I’ve always liked the idea of holding an MBA but I didn’t start out in business so it only emerged as a reality for me in the last couple of years. I completed a biology degree at the University of Victoria in 2006 and thought I would follow my classmates in to research or medicine. That thought was short-lived, however, and within a week of writing my final exams I packed my bags and moved to Whistler.
Finding a biology job in a town busting at the seams with plants, animals and sustainability should be easy, right? Wrong. Whistler’s economy is based on tourism and biology jobs are few and far between, so I switched gears and started working for the local Chamber of Commerce. As the Member Services Coordinator I found myself in the middle of a thriving business community, working with 800 Chamber members and helping them prepare for the biggest show on Earth.
In the spring of 2009 I started to think about grad school, and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to go… immediately. But my better judgement told me not to pass up the opportunity to work in Whistler during the Olympics so my only option was to take courses online. Business courses seemed like a good fit and after searching high and low, I came across SFU’s Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. It was perfect. I could finish the diploma in one year, and then apply to the MBA program where my courses would receive credit.
I began the GDBA in September 2009, worked and studied my way through the Olympics and was accepted in to the MBA program this past spring.
So here I am, enrolled in the MBA program with a single, lonely Strategy course making up my first semester. Going the diploma route has allowed me time to continue working until January, attend a variety of networking events and take advantage of all the services offered by the Career Management Centre. It’s a less conventional way to approach the MBA but still a great way to get started.