As an alumna and a director on our Recruitment, Admissions & Marketing team, Aileen Leskow promotes the UAlberta MBA experience to prospective students from around the world.
Ashton Paulitsch (AP): How long have you worked for the University of Alberta?
Aileen Leskow (AL): I’ve been with the Masters Programs Office since April 2016. I previously worked in the Department of Medicine for five years in operational and strategic planning, along with various other roles.
AP: You’re a two-time alumna of the Alberta School of Business, right?
AL: Yes, I completed my BCom at the Alberta School of Business and graduated from the MBA program in November 2016.
AP: What was the highlight of your experience as an MBA student?
AL: The study tour to Japan and South Korea was a highlight because we had the unique opportunity to visit very interesting businesses. My specialization in the MBA program was international businesses, so the trip also enhanced what I was studying.
AP: I know you did your MBA part-time while working at the University of Alberta. What challenges did you experience as a part-time student?
AL: For any MBA student, regardless of their part-time or full time status, time management is a challenge. As a part-time student, the program teaches you how to balance work, school and your personal life.
AP: What advice would you give to prospective MBA students?
AL: Take extracurriculars and getting involved seriously. Your time is limited, so you have to be selective and see where you can add the most value. Participating in the MBA experience will help you build new relationships with your peers.
AP: How is Aileen with an MBA different than Aileen without an MBA?
AL: I have a broader, more global perspective because of my interactions with the diverse groups of people I met in the program. I’ve developed personally and professionally because of the MBA.
AP: What are some tips for students applying to the program?
AL: An application that stands out goes above and beyond our basic academic requirements. Highlighting your volunteering, extracurriculars or side projects in your statement of intent or resume shows us you are a well-rounded candidate.
AP: As someone who interviews prospective students, what are some admissions interview tips?
AL: Dress professionally, come prepared with answers, don’t chew gum and treat your admissions interview like a job interview.
AP: You were recently in China, Korea and India at MBA education fairs. Why do we participate in education fairs both domestically and internationally?
AL: Education fairs are an opportunity for prospective students to learn more about our program and life in our city, province and country. For our recruitment and admissions team, it’s an opportunity to explore new markets and connect with quality candidates face-to-face.
AP: What’s the best part about your job?
AL: The best part about my job is all of the amazing people I get to meet. We interact with a variety of people from different industries and cultures.
AP: How would you describe the culture of the Masters Programs Office in just three words?
AL: Inspiring, fun, hardworking.
AP: To finish off the interview, I’d like to ask you an important question…what do you eat for breakfast?
AL: Oatmeal or cereal.
Interview conducted by Ashton Paulitsch