Staff Profile: Charlene Patry

Charlene Patry, Director of Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing on her experience in the Alberta MBA Program, working in her dream job and tips for prospective MBA students!  

Q: You graduated from the MBA program in 2015. What initially made you interested in entering the program?

A: I was excited to enter the program as I believed it would fundamentally inspire the way I think and operate so as to have a more strategic mindset, collaborative approach, confident demeanor and capacity for critical thinking. I believed the growth I would experience in the program would help me make a greater impact in both my career and personal life.

Q: What are the highlights of your experience as an MBA student?

A: I really enjoyed getting involved in as many initiatives as possible outside of the classroom setting, including participating in internal case competitions, being a member and Chair of the Part-Time Committee, attending the MBA Games, and joining a study tour. These experiences, along with others, helped me to strengthen relationships with many other wonderful and inspiring students!

Q: How long have you worked for the Business Master’s Office?

A: I’ve worked for the University of Alberta in the Business Master’s Office since 2015. I had my first baby (a beautiful girl named Hazel!) in 2016 and returned to my role from maternity leave this past June.

Q: What do you love about working for the University of Alberta?

A: This is in every sense my dream job! The ability to work in a university setting where there is incredible energy, dedication and hope for the future is the best! I am continually inspired by the students that I meet, the commitment and expertise of our professors and the progress and impact that our business community members are making in the world.

Q: What competencies are you looking for prospective students to demonstrate throughout the admissions process?

A: Accountability, adaptability, resilience, self-awareness, positive attitude, drive and leadership.

Q: What is your favourite question to ask prospective students in the interview process?

A: I often ask candidates to summarize what they would bring to the table that would both enhance the experience of other students in the program and would add to a positive culture as a whole. This is extremely important as we want to ensure the students we are admitting to the program are adding to a collaborative, involved and positive culture/program dynamic.

Q: What are 3 things that make Statement of Intent (SOI) letters stand out (positively)?


  1. Future-Focused: we don’t want the majority of your SOI to repeat what is already showcased in your resume in terms of past accomplishments. Instead, we want you to clearly express why you are choosing to pursue an MBA (vs. other options), how it will support your Short-term and Long-term career goals, why at the UofA, and why now.
  2. Succinct yet Passionate: we look for the SOI letters to be clear, concise and effectively written, yet speak from the heart and show passion for the decision to pursue graduate level education.
  3. Self-Awareness: we want to see that a significant amount of self-reflection and analysis has been conducted to ensure your preparedness for entering a demanding graduate program!

Q: What advice would you give to prospective applicants?

A: Reach out to your network and speak to others who have completed an MBA. Ask them everything you can! Learn about their personal experiences, whether the program met their expectations, how they have changed as a result of the program, etc. If you don’t know an MBA graduate, the Admissions team is happy to put you in contact with current students and/or alumni who have similar career backgrounds and interests, and can provide you with authentic advice.

Q: What are three things still left on your bucket list?

A: I want to experience the energy of a Euro Cup or World Cup soccer game, visit Machu Picchu and learn to teach kids yoga!