Alumni Guest Entry: Elizabeth Sun

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It’s a little hard to believe that it’s been eight whole months since I graduated from the MM program. In my mind, it feels like not so long ago that I was scrambling to study for exams and worrying about job hunting – but it’s been a great few months, with lots of changes and opportunities to grow.

For reference, a bit about my background: I did my undergrad in Biology and Computer Science, and took a few years off after my degree to travel and do an international research-based internship. I am currently working at a not-for-profit life sciences association.

The last year has been a memorable learning experience. I received a lot of helpful advice, and I wanted to take a moment to share the things I would tell myself if I could go back in time to when I started:

  1. First, don’t be afraid to explore new potential careers. Sauder offers a wide variety of career-related opportunities for students, including industry panels and company info sessions. There were many events where the focus was on an industry I’d never considered before – but I decided to attend as many sessions as possible. Not only did I learn more about different industries I might be interested in, I met unexpected contacts who became helpful later in my job search. It’s a small world, and people move around more than you would expect.
  2. Second, learn to embrace people who work differently from you. Being in a program where your classmates come from all sorts of academic and cultural backgrounds means that you’re often put in groups with people who think and work very differently. It can be jarring at first, but it was an important lesson to learn to appreciate these differences. By working in this kind of environment, you recognize your own strengths and weaknesses to the benefit of the group as a whole.
  3. Finally, remember to enjoy the experience. If I had to choose the best part of the program, it would easily be the time I spent with my classmates: they challenged me with their diversity, had my back when classes got stressful, and were there to go through the same hectic but amazing experience as me. Of course, you have to prepare to work hard, but in the long run, the connections I made were much more memorable than whether or not I ended up with an A on my finance assignment. Don’t forget to find balance between work and play, and get to know your cohort!

MM has been incredibly valuable in terms of allowing me to work with truly diverse teams, teaching me how to network, and giving me the business knowledge I need for my current role. It opened up a lot of exciting opportunities for me, and I’m looking forward to see where I end up going forward.

 – Elizabeth Sun, MM ’14

 

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