Chris Lynch is the Senior Director of our Recruitment, Admissions & Marketing team and the first of our Masters Programs Office staff profiles. Read on to learn more about Chris’ role and the advice he would give to both prospective and current students.
Ashton Paulitsch (AP): How long have you worked for the University of Alberta?
Chris Lynch (CL): In 2003, I graduated from the Alberta School of Business and started working at the University of Alberta’s Research Services Office. I stayed there for a year and a half and then I went travelling for six months. While abroad, I applied for a job with the Alberta School of Business Masters Programs Office and started working there in 2005.
AP: What is the best part of your job?
CL: Hanging out with awesome people–our students and staff! It’s rewarding to witness the student journey from the time they enter the program to when they eventually become alumni and we can see the impact the MBA program had on their lives.
AP: What is the most challenging part of your job?
CL: Making decision about who to admit is the most challenging. We receive many excellent applicants for a limited amount of spots so tough decisions have to be made.
AP: What advice would you give to potential applicants?
CL: Put a lot of thought into things before you apply. Look at yourself and determine what you want to do in the future. Be honest, upfront and thoughtful with us in your application. This helps us better assess your fit for the program and we can better connect you to resources while you’re a student to help you achieve your career goals.
AP: What advice would you give to current students in the Alberta MBA program?
CL: The MBA is not all about academics! You will definitely learn a lot in our program, but you can get even more out of the program by taking part in the MBA student experience which can include study tours, case competitions or volunteering for the MBAA. Extracurricular activities are a way to apply what you’ve learned. You won’t necessarily remember what mark you got in a course years down the road, but you will always have memories from your student experiences.
AP: What sets the Alberta MBA apart from other programs?
CL: I believe our collegial atmosphere sets us apart. We have a large group component to our classes that encourages collaboration amongst students. Our students are active and engaged, but they also realize that they have the opportunity to learn a lot from their fellow classmates.
AP: What’s the greatest area of opportunity for MBA programs?
CL: Technology has impacted the way MBA programs are delivered. I see a hybrid flipping of the classroom becoming an opportunity for some programs. This format has online lectures available to students before class. Once students come to class, their time is spent on the application of the lecture material instead.
AP: Why did you decide to do your MBA?
CL: I completed my undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Alberta. I realized that I didn’t want to pursue an accounting designation after a few Co-op work term experiences. Since I worked in the Masters Programs Office, I could see first-hand the impact the MBA had on students and I knew the program would build off of my prior work experiences. The University of Alberta also offers good incentives to employees to continue furthering their education.
AP: What was the highlight of your MBA experience?
CL: One highlight was winning an internal case competition. Another memorable part of my MBA was travelling to Brazil for a project. I was part of a team that was studying the differences between the Alberta and Brazil livestock industries for the Alberta Livestock Industry Development Fund.
AP: One last question…what do you eat for breakfast?
CL: Most days I have peanut butter and banana toast.
Interview conducted by Ashton Paulitsch