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Carla McFarlane

Describe the role you play professionally.

My current role is to bring some of our largest and most important customers to the next level, allowing my company to be more than a supplier — a partner in business and their success. 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Transitioning from leading our company’s corporate communications, internal communications, and philanthropic partnerships, my current role began as a development opportunity to gain strategic customer-facing experience. Fast forward to today, just over three years into the role: my biggest challenge is maintaining a double-digit growth trajectory with now very mature customer relationships and high penetration.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

While I’m proud of the recognitions I have received in my current role, the professional accomplishment that I’m most proud of is reshaping my company’s philanthropic strategy and partnerships in my previous role. I really believe for-profit companies can (and should) contribute to social good through responsible operational decisions and also by investing in non-profit organizations with impact.

Why did you decide to do an EMBA?

I have wanted to do an MBA for the better part of the last decade, but I was hesitant to take a step away from my career and lose momentum. The Ivey Executive MBA at this stage in my career felt like the right fit — an opportunity to broaden my business acumen, learn from wiser and more experienced classmates, and dive deeper into areas I want to develop like finance, economics, and accounting, all while continuing to work.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned at Ivey?

In the first term at Ivey alone, there is so much that I learned. The most immediately useful so far, though, is how to leverage data analytics in decision making.

What’s been the most surprising aspect of the Executive MBA journey to date?

It’s tough, but also a lot fun. The material is interesting which makes the hours of reading (mostly) very stimulating, the projects are typically around a real industry problem, which makes the work feel meaningful, and our classmates and instructors are such quality people that time away from our everyday lives for class is enjoyable.

What books are on your bedside table right now?

A stack of Ivey case books! I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t been doing much reading for pleasure since starting the program, but I do miss it a lot and have a long list that I’m excited to tackle this summer.

How do you manage stress (i.e. sports, exercise, meditation)?

Spending quality time with my favourite people and keeping active are both incredibly important to me and help me manage stress.

Industry: Healthcare

Carla McFarlane

Carla  McFarlane

National Key Account Manager, 3M Canada

Toronto, Ontario