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Transforming their Careers

It's about self-awareness and personal growth.

Wednesday March 8th's special event and networking session attracted a large group to the Centre for Executive Leadership to hear how our panel of recent graduates had positioned themselves to leverage their Telfer Executive MBA experience and to accelerate their professional growth.

About the panel

Click on the images below to learn more about what the panelists had to say.

Sophie Bolduc   Wade Haney  Kimberly Stone

The Class of 2016 Transformation

Twelve members of the Class of 2016 joined the audience to support their peers on the panel. They each had an experience of their own to share about career transformation citing either a promotion, career transition or career expansion.  In fact, more than 70% of the cohort's 35 members have experienced at least one transformation since beginning their journey in the Telfer Executive MBA program.  This is consistent with their peers in the Class of 2015 who had a 71% career transformation rate one year following their graduation.

Learning to work differently

While the degree itself can open up professional opportunities, the main driver behind many career transformations is personal growth.

“Our program is about personal growth. Everyone thinks that when they come to the Telfer Executive MBA program that it is about professional growth. It’s not. It’s about personal growth - it is personal growth that drives professional growth.” Explained Executive Director Sophia Leong who is also an alumnus of the Program.

The Telfer Executive MBA's comprehensive and real-world curriculum focuses on the development of leaders. This requires personal reflection and growth in the areas of effective communication, ability to work with a diverse range of people, to leverage each member of your team and of course develop the confidence to lead.

For Wade it was the soft skills that were transformational. “I really had narrow ideas that what people did at that time is who they were, but I realized that everyone is looking to grow [beyond their current abilities]. It is much easier for me now to talk to people about what their strengths are, where do they want to be in five years, how do they contribute to the goal and to help them with personal growth.” Said Wade noting that it was his appreciation and work on his own self-awareness and understanding his own strengths and weaknesses that lead to this realization. “It had a big impact on me, and not just on my work but with my children and my wife.”

It’s about a different approach to communication for Sophie. “[The program] changed the way I view listening, being quiet and speaking. I thought I was a good listener but I also learned that it is also about knowing when to be quiet- to know when to pause, to it play cool and wait for people to agree. When it comes to speaking, I always felt I would be judged that I didn’t know what I was talking about but my team told me that when I speak I make sense. They helped me have the confidence to speak. Now when I come into a room and I need to make my point, I know how to have that confidence to say things. I may not [always] be right, but I know how to talk in a more persuasive way.” 

Kim learned, through her experience, the value of teamwork. “I came from a background where I preferred to work by myself. I hated working in teams and I just wanted to do everything myself.” Said Kim, “That had to go away pretty quickly [in the program]. I was in a more challenging team [compared to others] and we had our ups and downs in the program.” Kim explained talking to the diversity within the teams that brings varying opinions. After learning to work together and providing compelling results for a client with some that she thought she may never align with, she learned the positives of working with teams. “For me what I learned about team work and how to work with people and how to draw on other people’s strengths and make people feel valued within the team was amazing. I don’t think I would have learned as much as I did any other way than through living this experience”

The biggest take away for alumni?

We asked many of the Class of 2016 what were their biggest take-aways from the program.

They each had one response in common relating to their professional growth: they confidence they found through their personal growth.


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