Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: I am originally from London, Ontario; however, I completed my Bachelor of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor. I was an active member of the Canadian Forces for seven years and after graduating I began working shifting my focus to the healthcare industry, primarily focusing on orthopedics. Clinical work was my passion but I realized that I wanted to have more decisive control in my job, so I took on a position with an EHS consulting team for FIAT Chrysler at the Windsor assembly plant. As life would have it, change occurred without warning and my partner’s career brought me out west to Alberta. I began working for an insurance company in a disability role after arriving in Edmonton. Although the job was good, I quickly realized that I still wanted to attain a position that would produce a positive change in healthcare. I spoke with several MBA alumni from across Canada and realized that the best way to reach my career goal was to get into an MBA program and find a suitable corporate position in health or leverage an entrepreneurial opportunity.
Q: What has challenged you the most in the MBA program?
A: I have found the case competitions the most challenging aspect outside of a few difficult courses. The case competitions are an excellent opportunity to develop your soft skills in a very time sensitive situation. If your focus is to win, which it should be, then the cases will be a bit stressful as you try to combat time and work together as a team to produce a comprehensible presentation.
Q: Which course did you enjoy the most so far?
A: I enjoyed SMO 500, which deals with people management in HR practices. Throughout the course, I was trying to pull all the different teachings into a comprehensive plan that I could apply in my early stage start up. I found the teachings surprisingly applicable, and began trying to plan how I would organize my company into an entity that would embody much of these teachings.
Q: You are an active member of the Entrepreneurship Hub (eHUB) at the University of Alberta. Would you like to share a bit about your experience with eHUB?
A: I am an active member of the Entrepreneurship Hub (eHUB). This first semester of the MBA has gone quickly, but I’ve taken away a great deal from the eHUB community. Several different events that you need to take part in are the Spark pitch event, that take place in the fall and winter semesters. Another element of the eHUB membership is the speakers that come in to do lunch and learns. This is an underutilized resource by the student body. The speakers are all professionals, and they provide a free session that I’ve always taken away information from. The final thing to mention is both the workspace itself which is very modern and great to use, but also the Badge system that students can utilize to access funding through eHUB, while creating very real elements of their business.
Q: What advice do you have for potential Alberta MBA students?
A: The MBA is a time to recreate yourself in the image that you want. I have found the experience to be incredibly fruitful. The MBA program is rich with diversity and worldly experience. Ensure that you meet everyone in the program; these individuals will end up being a great resource. Keep in mind it will be busy, and it will be challenging, but you should use this time to explore the numerous consulting opportunities, internships, mentorship programs, study tours, and case competitions to make sure that you come out with the most well-rounded experience.
Written by Tapan Gupta