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Ken Surmanski

MSc International Business with CEMS-MIM 2019


MSc '19, Ivey Business School

Tell us about yourself. 

After completing my four year honours degree in kinesiology at Western, I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree to further my education and kickstart my career aspirations. Throughout my undergraduate degree, a recurring theme and major foundation of my education was group work, whether it be with classmates or patients, and practical experience both in clinics and labs. I knew I wanted to apply those same values and learning outcomes to my higher education. Furthermore, in my undergraduate degree I was fortunate enough to partake in a 6-month semester abroad in Australia. That experience really sparked my interest in the globalization of my education and international markets, allowing me to be thrown into a diverse environment outside my comfort zone where I was forced to adapt and persevere through any challenges. The Ivey MSc program complements my personal background and learning style by allowing me to engage in topics and ideas with my classmates through the case-method and team environment, as well as giving me the international exposure to foster my education and experience on a global level.

What are your plans after Ivey? What do you hope to achieve by graduation?

After graduation from Ivey, I hope to use the MSc program to bridge my undergraduate degree in kinesiology and pursue a cross-border career in the health sector, or the sport management industry. I am very interested in international markets and globalization, and hope to pursue a career that allows me to identify barriers and issues in international settings and how a company/ industry must adapt to survive and excel in a culturally different environments. By the end of graduation, I hope to have the tools and skills to add to my portfolio that extend beyond the classroom. With the help of Career Management, I want to develop the skills necessary to strive throughout my career — these skills will assist me with interviews, increasing my professional network, and standing apart from my peers in a professional setting as I enter the workforce. Furthermore, through CEMS MIM I wish to increase my global learning experience and foster network relationships with individuals from all over the world.

How is your story different from that of your classmates? What perspective do you bring to the class?

Everyone at Ivey has a different story and comes from different walks of life. My story differs from my classmates in the sense that I didn't have a previous background in business. Coming from a health sciences background, I thought that I would be at a disadvantage in class discussions and understanding concepts through the case-method. I was very quick to realize that what I thought to be a disadvantage was actually my greatest asset. By not having a business background, I was able to approach situations and problems with a clean slate, without any bias, to tackle problems head on and think rationally about issues. I approached problems with an open-mind and was open to new ideas and suggestions from my classmates. I believe that diversity in education is vital because it allows students to have different perspectives and opinions on situations that others may not see. What’s reassuring and rewarding is that there isn't a specific Ivey student. Everyone brings something different to the table, and not only does it help in your learning, but it also fosters the learning of your classmates.


  • Bachelor of Arts- Honours Specialization in Kinesiology, Western University