Bernard, tell us about an interesting fact that we do not know about you. Do you have a unique talent or hobby to disclose?
I lived the first 18 years of my adult life following the wind to wherever it would take me. I am fundamentally curious by nature and making it a point to learn as much as I can from every single experience. This has led me to learn about mountaineering, house construction, alternative medicine, Chinese traditional medicine, yoga and meditation and how to earn a living from all these experiences. I have more recently learned about financial management and corporate reporting and I am now earning a living from it. If I had to pick one particular talent that represents me I would say that I can learn and apply concepts very efficiently. I love to grow, learn and share my findings.
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 am not sure if I chose the Telfer Executive MBA or that it chose me.
It immediately felt like it was the right fit when I first visited one of the special events at the Centre for Executive Leadership. I heard current candidates and alumni share their experiences at a special event and I was seduced by the prospect of participating in such a transformational undertaking. The passion, drive and enthusiasm I saw in the room that night inspired me and conjured up dreams of professional aspirations. I knew I wanted, or rather, that I needed to be part of it.
I intend to take it all in now that I have enrolled; the good, the great and the fantastic. I realize that there is an investment in time required, but I know at the more I invest the greater the reward will be. I am betting on a winning combination. I look forward to testing my newly-honed skills through the six the business consulting projects during this journey.
What qualities do you admire in a mentor? Do you have someone you consider a strong mentor in your own life?
I believe that a great mentor is a person who inspires one to give the best he or she has to the world. A mentor inspires people to grow and develop in order to reach their maximum potential. This requires skill and balance to stimulate and challenge at times and nurture and guide self-reflection when appropriate. The ideal mentor is someone who deeply interested in the success of his or her apprentice but yet detached from the results of individual setbacks. He or she can see the journey, appreciate the occasional detour and bring focus to the entire process.
I believe that my mother was such a mentor. She was my biggest fan. She often said to me ‘if it is what you really want, then give it your best’. I am here now because of her kind encouragements and her unconditional love. I am grateful to have had her as my life coach and it has made me a better person.