am quiet. I am reserved. I don't necessarily feel that way, but at the end of the day I am. It's something I really hope to work on in the future.
20. What is your biggest regret?
When I went to university, I had been playing soccer in the province for a number of years, and I didn't try out for the soccer team at my school, because I thought, you know, you're going away for academics, let's focus on academics, because I hadn't really done that before ... I went to one of the first games the team had that year, and realized, damn, I could be on this team. I do regret that, because it was a great part of my life, playing sports, that I now definitely miss on a day-to-day basis.