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John Peellegoda, CPA, CA, EMBA '23 Candidate, Treasurer and Head of Investor Relations and Financial Planning, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), on expanding your skill set and looking at the bigger picture

As John Peellegoda, CPA, CA, EMBA '23 Candidate, contemplated the future of his career, he realized he would need an executive education to move into the type of C-Suite role he wanted to pursue.

“The MBA not only provides for an increase in your skill set, but it is also a competitive advantage,” says Peellegoda, Treasurer and Head of Investor Relations and Financial Planning at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) the authority which operates Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“I have a strong financial background, but CFOs today are positioned as a strategic partner in an organization. I wanted to stretch my strategic muscle and see more of the forest from the trees.”

Ivey stood out among the MBA programs he looked at because of its strong alumni network and global approach. He was also drawn to the Case Method, which provided a new way of learning compared to what he had experienced in the past.

What Peellegoda didn’t expect, however, was such strong camaraderie among his classmates, something that’s become a highlight of the program.

“It’s been really amazing to get to know people and work with classmates who have skill sets and come from industries that I would not have otherwise had an opportunity to work with,” he says.

It’s a solidarity he’s experienced beyond the classroom as well when meeting Ivey alumni.

“When you say you’re at Ivey, this other conversation starts. There is a sense of pride that appears. I'm really looking forward to connecting with Ivey alumni, developing relationships, and learning more along the way.”

But Peellegoda also finds the program is giving him new insights to bring back to his job at the GTAA.

“I'm finding now that my conversations are really taking on a strategic lens, challenging me to level up my thinking to be broader in my approach, consider purpose and strategic alignment.”

“It's forcing me to mentally pause and think about my questions from a different perspective.”

For anyone considering the program, Peellegoda recommends sitting down with their family or support system to have a frank conversation about the time requirements.

Then, he says, “you just have to set your priorities” and keep track how work, school, and family will fit in. For him, it was also important to focus on his health, so he could maintain balance and ensure his wellbeing when the demands of the program and/or of his job escalate.

“I think anyone going into the program has got to set those balances and those boundaries,” he says.

EMBA '23

Ivey Business School

John Peellegoda

John Peellegoda

Treasurer and Head of Investor Relations and Financial Planning, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA)

Toronto, Canada

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