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Mike Pownall

Degree

EMBA 2015, Ivey Business School

Profile

President
McKee-Pownall Equine Services

Why did you choose Ivey?

I chose Ivey for several reasons. I liked the focus on group work, case-based learning, and international business. Collaboration is key in today’s business world so it is important that people from different backgrounds work together to learn together and apply our knowledge to real-world cases.

What benefits have you seen so far in your career?

Since I started the program I have made several decisions that have saved our business tens of thousands of dollars. That is huge in a small business. I have also been able to focus on creating the framework to open up new business opportunities, while solidifying our current business. I have gained a further appreciation of data analysis, operational efficiency, and strategy and have been able to apply them to my business. Within two terms I had more than paid for the program.

How did you achieve balance along with your work/home life?

I have been fortunate to have a very supportive spouse. The demands of the program were challenging. I found the best way to manage family, work, and school is to focus on two of the three in any given day. Trying to do all three meant that I was doing them poorly. It also helps to be disciplined and to set priorities each week on what needs to be accomplished. This way I knew what I needed to do and didn’t focus on the less important issues I was facing.

Please tell us about your network and the connections you made throughout the program (i.e. classmates, alumni network etc.).

The network I have gained at Ivey has become invaluable. I have beenable to discuss new business ideas and challenges at work with my classmates. Their varied backgrounds and experiences help give different perspectives that I never would have had without them. I have developed very close friendships with many classmates, and I know that this network will continue after graduation.