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Kaylie Tam, MBA ‘23, Senior Manager, Global Asset Management Marketing at BMO on leadership, resilience, and learning to advocate for your career.

When Kaylie Tam, MBA ’23, reflects on her Accelerated MBA experience, there are two key qualities she feels the program helped her develop: resilience and self-assurance.

“I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to approach some of the conversations I’m having now before the MBA,” said Tam, now Senior Manager, Global Asset Management Marketing at BMO.

“I may have been a bit more passive in the past, but now I’m finding my voice, speaking up when I have an opinion to share and not being afraid to have difficult conversations.”

Before she joined the MBA, one of Tam’s mentors told her it would teach her to think differently – something she’s found to be a key takeaway of the Ivey program.

“I'm approaching problems in a new way and looking at things through a big-picture lens, but I’m also able to drill down and focus on what's important.”

She credits courses like Negotiations, Power and Politics and in general the range of business topics and industries covered in classes as having the biggest impact on broadening her way of thinking.

“When they talk about leadership, it's not necessarily just about how to be a good leader, but about important skills like advocating for yourself and building empathy,” she said.

“It’s also about learning that rigor of the problem-solving process. And when building influence and negotiating, having a dialogue with somebody and looking for a win-win.”

While managing the MBA and a full-time job could be challenging at times, Tam says it’s part of what bonded her classmates together, as they shared experiences in and out of class.

“We all work in business across many industries, so everyone was bringing in their experience from their organization or their field,” she said. “Some of my classmates were thinking about switching industries or negotiating a job offer, for instance. Sharing advice and experiences with one another when you're all going through the same type of experience and have similar ambitions was really nice.”

She also found the instructors highly dedicated – they were always willing to have a conversation or make themselves available if she had questions about an assignment or wanted to learn more about a certain topic.

“Overall, the MBA was a way to broaden my knowledge beyond what I had learned in my career to date, to learn things outside of marketing, and position myself for the future.”

AMBA '23

Ivey Business School

Kaylie Tam

Kaylie Tam

Toronto, Canada

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