Thinking back to your childhood, was there a particular profession you dreamed of entering when you were an adult?
When I was little, I wanted to be a doctor and cure Rheumatoid Arthritis. At the time, both of my grandmothers had the disease. My grandmothers were very kind allowing me to bandage them up on a regular basis but my dream was always to cure them and the most logical path would have been to become a Rheumatologist focused on research. Instead, I studied biomedical mechanical engineering and found my way into Enterprise Application consulting specializing in utilities solutions. As a child, your views of what are possible versus where you end up later can only make you smile and wonder about the journey.
What would you say was a turning point in choosing the Telfer Executive MBA?
For a few years, I had discussed completing a MBA program with friends and family, however, what held me back from applying was my travel schedule and the perception of others regarding the value of online MBA programs. My pursuit of an MBA is for vertical growth. With extensive travel to client sites I did not think that I could attend a traditional brick-and-mortar institution and fully participate in project teams gaining new experiences I would not have the opportunity to have in the near future. However, that all changed when I met with a friend of the family and recent alumnus in December 2016. I was pleasantly surprised that I could apply to a prestigious Executive MBA program located in my own backyard which fit into my travel schedule allowing me to continue working fulltime.
What do you admire in a leader or mentor? Do you have someone who you consider a strong mentor or leader within your life?
My views on leadership were largely influenced during my time in the Royal Canadian Navy. Beyond intelligence, personality, and presence a leader must be able to inspire confidence. They must be articulate, humble, open to feedback, and patient. I have had the opportunity to work with a few good leaders during my time in Information Technology and one mentor truly stands out. What sets them apart is how they walk into an office and say hello to everyone, often going out of their way, and remembering a key piece of information about the person which they use to ask to generate a more personal conversation showing care and thoughtfulness. They show genuine and personal interest in others which makes them a great leader.