In part I, we discussed the first two items of my Top-5 List, and I will continue to talk about my experiences related to student clubs, MBA Games, and the Student Ambassador program.
In general, student organizations are a good way to improve our leadership, business, and networking skills. Our school offers many opportunities for graduate students to get involved in co-curricular activities, such as student clubs like GBSA, Net Impact, and GWC.
Last September, the self-nomination process opened for the executive roles for SFU Beedie Net Impact, a student organization that advocates responsible and sustainable business practices for positive environmental, social, and economic impact. The club has a good reputation for holding case competitions within the graduate community. I was particularly interested in pursuing the position of Director of Finance, and I submitted my application for the role. This is one of the very few self-nomination letters I have ever written.
However, I did not win the voting competition, but I appreciated the experience a lot, and I still think it was worth it. Through the competition, I explored different ways to gain more experience in leading and managing people. The “luxury” MBA journey to me, is about exploring all the possibilities and options available. It is also about self-awareness and taking opportunities to allow ourselves to understand our strengths and weaknesses, and to provide opportunities for us to grow.
MBA Games is one of the largest gatherings of MBA students in Canada. The Games consist of a series of events that challenge academic acumen, athletic prowess, and team spirit. Other than the academic (case) competition, which is like the external case competition we discussed in Part I, we can also participate in the non-case team activities, such as Team Step Challenge, Team Dance Video & Mystery Event for this year.
The events started last October, about three months after our program initially began. It was a great way to build my network. How can you not build good relationships with your team when you are contributing your own 50km walk (accumulated steps in about one month) and dancing with the team in front of your webcam? Remember, networking and building trustworthy relationships are important in our MBA journey.
The Student Ambassador program is about meeting new people, representing the school, and acting as a bridge between the prospective students or newcomers and the SFU community. Knowing how to establish positive, trusted relationships is crucial to being effective leaders nowadays. Working with a mentee, particularly one outside of our own organization, provides us with an opportunity to practice necessary skills, including empathy and active listening.
For example, by taking the opportunity of being a student ambassador for the program, I had the chance to be the “mentor” for four prospective students currently. In this, I could seek to mentor by listening, providing, and explaining examples, and remembering the effective coaching methodology introduced by Michael Bungay Stanier, which includes asking questions like “What’s on your mind?” “And what else?” “What’s the real challenge for you here?”
I am continuously searching for opportunities to enhance the experiences of my MBA journey and my life has been equivalently busy as compared to my previous work. As a result, I am on my way to building my happiness and strengths while doing something I excel at and enjoy.
About the Author
Vico is a full-time MBA candidate at SFU Beedie. He worked at KPMG as an auditor in the financial service sector. He tries to live by his personal values in everything he does, everything he says, and everything that he is each day. He demonstrates his values in his interactions with family, friends, classmates, colleagues, and clients.