Shaunpal, thinking back to your adolescence was there a particular job you dreamed of doing when you grew up?
My father is a trained architect and as an extension of his training he would often take on renovation projects on the houses in which we lived. As my father would work on these renovations I would often be “volunteered” to assist him with these projects when I was growing up, my role would primarily be to hold the flash light, or be a runner of tools, or any other number of menial tasks. At the time I did not understand why my father would keep asking me for help on these projects, I mean I did have a sister who could hold a flashlight or run and get tools as well as I could. I just wanted to play outside.
Today I realize that by being the one holding the flashlight I learned quite a bit about construction and the way houses, engines and all manner of other devices are made. This knowledge has fuelled my passion to start a custom wood furniture business. All this because as a child I was a reluctant “Holder of the Flashlight” a title I can’t wait to hand down to my children.
Choosing to complete an Executive MBA is a big consideration. After reviewing the various masters’ programs available, why did you choose to enroll in the Telfer Executive MBA Program?
I have been researching MBA programs for a number of years. Looking at various programs offered by local, national, and international universities, I couldn’t decide which program was best for me. I knew I could not stop working, so this eliminated many all the full-time programs. I had been involved in a few virtual classes while working on my undergraduate degree, however these programs did not have enough of the face-to-face interaction I wanted when working on my MBA degree.
After my initial research I had stopped looking at pursuing an MBA until a friend mentioned the Telfer Executive MBA. After speaking with Donna-Lea Bowman, and attending one of the information sessions I became excited about this program. I started the application process and when speaking with Sophia Leong I realized that this program was exactly what I was looking for in an MBA. I diligently worked at making sure all my documents were in on time for the upcoming session. I wanted to be here and nothing was going to stop me.
What qualities do you admire in a mentor? Do you have someone you consider a strong mentor in your own life?
There are two qualities I admire in a leader. The first is the ability to see – and even foresee – problems and know how to evade them or even extinguish them as these problems start to come into fruition. The second is the defense of their team regardless of public perception. I am fortunate to have met two very strong leaders who keep teaching me how to lead through their experiences. What I found about these leaders is that while they share similar leadership styles, their personalities are polar opposites. One is a member of the old school of thought that one should be poised and professional at all times when engaging their work. The other is a young free spirit who will only show up polished when it is required. The only other similarity – which I know of – between the two, is a passion for the CFL. I doubt that this is the missing link to be a strong leader; however I have started to follow the CFL … just in case.