Why did you decide to do an MBA?
My main reason to pursue an MBA was to make a career switch. In the 4 years since I entered the workforce, I had acquired a foundational skillset that I want to continue growing in another function. It was a great experience and what I thought I wanted to do at the time, but as important as it is to discover what you want, it’s equally valuable to determine what you don’t want. It was time to pivot and an MBA was always a goal of mine, so I decided it was an optimal time to pursue one.
What is the most significant thing you've learned at Ivey?
There is no limit to how big the jump is to your next role or career. I was an HBA grad, so most of my world has been business. If people move around on my Linkedin, it’s to other business roles. A business development analyst moves to project manager. A marketing manager switches into a product manager.
But at Ivey, I see ship builders wanting to be tech consultants. Former bootcamp leaders going into career advisory. Nurses transitioning to product management. Ivey has allowed me to see that the future is truly yours to shape.
What's been the most surprising aspect of the Ivey MBA journey to date?
The diverse learning opportunities. You’re really at the helm of your MBA experience and are given a lot of flexibility in how you shape it. From writing cases as an elective alternative, to going on study trips, to taking condensed electives regarding Contemporary Issues in Business as an MBA Direct, you’re able to learn how you want.
Describe the role you play professionally:
Prior to my MBA, I was a project manager and UI/UX designer for Bell. I managed several projects moving big data across platforms or creating executive reporting with the data. The other half of my portfolio was delivering new pages/ features for an app used by reps and store managers in retail stores to track metrics, incentives progress, etc. To stretch myself creatively, I taught myself UI/UX design and became the designer of new pages/ features, ultimately owning the end-to-end process.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
As is often the case, the most challenging turned out to be the most worthwhile. Analytics was not my strong suit when I entered Bell’s Business Intelligence department. Putting myself in a data intensive environment pushed me to learn SQL to better interact with developers and understand how to leverage data in my daily work as a project manager.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
I was asked to help my director team of 50+ people transition away from waterfall into the agile methodology. I became certified as a scrum master and worked with the team on a 3 month, 6 month, and year long roadmap to aid in our agile journey. I optimized the way our Jira board worked and set up a lot of new processes. It was a lot of work but it got me a Wall of Fame award and gained me a plethora of skills, so I can’t complain.
What books are on your bedside table AND/OR what podcast are you listing to right now?
The Defining Decade by Meg Jay is sitting on my virtual bedside table.
How I Built This is a great podcast I’m listening to currently. I’m also an avid New Girl fan so naturally, I’m obsessed with Welcome to our Show where the main cast rewatches the show.
How do you manage stress (i.e. sports, exercise, meditation etc.)?
A huge help is going outside and seeing a different landscape to give you more perspective. I’ll go on long walks or hop on a bike to hit some trails.
Baking is great because you have a finished product at the end that makes you feel productive and capable, increasing your confidence to tackle whatever is stressing you.
I also read or listen to music/ a podcast.
Ivey Business School