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Jay Deverett

I started my career in the entertainment industry, during which time I produced three TV movies and attended an intensive incubator for film production professionals. As I saw the industry shift towards digital streaming platforms run by tech giants like Amazon and Netflix, I decided to follow the wave and become more involved in the Toronto tech scene. I learned to code at a 12-week coding bootcamp, and found a new interest in building products - which was surprisingly similar to building film projects. I soon found myself at a rapidly scaling start-up, and then at a big bank. I realized over time that the same problems arise at every company no matter the industry or size, and that the key to solving them (properly) is a business education. So, I decided to do what I most love – throw myself out of my comfort zone and learn something new in an incredibly accelerated setting. 

In addition to its position as a top MBA program, I chose Ivey first and foremost because of the people. Every recruiter and alum I met was full of personality – approachable and even reminiscent a bit of myself – but completely polished. In comparing Ivey to other schools, I realized it provided a unique opportunity to do an MBA in one unbroken year. The Case Method was something I had heard about that I felt would really suit my learning style. I also wanted to get away from my established life in Toronto, and be all-in in an academic environment where I was fully immersed in a new world – building a new community and eating, sleeping, and breathing my studies.

I like to the think the admissions committee chose me because my background is a little different than that of the average student in the program. I didn’t arrive with a traditional perspective, but none of that is to say I even stand out amongst the incredibly talented and interesting group I’ve met here so far. As co-president of the Technology Club, I hope to make an impact on my class by helping my peers explore disruptive career options outside of the typical finance and consulting streams.

It was tough to arrive at school and have the COVID lockdown begin four days in. As an extrovert, being confined to my apartment in a new city while doing an intensive program online has quickly become my toughest challenge to date. But the silver lining has been the ability to focus entirely on school. Only two months into the program, I can look at the business section of a newspaper or pull a company’s financial statements and understand a hundred times what I could before starting. The learning is real. I don’t know where the program will lead me or when this lockdown will end, but I know I will exit this program empowered. The people I’m doing this program with – the ones I only know from little boxes on my computer screen – will certainly become lifelong friends once we get out of quarantine.

MBA '21

Ivey Business School

Jay Deverett

Jay Deverett

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