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