by Kathleen Ong
It’s true: do what you love. It’s been a year since I graduated from SFU’s full-time MBA program and I’m starting to think that everything happens for a reason.
I spent the last year in Toronto working in the fashion industry. I found my first job post-MBA in an elevator. Don’t under-estimate the power of lending a helping hand and what can happen with a little bit networking.
This fall I moved back to Vancouver and something big happened: I met the start-up industry.
Start-ups are a thing of mystery, a figment of imagination if you will, for many people. Do they have any funding (exclaimed my mom) and what do you mean you work in a communal office (said my dad)? It’s quite exhilarating when you look at the growing tech and start-up industry in Vancouver and hear about the city’s recognition south of the border.
I just joined the team to manage the marketing and social media for a fashion tech start-up called Wantering. Working on a small team with so much to do and never enough time is like running in the wind. Nose in my computer and fingers flying across the keyboard at 140 characters at a time, I’ve found this sweet spot where work feels like hard work, but I love it nonetheless.
This is where I feel my MBA has come into full potential. Can you multi-task and jump into anything and everything at the same time? Can you work with small teams and communicate in an organized fashion? Can you sit back and think, be creative and find a strategy that has value? Can you demonstrate what a strong work ethic looks like?
I’m reminded so much of Professor Michael Parent’s strategy simulation game that my class played at the end of the program. As a single person player, control all aspects of a business (CEO, COO, CFO, CTO, and CMO) through a simulation on the computer. This hard, hair-pulling, stressful simulation game has come a long way to remind me what it’s like to hit the ground running with your hands in multiple pots.
The value of my MBA lies in how it’s helped me to become a more well-rounded person. I feel like I have a better understanding of the business environment and how I can contribute to the team. It might be cheesy to say, but I’m doing what I love and I hope that you do too.
Kathleen graduated from SFU’s MBA program in 2011. She’s a frequent flyer, all-day tweeter, and incessant shopper. Find her working at Wantering, a fashion tech start-up in Vancouver, which scours the web to find the latest fashion trends tailored to your personal style and delivers them straight to your inbox. Tweet her @itsmekathleeno.