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Tips from Alumnae on Preparing for your Telfer Executive MBA

Life has many reasons to pull us in different directions. How do you add obtaining your MBA degree into the juggling act?   

We asked six alumnae to provide their advice on how they managed the demands of the 21 month program while balancing spouses, children, extended friends & family, work and even their day-to-day household activities. 

We gained a few items of wisdom to share as a sneak-preview of our "Women Driving Change" Online Information Session happening on March 8th at 12:00 p.m.. Be sure to join us on the 8th to hear advice, both personal and professional, from those who have experienced the program. 

(Click on the grey buttons to read their advice)

Get commitment from your support network.

Women cutting carrot on cutting board

Make time for your children and get them involved.

Women cutting carrot on cutting board

Engage and celebrate with your partner.

Women cutting carrot on cutting board

Always be honest.

Women cutting carrot on cutting board

Find a time to do your school work that fits with your routine.

Women cutting carrot on cutting board

Schedule, delegate and outsource your meals preparation.

Women cutting carrot on cutting board

Do yourself a favour and outsource the cleaning!

Women cutting carrot on cutting board

Preparing for pregnancies and newborns.

Women cutting carrot on cutting board

Always remember to keep it in perspective.

The program is only 21 months which is a small period of committment in contrast to your life and career.

There will be peaks and valleys during the 21 months and Melissa Olegario, EMBA 2014, provides words of wisdom for the valley periods, ‘Keep in mind who has graduated from the same marathon of experiences, you are not to be the first man or woman, mother, father, aunt, uncle, public servant or private company owner to graduate [from this program]. The fact that they have accomplished this milestone, and that none of the predecessors are superhuman, means that with enough hard work and support, their reality and achievement could be your next reality and achievement.’


Kent Woodhall Nancy Desrosiers-Helmer

Nancy is an accomplished leader in the healthcare field and is currently the Director of Medicine, Hospitalist, Renal and Palliative Care Programs at Vancouver Coastal Health. Nancy move to Vancouver immediately after her graduation from the Telfer Executive MBA in June 2015 to become the Executive Director, Quality & Patient Safety, Infection Control and Community Engagement at Vancouver Coastal Health in British Columbia, one of Canada’s largest health providers, encompassing 13 hospitals, delivering health services to one million people. Nancy is the mother of two teenage daughters who with the help of her partner Randy supported her through the program.

Kent Woodhall Claudine Fugere

Claudine is Project Services Manager of Web Renewal Project at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Prior to this role she was Training & Development Manager, Military Family Services. Claudine also became a Nutritional Development Coach following her experience with managing her own nutrition while in the Telfer Executive MBA program.

Claudine graduated in 2015 and celebrated her success with her then five month old daughter, Mila, who was also an active member of her cohort for the final year of Claudine’s program; including travelling with Claudine on the International Business Consulting Trip.

Kent Woodhall Lisa McDonnell

Lisa McDonnell is the Program Manager for the Prevention & Wellness Centre initiatives and the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre, within the Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Lisa graduated from the Telfer Executive MBA in 2014, sharing in the experience with her two year old daughter and husband.

Kent Woodhall Mia Batchelor

Mia Batchelor is Section Manager: Combustion Unit, Electricity and Combustion Division Environment and Climate Change Canada. Her team working on an exciting mandate to develop and implement new and on-going programs which limit emissions from certain electricity related sectors in Canada.

Mia is a recent graduate from the Telfer Executive MBA, obtaining her June 2016 with her support network consisting of husband, Blair and her two children cheering her on.

Kent Woodhall Julie Lupinacci

Julie recently shifted industries becoming the Chief Customer Officer at Hydro Ottawa after spending more than 16 years with a local logistics firm. 

Julie was pleasantly surprised, just three days into her Telfer Executive MBA experience, to learn that she was pregnant. She continued with the program for the duration of her pregnancy and welcomed a healthy baby boy in May. Baby Brayden became a member of her cohort. Bradyen and Julie’s husband, Claudio, were regular guest for lunch during her class days.

Kent Woodhall Melissa Olegario

Melissa is an Officer with the Canadian Armed Forces. She began her career over 20 years ago studying at Collège Militaire Royal.

In addition to enjoying being a 24/7 mother, wife, and army officer she also enjoys volunteering in activities involve graphic design, publishing, photography and event-planning. Her husband Daniel and two young daughters play an active role in her life. This includes her daughters accompanying her across the stage at her 2014 Convocation ceremonies- dressed in robes just like their mom.

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