“I’m constantly reflecting on, ‘Did I learn something from a case that we worked on that can be applied in that scenario?,’ ‘What takeaways do I have?’ The classroom was a safe space to do that, but bringing those learnings into real life has just shown me that the MBA gave me such a valuable toolkit that I’m grateful to have.”
The storytelling and communication skills that helped him land his job at TD are ones Mastroianni uses daily, explaining concepts to different audiences and knowing how to quickly get his point across while he has someone’s attention.
He encourages anyone considering the Ivey MBA not to settle for where they’re at, “invest in themselves and get the greatest ROI that you can get in a year.”
“The program is tough, you learn a lot about yourself, you’re challenged during the year, but if you want something, pursue it, make the most of the opportunity and think of whatever gets in your way as an obstacle that you can learn from,” he says.
“I knew I wanted to make a pivot and I attribute all of my success in landing that position to the connections and the network that I built through the MBA program.”
“Speaking with Career Management, Recruitment, and alumni allowed me to pivot and, say, ‘I do sales really well, but let me mix in some of the things that I learned at Ivey and that executive presence I’ve gained to be more impactful in my career, see what else is possible, and how I can come back to something I love,’” says Mike, now IBM Client Executive for TD Bank.
“I look at my future career path and, although I’m still in sales, I’m now much more robust as far as my capabilities.
“Technology is a big piece, but we often build first-of-a-kind solutions for our clients, which makes our consulting services crucial to the success of a project. That combination of technology and consulting is really the power of IBM.”
His time at Ivey allowed Mike to explore not just different fields but also different ways of thinking. The learning teams, class discussion and Case Method meant working with a variety of peers from different backgrounds who each approached challenges in their own way.
“When you’re put in these groups, it shows you that your traditional way of looking at things isn’t actually the best way of going about it,” he says.
“It showed me the power of a group and how, when you get the right group of people, you can accomplish quite a bit – and even more than you would be able to individually.
“Ivey puts you in a spot where you’re comfortable feeling uncomfortable.”
The Ivey MBA also expanded Mike’s network and provided an opportunity to form deeper bonds with his classmates than he would have at a commuter school.
“Being in a university town allows you to build a much stronger network because you’re going to be talking to every single person in your class, you do things as a group,” he says.
“That was a fantastic way to make your connections with your peers in class a lot deeper.”
As an alumni, he continues to benefit from that network and from being a part of the Ivey community.
“When I meet people at the office and tell them where I came from, or even in some of my reach-outs to clients, when you mention the Ivey network it triggers a little bit more of an openness to communicate knowing that you have a similar background and that you’re professional and like-minded,” he says.
“When I look at other opportunities that may have come up for my career, I feel that I landed at the exact spot that I wanted.”
“I wanted more of a client-facing role post-MBA, but I hadn’t done that type of work before and that’s the skill set I wanted to develop,” says Malhotra, now an Business Strategy Consultant at Accenture.
“I didn’t see myself doing a big transition without doing an MBA.”
After speaking with an Ivey alumni who’d moved from engineering to a government finance role, she decided Ivey was the place for her.
“It was just a one-hour lunch but after that I was sold. He had a similar background to mine and explained how much he got out of the program,” she says.
“What attracted me most was the number of different opportunities and the network that you get after the program,” says Malhotra, whose previous roles included Refinery Energy Coordinator at Imperial Oil.
That conversation was also her first experience with the Ivey network, which Malhotra considers one of the most valuable aspects of the program -- and which she’s now proudly a part of as an alumni herself.
“I have no problem calling any of my classmates at this point and asking them for advice or to learn about what they’re doing,” she says.
“And after taking the Ivey pledge, I’m willing to answer everyone’s phone calls. If I hadn’t gone to Ivey, finding people to talk to and building a network would be a lot more challenging. I have so many more people to reach out to now.”
In her current role at Accenture, Malhotra is working as a Consultant where she works with clients to help meet them meet both their short and long term strategic goals. This role requires not only requires a solid understanding of her clients business needs, but strong interpersonal and communication skills.
“One of the things that has been helpful from the MBA was the number of times you got to present. It felt like a safe space to really develop your presentation skills, and I came out feeling a lot more confident in that,” she says.
She’s also come to rely on learnings from the various cases she worked on during her MBA.
“One of the things that you learn at Ivey is that most problems are quite ambiguous in the workplace, you don’t know everything, but you need to move forward and figure out how to approach the situation with what you do know,” she says.
“As a leader, if you’re able to keep that mindset instead of fixating on what you don’t have, you’re a lot more likely to move a group forward, and that’s ultimately how you produce results.”
Having worked as a nurse, physician, and entrepreneur, she had a good idea of how the system worked and where it needed improving, but to make those changes happen, she needed to solidify her business knowledge and find a way to merge her healthcare and entrepreneurship skills.
“There seems to be these two groups in healthcare and sometimes it’s hard for them to communicate their ideas, so I thought, maybe this would be a great opportunity for me to do an MBA and be that person to bridge the gap,” says McGinn, who is in her final year of a plastics residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in London, ON.
With a year and half left in her five-year residency, McGinn added a Clinician Investigator degree to her medical training, which allowed her to also pursue an MBA.
“Through my MBA I decided I wanted to specialize in healthcare operations, and I became more specialized in what’s called value-based healthcare because I realized the ideas I had were in alignment with that principle,” she says.
“As surgeons, we’re extremely vulnerable to a cost-constrained system because in surgery, everything we do is expensive. If we had a better understanding of what our procedures cost, we would be able to ask for appropriate reimbursement so that we wouldn’t be over budget and surgeries wouldn’t be getting cancelled.”
Her Ivey education allowed take a step back and look at what the healthcare system could do, from a business standpoint, to get patients the care they need and think creatively while being mindful of budget constraints.
“You’re able to have a broader perspective of what is being done not only in your industry but in other industries and how we can pull those in,” McGinn says.
“The MBA has helped me be a lot more articulate about these issues and more confident in terms of stating these are, in fact, the issues.”
Preparing cases for her classes also helped McGinn gain experience and gave her a framework she can apply to her current role at the hospital, while the leadership courses helped her be more deliberate in the way she approached groups.
“I have more tools in my toolbelt and I understand more about leading groups, especially dynamic and heterogeneous groups where you have different viewpoints that you need to bring together that accomplish what you need to,” she says.
“It’s also helped me understand that when you are leading, you lead in small steps. You have smaller goals that you’re trying to accomplish within the bigger picture. It was an amazing opportunity to meet people from different industries and gave me a lot of real-world perspective about what’s going on outside the hospital. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”