I was never really sure if I would pursue an MBA. Honestly, I wasn’t completely convinced it was for me. The idea was tempting, but it felt like a massive, somewhat elusive goal. It’s not just about the financial or time commitment – it’s about constantly questioning, ‘Is this really my path?’
My perspective shifted when I learned about SFU’s Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA). Think of it as the stepping stone to the MBA. It offers a chance to explore the waters of business education without fully committing right away. Choosing to start with the GDBA proved to be one of my wisest decisions.
Over the next couple of years, thanks to the GDBA program, I navigated through the business landscape at a comfortable pace. It smoothed my path to the MBA, confirming that yes, this is where I belong.
But it wasn’t all about the classroom grind. While I was keen on excelling academically, I also wanted a well-rounded experience. That’s why I got involved in leadership roles like President of the Graduate Business Student Association, Team Captain in the BC and National MBA Games, and participating in case competitions.
Engaging in these activities was possible because the GDBA allowed for a lighter course load in the MBA. This balance meant I could immerse myself in areas I was passionate about while managing my coursework effectively. My initial hesitations about the MBA program were put to rest – I was extracting substantial value from every aspect of my education.
A key perk of the GDBA was expanding my network beyond the Full-Time MBA circle. Interacting with students heading into different Beedie programs, I gained diverse insights and forged connections across various business sectors. This broadened my perspective and opened new collaborative avenues. I still keep in contact with many of the people I met in the GDBA, now in different MBA programs, including the Management of Technology (MOT), Part-Time (PT), and Online programs.
So, here’s my take: The MBA and GDBA may not be for everyone. But if you’re wondering whether an MBA is your calling, starting with the GDBA is a smart move. It’s an ideal way to acquaint yourself with the realm of advanced business education. When you’re ready to step up to the MBA, you’ll find yourself well-prepared to embrace the fantastic opportunities at Beedie. For me, this approach has been a key contributor to my success in the program.
About the Author
Patrick Cameron is a PMP certified Project Manager with experience in the food and beverage, construction, and immigration consulting industries. He began his career at McGill University with an undergraduate degree in economics and is now a Full Time MBA Candidate at the Beedie School of Business. At Beedie, he is the President of the Graduate Business Student Association, and Team Captain of both the BC and National MBA Games.