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Daniel Israelsohn

VP Finance and Operations, Firmex


MBA 2014, Ivey Business School

Deciding to return to school for an MBA was not an easy decision. Having worked at PwC LLP in Toronto and New York as a manager, for me pursuing an MBA was more for personal development than immediate career progression. As a result the idea of taking time away from work sparked some anxiety. Would taking a break impede my current trajectory or would it accelerate it? After some months debating this issue I finally decided that I needed to step back, focus on developing my skills, and take a long-term view of my career. When I began looking at schools Ivey quickly became top of mind. Beyond its world-class reputation and my appreciation for the case method, the AMBA program provided me with a unique opportunity. As an HBA graduate, the opportunity to obtain an MBA from a prestigious school in eight months was too good to pass up. Beyond the eight-month timeframe the ability to tailor my education through electives and my research project was essential for me. It was this opportunity to create my own MBA experience without sacrificing my career that made me decide to return to Ivey.

While I was excited to start, I did have two major concerns in joining the AMBA program. I was apprehensive that coming back would feel like HBA 3. While not necessarily a bad thing, I was looking for a new experience and not a repeat of my undergraduate degree. Fortunately, I quickly discovered this would not be the case. The breadth of experiences that my classmates brought provided a level of depth to discussions that was far different from HBA. Combined with my own experiences, the learning opportunities have been vastly different from my HBA.

My second concern was that joining the AMBA program, which starts three months after the MBA program, would make it difficult to integrate with the core MBAs. This also proved not to be the case. Connecting with MBAs has been seamless and a great part of the program. Building great relationships with my classmates in the MBA program is one of the highlights of the experience and, as with HBA, has provided me with lifelong friends.

Coming home to Ivey has far surpassed my expectations. Through the AMBA program I have been able to create a custom MBA tailored for my unique goals and aspirations. Coupled with the opportunity to expand my network with a driven and capable class of MBAs, Ivey has once again shown me why it is an institution I am proud to be a part of.