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Rob Volcko

Growing up in Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax, I came back to Ontario to study Engineering at Western. During my studies, I fell in love with Civil Engineering, which was in line with my favourite activity as a kid: building towers out of Lego and K’NEX. Upon graduation in 2013, I moved to Toronto to work in professional services as a consulting engineer. I worked on a variety of commercial buildings in Canada, designing reinforced concrete and structural steel systems to resist wind, snow, and earthquake loads. At my previous firm, I got the opportunity to directly collaborate with clients, solve problems that were complex and ambiguous, and work with advanced software to deliver results.

After five years of work experience, I received my Professional Engineer’s seal and decided it was time to do an MBA. I wanted to apply my knowledge and skillset to the business environment, which required developing a foundational knowledge of business in a formal setting. I knew I wanted to stay in Canada, I wanted to complete my degree within a year, and I didn’t want to sit through more “engineering-style” lectures.

Ivey was the perfect mix of what was important to me as a prospective student. As a top Canadian business school, it offered something that was close to home, but far enough away to avoid the distractions of big city life. Ivey’s one-year degree meant that I could minimize my opportunity cost and return to the rapidly evolving work force quickly. And Ivey’s extensive use of the Case-Method was a way for me to guarantee an engaging, enjoyable classroom experience that would stretch my thinking and throw me outside of my comfort zone. Since joining the program in March, all these factors have far exceeded my expectations.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Ivey was the simultaneous balance of like-mindedness among my peers, contrasted with the enormous breadth of diverse backgrounds and experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from students who grew up in Brazil, Nigeria, India and more. This global perspective in the classroom enhanced the discussion immensely and provided perspectives that I had never considered, especially from students who previously worked at some of the companies we discussed in class. The second was the critical importance of time management; in the first week I was at Ivey, my Career Coach told me I had to “Plan my work and work my plan.” It was easy to get overwhelmed in the first few weeks, but through conversations with various mentors and support services, I quickly learned that planning out my day was (and still is!) essential for success. Finally, as someone coming from a non-business background, I can confidently say that anyone can succeed at Ivey. Having classmates in my accounting class who entered the program with their CPA was intimidating at first, but after spending time with them, I realized that they cared about my success as much as their own. The culture in the classroom is about raising the collective knowledge of the group and while the discussion can sometimes feel fast paced, the learning experience I have had in the Ivey classroom is second to none.

For prospective students considering joining the Ivey family, I would strongly encourage you to come visit us in London, attend a case class, and reach out to any one of us with questions about life in the Ivey MBA Program.

MBA '19

Ivey Business School

Rob Volcko

Rob Volcko

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