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MSc · Raja Hammad Nawaz

A Change in Perspective: My Master's Journey at Ivey

Jan 26, 2024

Raja Hammad Nawaz

In January 2023, I found myself navigating Ivey's website, filling out the application for the Master’s in Business Analytics program. As I clicked through, I could already imagine the hustle and bustle of life in the Richard Ivey Building – strolling through its halls, jumping into classroom case discussions, and losing track of time in the library. 

Even before the first term kicked off, I had set clear goals for what I wanted to achieve in this program. But before we dive into my goals, let's rewind to my undergrad days. Back then, I used to be buried in books, always stressing about grades. It was far from the carefree student life I had envisioned. After graduation, I realized that I had spent most of my time studying while giving little importance to the broader aspects of student life. The post-graduation reflection brought a deep realization that my undergraduate years were characterized by an unbalanced emphasis on academic pursuits, with insufficient attention paid to the rich experiences outside of the classroom. 

Having spent nearly two years outside the classroom, as I was applying for my master's, my priorities had shifted gears. This time, my focus was more on relishing the student experience – making the most of my time, actively engaging in Ivey’s community, meeting new people, and absorbing the wisdom of their stories. Oh, and amidst all this, an ongoing objective was to enhance self-confidence and step into a more empowered version of myself.

Fast forward to the present – a new year has dawned, and a full term has come to a close. Reflecting on what I aimed to achieve and what I've accomplished, I realize it's been a journey peppered with new friendships, picking up skills left and right, and finding genuine joy in celebrating the small wins. One notable highlight includes becoming Vice President of the esteemed “Pro Bono Analytics and Strategy Collective” club, where we focus on providing free consulting, strategy, and analytics services to local businesses and non-profit organizations, primarily in London, Ontario. Simultaneously, I proudly represent Ivey as an MSc Ambassador, sharing my experiences with prospective students and serving as a program representative within the academic community.

As I look into the future, my goals are pretty straightforward: keep a positive mindset, no matter what hurdles come my way. I’ve seen it happen – with time, everything sorts itself out. Whether it's conquering a tricky course, landing that dream job, or climbing the professional ladder, I firmly believe we all will get there. The key? Take a moment to appreciate how far you've come, and then, with that acknowledgment as fuel, keep pushing forward.

This master's journey at Ivey has been more than a series of classes and exams. It's been a shift in perspective, a transformation of priorities, and a discovery of new facets of myself. From worrying about grades to relishing the joy of being a student, from being an observer to actively contributing to a vibrant community – each step has been a building block in this ongoing journey of growth. As the pages of this chapter turn, I'm ready to face whatever the future holds, armed with the lessons from Ivey's corridors and the spirit to keep moving ahead.