Monthly Archives: April 2016

Do You Know What You Really Want From Your Life?

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee, Philosopher, Martial Arts Instructor, Actor, Screenwriter, Producer

Whenever I hear the question “What is your main achievement?”, it always makes me reflect thoughtfully. I’m quite a self-rigorous individual, and I always try to set big goals. Although I have a lot of accomplishments I am proud of, I would like to share the story of a person who happened to change his life entirely.

About one and a half years ago, I landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport to have one of the happiest months in my life. I came to Canada to attend a short-term English Program at the University of Toronto, and that experience changed the way I looked at things. I met a lot of extraordinary people from all over the world, significantly improved my English proficiency, and developed a global perspective. I was a different person when I came back to Moscow, and although I was not completely sure of which path to choose, I was bound and determined to take the next step in my personal development journey.

At that time, I had a full-time job that was demanding and challenging enough to keep me engaged and motivated. However, I felt a strong desire to challenge myself even further and learn more. That was the reason why I started to consider pursuing a graduate degree in business.

At first glance, my decision to apply to the Master of Management Program seemed absolutely unrealistic. I was literally stunned with the huge amount of work I faced when beginning the application process. I had to considerably improve my proficiency in English. I had to spend months preparing for the GMAT – improving my quantitative as well as qualitative skills. I had to do a lot of other challenging things on my way to Sauder, but I never regret that. It was an experience that is worth getting through and that made me far stronger in every aspect of my life.

Today, I am happy and proud to be a student of unquestionably one of the most prestigious business schools in the world. This program has been transforming me since the very first day. It made me understand deeply what a real challenge and work looks and feels like. It let me collaborate with an amazingly diverse cohort of people from all around the world, and this experience fundamentally changed my understanding of things like commitment, reliability, teamwork, success, networking, personal and professional development.

Apart from the excellent business education, I learned to make the most of my inherent talent, interests, vision, and values. I still remember the first days of the program when we were frequently asked “What do you really want to do when you graduate?”. 90% of the class, including myself, could not confidently answer that question because we all came here to discover ourselves. Now, if you ask the same question, you will hear a completely different answer. And that is what this program is all about – answering questions that matter, and finding your own path to succeed and enjoy the journey we call life. I can confidently say that one of my greatest achievements is to be here, among these bright and intelligent people, and be a part of this experience. What about you? Are you ready to discover yourself?

– Jeremy Velichko

Business for Creatives

I took a different path than most of my cohort did to get to the MM program. I think that my story will help show one of the strengths of the MM program as well as hopefully inspire others to push their boundaries and try to gain new skills, so bear with me for a minute.

When I was a kid, I was never a big fan of school, especially anything that involved numbers. I spent a lot more time playing with cameras and computers than I actually spent paying attention in high school. For the most part, I took the easy route with a singular vision in mind – going to design school. After 3 years studying graphic design at MacEwan University in Edmonton, I graduated with a certificate and a diploma and immediately landed a fantastic internship as a designer in a construction company’s communications department. I’d never seen myself working in an office, but I quickly fell in love with it.

I knew that my new career goals would require more education than a diploma, so the following year I went to Royal Roads University in Victoria and completed my BA in Professional Communication. However, as I was completing my undergraduate degree I felt like something was missing. While I had gained a lot of great skills, I lacked the ability to quantify their value. I also lacked business acumen as well as knowledge of key areas such as commercial law and financial reporting.

I had never taken a single quantitative course in university. With increasingly high aspirations, I knew that I wanted, and needed, more. To make a long story short: I worked my butt off brushing up on my quantitative skills, wrote the GRE, and applied for the MM.

While I had some basic quantitative experience from investing as well as summer jobs in construction, starting the MM three weeks after finishing my undergraduate degree was daunting. The first period included courses in Economics, Statistics, and Financial Accounting. Looking back, I realize what a difficult job the professors had catering the material to a class that ranged from very little to heavy amounts of quantitative experience. One of the great things about the cohort model was that I’ve never been alone. I’ve constantly badgered my classmates for help in my weaker areas (thank you, if you’re reading this) and I was able to push through the courses. Plus, with the exception of a B- in Statistics, I’ve done very well.

Moving forward, I see endless possibilities for my creative background combined with my graduate business training. A lot of employers are seeking well-rounded individuals, which I can now certainly claim to be. While I don’t see myself becoming an accountant or a financial analyst, I have gained confidence and knowledge that helps me communicate with people from various areas of businesses. These skills have already proved invaluable in my conversations with potential employers.

The moral of my story is that you can earn an MM, whether you studied science or art. You can earn an MM even on the off chance that, like me, you haven’t taken a single quantitative undergraduate course. The MM is designed in a way that will help you succeed. All it takes is your dedication and a few late nights. Luckily, your cohort will be right there with you.

– Nick Larson

nicklarson.xyz

@NRWL