From Wall Street banking to building startups in Silicon Valley, MBA careers are varied and plentiful. But the MBA jobs market is competitive and MBA grads need to stand out.
At the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, MBA students tailor their experience to suit their specific career ambitions.
The 16-month, full-time MBA offers its students three career tracks - Finance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Product and Service Management – where they can immerse themselves in their chosen field of interest.
There’s also the option of a custom-built MBA journey, with students experiencing a variety of different functional areas to build a more holistic view of business.
We spoke to MBA students on each of the Vancouver-based school’s career tracks to find out more.
Mark Bayley, Finance
Mark interned at a fintech startup in Vancouver this summer.
I decided to pursue the finance track during my Sauder MBA because it provides value across all disciplines.
Finance is integral to daily life and understanding how the business world operates. The finance track provides many opportunities to increase your understanding of financial markets and the global economy.
We had the opportunity to work with an underwriter to value a large European company that had recently undergone a several billion dollar IPO using the same method that he had used during the actual process. It was a wonderful opportunity to receive firsthand knowledge of a complex financial transaction in a classroom setting. He was very open about the process and took the time to answer all of our questions.
The finance track has been very enjoyable and engaging and I think it will pay dividends far into the future. I am better at understanding the fluctuations and nuances of public and private markets and able to intelligently value stocks and other financial instruments.
Julie Hommik, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Julie is a Canadian MBA student with a background in sales and marketing consulting. She interned at Urban Digs Farm – a startup selling locally-sourced food products in Vancouver – during her MBA. Now, she’s landed a full-time role.
The innovation and entrepreneurship track has not only broadened my skill set, but has truly helped me build an invaluable network for me moving forward. I’ve also been able to build relationships with some great professors and instructors.
What has really stood out for me is the fact that there’s no longer a firm distinction between my school life and my professional life. For example, one of my professors, Blair Simonite, is also the Program Director for Entrepreneurship@UBC. While working at Urban Digs Farm in the summer, I was able to use a number of the resources that the school offers including going to Blair directly for advice.
In 2017, I will be returning to Urban Digs Farm in the role of COO. I feel much more confident taking on a senior role at a startup now that I already have a great network that I can look to for advice. Without being involved in the innovation and entrepreneurship track, I likely would not have had this offer, nor accepted it, and would likely be looking at more traditional jobs.
Maxim Pak, Product and Service Management
Maxim has a specialized background in supply chain management for the oil and gas industry.
I wanted to broaden my skill set and learn how to manage a service or product of any kind in any industry. The PSM track was exactly what I was looking for.
With the PSM track, I was placed on a proven career path, which has been streamlined by Sauder’s world-renowned academic research and substantial industrial knowledge base. I would particularly highlight the outstanding quality of the marketing and supply chain management courses, which enable anyone to tackle almost any product or service management challenge.
The PSM track is definitely an ultimate success package for career enhancers like me.
Della Krisnantia, Custom
Della who worked for Coca-Cola Amatil in Indonesia before joining UBC Sauder. She chose to customize her career track and take a more holistic view of business.
The MBA opens the door to many different opportunities. However, at times, I am lost at what opportunity I should focus on.
Taking the custom track allows me to try out different courses such as entrepreneurship, consulting, marketing and supply chain. Through the classes I take and the people I meet, I’m able to slowly figure out what kind of career I want to pursue.
I also believe that, nowadays, companies look for people who can work with cross-functions, therefore, having basic understanding of how various functions work is a valuable skill.
Two of the most memorable experiences for me have to be the tech entrepreneurship and management consulting courses. These two courses have pretty heavy workloads and the process that we had to go through to complete the courses was quite exhausting. However, I learned not only about theories and concepts but also about people management and surprisingly, about myself.
It’s as much personal development as it is an academic one. I definitely would not be where I am right now without going through the experiences I had in this career track.