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Ernie Kerst

EMBA 2012, Ivey Business School

Profile

Principal
Pelec Corporation

Why did you decide to do an Executive MBA?

After 10 years in the Ontario wine industry my career had taken me to the top position in an Ontario winery and I found myself wanting to grow further both professionally and academically. It was this desire to grow and challenge myself which focussed my attention on pursing a MBA with global context. During the process of reviewing all marketing material for various Master's degrees, the Ivey EMBA emerged as my best option due to the monthly classes schedule, limited residence requirements, and composition of program participants. The schedule fit not only my family needs but also allowed me to minimize time away from my employment. My cohort consisted of many senior managers with significant work experience including individuals in the CFO, COO and CEO roles. Under any other circumstances, it would be very difficult to engage and connect with such an experienced group.

Why did you choose Ivey?

Ivey has a long standing reputation as Canada's top business school. I had an expectation of not only a high quality education but one with access to top level professors and alumni. The Ivey EMBA took me through a process of learning first individually, then in a small group and finally in full class. Lectures included information relevant for small or large businesses anywhere in the world and the global approach to the case method for education proved to be invaluable. In addition, I was able to build on the knowledge both in my employers business and in the client field trip to China. This learning experience confirmed that I had made the correct selection. The Ivey EMBA changes the way a person thinks about business. It's a solid educational mix of case study and class room interaction with professors and classmates.

What benefits have you seen so far in your career?

One of the largest benefits of the program for me has been the acquired ability to approach any business problem using a systematic process. The in-class practice of business judgement allowed me to see though the non-relevant information and focus on the pertinent data. I no longer see myself as a manager who follows a template but a manager who creates new templates when existing business strategies are not providing better than average results. Post-Ivey my career has developed into a mix of entrepreneurship and academics. I have grown my human resource and accounting practice in addition to increasing my teaching hours. With ever increasing demands on my time, I have learned to do more with less by making efficient use of time and a network of talented alumni who I can reach out to and engage in order to better attain my life goals.