MBA 2014, Ivey Business School
I had the exposure to living in the Middle East and India before I began my undergraduate degree in Canada. I believe this played a critical role in my professional career of relocating to various cities for new opportunities after graduating with a Bachelors of Engineering - Aerospace from Carleton University. After graduation, I had the opportunity to work as a Flight Science and Avionics engineer with business managers and senior engineers with more than ten years of experience in the aviation industry for firms based in Ottawa and Calgary. But after a few years, I knew that I wanted a career where I could expand on my engineering capabilities along with a dynamic role facing clients developing innovative product. It was in 2010 that I got the opportunity to venture into an international career working for a flight simulator manufacturer in the Netherlands. This opportunity could not have come at a better moment as the role entailed integrating new technologies for development of Boeing and Airbus flight simulators. I worked at this firm for two years as an Integration Specialist where I had the opportunity to lead projects with a collaborative team of project managers and engineers at various sites in cities such as Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Delhi, Vilnius, Miami, and Cambridge. This was an exciting career where I was challenged to learn more about aircraft surrounded by pilots and aviation professional executives during the deployment of simulators. But after two years, I wanted to progress further into my career from executing projects into a role on developing strategies for new products.
It was then that I began my research for firms that were expanding products that could be in industries other than aviation. During this research phase, I met with a few contacts through friends at consulting firms that informed me on the scope of their projects, which ranged from market entry to operations management. These interactions led me to focus my thoughts on the key skills required for a consultant. It was then that I knew an MBA was key for my professional growth in order to gain superior knowledge of organizational structure and develop managerial decision-making skills.
It was during my MBA school research that I decided to shift my focus back to Canada as I wanted to be situated within North America. Soon after relocating back to Montreal in 2012 to pursue a position as a customer support consultant -systems specialist for a Canadian flight simulator manufacturer, I decided to participate in a class visit at the Ivey Business School. It was a unique experience as it surpassed my expectations in terms of the interactive process to solving a case. The degree to which each potential candidate and faculty member interacted with one another while discussing cross-functional issues within a firm set Ivey apart in my mind. The added benefit of completing an MBA program within one year was a key factor in my decision to come to Ivey.
Upon arrival to the program I was nervous due to my background in aviation, but within a week every course seemed to structure well into my thought-process due to the structured way each case is facilitated by professors. It can be a bit intimidating at first being surrounding by students with such stellar work experience but you come to Ivey for this challenging environment and end up gaining confidence speaking about a case in class. Faculty continue to remind us that "they demand excellence" but they also invite us to interact over a beer after a weekend exam. I think this adds great value to the class in terms of the relationship that we develop with faculty and the level of comfort while arguing your point during a case.
Ivey's case-based method does set the School apart but I have felt that the Career Management team is another aspect of the program that genuinely challenges you on your perceived career path and pushes you to strive for success. I am glad that I took the initiative to speak with career management from the beginning of the program as those conversations have reaffirmed my goal of a career in consulting.
Career management also provides you with exposure to top global firms whether it is consulting, banking, technology, or CPG through the "Get Connected" event. I was blown away by the scale of this event and the level to which alumni would extend their help or advice with regards to your queries on specific firms or industries. The Ivey Family is truly unique.
I can only imagine that I will have more stories to share in the coming months. I look forward to taking on the challenges at Ivey but at the same time going through a transformational experience with all my classmates.
- Bachelor of Engineering - Aerospace, Carleton University