MBA 2013, Ivey Business School
Prior to joining the AMBA program, I was working in the IT industry in the Greater Toronto Area in a sales-oriented role. The HBA program had given me the jumpstart I needed to gain momentum in my career and I was gaining valuable experience in this role. I felt that I had built a successful resumé and I began to wonder what my next step would be. At this time, I was in contact with the MBA admissions team. They answered all of my questions and addressed my concerns about leaving a stable job for the chance to explore new opportunities. I discussed my desire to obtain an MBA with my management team at the time and was given an education leave of absence and encouraged to return to Ivey.
One of the main reasons I decided to return to do an MBA was that I felt my career and knowledge were becoming stagnant. After discussing my situation with the admissions team, I knew that the AMBA program would give me the opportunity to further my education and provide me with a platform to explore new industries and employment opportunities. In addition, the Ivey AMBA Program is built upon the same structure as the HBA program: Ivey Case-Method, excellent professors, and a diverse selection of electives to explore new business topics. I was comfortable with the HBA program model and I knew that the AMBA program would only push me further and increase my business aptitude. My decision was between returning to Ivey for the AMBA program or remaining in the workforce in my current industry. After developing the business case — an eight-month program at an attractive tuition rate — my decision was very clear.
I wanted a career change after the AMBA program and that was a major factor in my decision to return to Ivey. Even though I had the security of returning to my former employer, I was going to use the recruitment period in the fall to explore new employers and different roles. During my investigation into the AMBA program, I discovered that Ivey Career Management was going to provide me with all the tools and training I needed to help land me the job I wanted after graduating. Prior to the beginning of the program, I knew that I wanted to leave my sales-oriented role and become a consultant. Ivey Career Management provided all of the knowledge and interview preparation that I needed to help me become comfortable and polished. If it weren’t for the extensive help of Ivey Career Management and the wide range of networking events, I would not have been successful in securing my position as a Senior Consultant upon graduation.
Ivey is an interactive environment, both inside and outside of the classroom. I knew prior to the AMBA program that Ivey admits only premium candidates and I was excited to hear different perspectives from the diverse backgrounds of the MBAs and fellow AMBAs. Classroom discussions were great and always informative. As the program progressed, I developed many relationships with my peers and faculty and continued to build my personal and professional networks. Similar to the HBA program, the Ivey AMBA Program gave me the opportunity to meet interesting people and my Ivey experience was enhanced by my classmates and the relationships I built. Extracurricular activities and the international study trip gave me the opportunity to get to know my classmates and also the opportunity to unwind from the Ivey workload. One of my favourite moments during the year was when I played for the Ivey hockey team and we were in Toronto for the annual Rotman hockey tournament. We beat Rotman in the final and brought the trophy back to Ivey to stay for one more year!
Looking back to the beginning of the program, I was nervous and anxious about leaving my work-life balance to return to London. I had a great job in Toronto and had time to spend with family and friends each week. Moving back to London was a change from the norm and I was nervous about succeeding in finding the job I wanted. I didn't want to return to Ivey and graduate with only the option of returning to my previous role. My nervousness was immediately calmed the first week in the program when I was introduced to Ivey Career Management. All of my expectations were either met or exceeded and before recruitment season began, I was ready to find the next step in my career. Also, the first course I enrolled in once the program had begun settled any reservations I might have had about an MBA and returning to Ivey. The content of the course and the professor were excellent and I knew that I would walk out of the Ivey AMBA Program with a better business knowledge foundation.
My new employer has given me a delayed start to beginning my new role and I will be beginning my life as a consultant in the summer. As the AMBA program finishes at the beginning of spring, I have been given the opportunity to travel and reconnect with family and friends. The time off between the AMBA program and work has given me the opportunity to explore new interests and refresh. I am excited to start the next chapter of my life and I'm looking forward to progressing in my career.