Stephanie De Vincenzo, MBA Direct ‘22 Candidate, had fond memories of a business coaching trip she took to Haiti during her Ivey HBA, so when she returned to her alma mater, she was eager for another opportunity to help pass on the skills and knowledge she’d developed.
“It was important to me to be able to teach what I learned in the program – paying it forward in a way – especially for people who may not have that same opportunity where they are in the world,” says De Vincenzo, whose MBA will include a trip to Bosnia with Ivey’s Leader Project. The project partners with several countries around the world to enable high-potential individuals to develop local business solutions and create opportunities for their communities.
“It’s also another way to leverage the tools I’ve learned so I can coach others in business, and to become more culturally aware,” she says.
“I can take that back with me when I go back to work post-MBA. It gives me a new perspective, new ways of thinking.”
De Vincenzo sees the initiative as part of Ivey’s strong focus on diversity, equality and inclusion, and its efforts to create a more equitable environment for all.
“People have bigger voices than they’ve ever had because of how they can connect with one another now, and I think Ivey provides tools we can use when we need to speak against injustices in the workplace and give minority groups a voice.”
The opportunity to work with – and learn from – peers was also a major factor behind De Vincenzo’s decision to return to Ivey, along with her wish to further sharpen her leadership and business management skills.
“I wanted an opportunity to learn how to manage a business in a different learning environment,” says, De Vincenzo, who worked in supply chain operations management, financial controls, internal audits, and government relations before embarking on the MBA.
“Learning on the job is one thing, but when you learn from peers around the world, with different experiences to bring to the table, it’s just a completely different way of learning.”
“The classroom discussions are very high quality; you have people who have real-life work experience so you can bring up all kinds of issues and get other people’s opinions on them.”
The shortened duration of the MBA for HBA grads (just eight months) and the chance to jump back into the Case Method were also key to De Vincenzo’s decision to return to Ivey.
“Being able to immerse yourself in the case as a protagonist, it’s as if you’re taking on a new job every day, because each case is about a completely new topic, a new business environment,” she says.
“Every other student in the class is also a protagonist and is navigating the case in their own way, so it makes for a very vibrant discussion. At work, you don’t really get that opportunity to change your role and your company every day.”
De Vincenzo looks forward to applying her sharpened critical thinking and conflict-management skills to her work and is a grateful to have gained new awareness around how important it is for her to find meaning in her work.
“When you’re constantly focused on the classroom discussion you become aware of how your contribution impacts others, how they impact you,” she says.
“My extra curriculars have also helped me appreciate what I’ve learned and find meaning in it.”
Stephanie De Vincenzo
MBA Direct ‘22 Candidate