Eddie Lopez, barber, and owner of London, Ontario-based barber shop Elevated Barbers Inc., shares how The Ivey Academy’s teaching method exceeded his expectations and how he’s planning on implementing what he learned in his own business.
What were your expectations before coming to an Ivey Academy program?
When I hear the name “Ivey,” I immediate think about the best of the best business people in the world. I know that Ivey has a reputation across the globe for providing great education in business, so it was exciting for me to know I was coming to The Ivey Academy to learn from Ivey faculty.
How did the program compare to your expectations?
Growing up, I realized that school wasn’t for me. While I always did above average in school, I never fully applied myself. School didn’t excite me – the format of learning where a teacher lectures to students just wasn’t for me. I’m more of a hands-on learner.
What I wasn’t expecting – and what I really enjoyed about the program – was that the two Ivey faculty were both very engaging. They speak from their own experience, they engage all program participants – most importantly the learning was experiential. I felt engaged and I felt invested in the learning because the topics were relevant to my business.
What surprised you most about the program?
The food! (laughs)
What surprised me the most was how engaging the professors were. It felt like a breath of fresh air. As I mentioned before, typically in school – at least in my experience – most teachers are very dry. I’ve only had one or two teachers in my life that motivated me to want to complete my work.
With The Ivey Academy’s faculty, it was different. Because of their approach to teaching, I felt motivated to do the work and was excited to learn every day. That was the most surprising thing to me.
What was your favourite part of the program?
The attitude of the program’s participants. Everyone was there for a purpose. I felt it was a group of like-minded people who saw the value in the program we were taking. Everyone actively participated in discussions, did the work, and tried to get the most out of the program as they could.
How was the learning enhanced by your fellow program participants?
One of my classmates owns her own small business and is in a similar situation as I am. We struggle with trying to figure out how to do everything by ourselves. I’m not at the point where my business is big enough for me to step away and focus on the back-end and grow the business. I have to do a little bit of everything and that’s something she is going through herself.
For example, it’s tax season. I’ve never had to do corporate taxes before. It’s a new challenge and it’s something I’ve never had to face. It’s the same thing with social media. It’s difficult to stay on top of it while I’m cutting people’s hair! It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one going through the same challenges – it’s nice to know I’m not alone.
As a small business owner, will you approach the management of your business differently as a result of attending The Ivey Academy?
Definitely. I’m learning to be more proactive in collecting data and using it to connect with current and potential customers to grow my business. I’m also thinking of creative ways to utilize the data I already have, and trying to apply some of the best practices that other organizations have implemented, only scaled down to the size of my own business. With these new approaches, I’ll be able to better serve my customers now and in the future.
About The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School
The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School is the home for executive Learning and Development (L&D) in Canada. It is Canada’s only full-service L&D house, blending Financial Times top-ranked university-based executive education with talent assessment, instructional design and strategy, and behaviour change sustainment.
Rooted in Ivey Business School’s real-world leadership approach, The Ivey Academy is a place where professionals come to get better, to break old habits and establish new ones, to practice, to change, to obtain coaching and support, and to join a powerful peer network.