Every year, business schools shell out a small fortune to promote their MBA programs. Their ads appear when you click a story link, and their events fill many inboxes. However, the best advertising doesn’t cost programs a dime. And this is the oldest strategy in business: Satisfied customers.
MBA programs love to promote their former rock star CEOs. However, their greatest assets are often the graduates who work behind the scenes. They are the ones who take initiative, set clear expectations, harness the strengths of their employees and stay calm under pressure. In the process, they personify the values of their alma maters and leave a lasting impression on those around them. Including Vishaal Narkedamalli, Senior Director of Marketing at Restaurant Brands International, home to Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes. Over the course of his career, he had been struck by the difference he saw with MBA graduates from Ivey Business School at Western University.
“The Ivey Business School trained some of my former colleagues who were incredibly smart, very professional, great team players and produced results,” he explains. “They praised Ivey for their experience and it gave me confidence in my decision.”
ALUMNI WHO Heals
That decision was to join Ivey’s MBA class in 2022. Narkedamalli was not the only one influenced by the Ivey alumni. Before moving to Ontario, Temi Busari was Treasurer of Chapel Hill Denham, a leading African investment bank for sustainable finance. During the application process, she contacted alumni of several business schools. However, she found “something markedly different” in her interactions with the Ivey MBAs.
“They are very confident, speak well and have an admirable executive presence. They are all very knowledgeable and excellent in their respective careers and they have stood out from the crowd. This is also demonstrated by the unrivaled network of alumni who are very proud and involved at Ivey. “
Overall, Ivey has 30,000 alumni, with the school reporting that more than half are CEOs or higher. This influence is useful for Ivey MBAs, where 95% of the 2020 MBA class had changed industry, role, or location. Happy alumni are engaged alumni who feel a deep connection with the students who follow in their footsteps. It creates a commitment to be mentors. At Ivey, you’ll find graduates who go the extra mile to open doors in their businesses, industries and professional networks. At the same time, they are always ready to share their ideas on the best courses and activities to prepare students for the career they have chosen. This support is useful for students like Chi ngoyen, an associate of Willis Towers Watson from Vietnam.
“Ivey really has a strong and ‘sticky’ alumni network,” she writes. “All the alumni I contacted were very responsive and supported the current MBA candidates. I have also heard countless stories of how alumni support each other throughout their careers. As a new immigrant to Canada, having this strong network from the start is very important to me.
A WOMAN WHO CAN DO ANYTHING
Ngoyen herself was once responsible for AIG’s portfolio in Cambodia – and increased it by 15%. She is just one member of a very diverse and accomplished class in Ivey. To take Sebastien martinez. Working for the Colombian bottler of Coca-Cola, he co-led a team responsible for launching a new juice product, a very successful effort that increased market share and achieved an ambitious sales target. Likewise, Vishaal Narkedamalli spent a year designing, testing and implementing a sandwich station for the restaurants she was promoting. The result: The new design reduced employee steps by 80% and increased speed to the customer by 16%.
The versatility of the class is embodied by Temi Busari. A mother of two, Busari describes herself as a “television girl” after working as a co-host on a commentary broadcast across Africa. However, Busari had an equally profound impact in the banking sector, where she managed a treasury portfolio for 10 African countries worth $ 10 billion … and increased it by 50% over two years to boot. !
“I started as an executive in a multinational commercial bank and worked my way up to become treasurer of an investment bank,” she says. P&Q. “I also passed three levels of the professional CFA exams on the first try in 18 months, which demonstrates my commitment to achieving good results. My role as TV co-presenter showed me a different and interesting side and my volunteering activities, as a leader of CFA Society Nigeria and other social impact organizations demonstrated my sense of purpose.
DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS? EITHER YOUR CLASSROOM CAMS
This goal, she says, is to boost sustainable development in Africa. Given Busari’s television roots, it’s hardly surprising that she dominated an end-of-class presentation to Ivey who tested “public speaking, eloquence, and executive presence.” In addition to building on their strengths, the Class of 2022 is learning to step back, listen and learn from their peers in different areas. This was the case for Connor Batchelor, squash enthusiast and project manager for a cannabis company. When he started school, he feared that his scientific background would prevent him from adding value to class discussions. It turns out it was just the opposite.
“I think an important lesson and achievement as an MBA student has been to recognize that my strengths come from my diversity of experiences and that I’m not supposed to know everything,” he admits. “I became more comfortable with not having all the answers and learning the importance of asking the right questions and working with others to find the solution. The ability to recognize that you won’t be good at everything and focus on what you’re good for has been an important lesson for me, especially as a person who is a bit of a perfectionist and likes to have all the answers.
Business school is also a place of experimentation, risk taking and mission. This is exactly what Shamsa Hidayat has worked in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). On the one hand, she started the school’s first BIPOC club to spark conversations and reduce prejudice. At the same time, she designed a framework that enabled EDI clubs to “leverage resources, avoid duplication and improve impact”. At the same time, Jessie gill, a pre-business school legal advisor, came on the scene as executive director in the Ivey LEADER project.
“[It] aims to teach entrepreneurs in emerging economies fundamental business principles using the Ivey Case Method approach. The interview process for the LEADER project was rigorous and it was the first time that I presented a solution to a file request.
“COMMUNITY WITH SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS”
After four months together, what do class members have to say about their peers as a whole? Noreen Rachel Wu, previously the senior CEO of a Vancouver-based architectural consulting firm, describes her classmates as “altruistic givers.” “There is an overwhelming number of classmates who will be staying awake until the wee hours of the night to help those who may be struggling with unfamiliar material,” she observes. “They always have time for you. Their doors are always open – literally.
Mathieu Ruffé, a specialist in digital transformation in Paris, is also optimistic about the favorable state of mind of the class. “A good example is how some classmates early on in the program volunteered their time to offer additional sessions on specific topics such as accounting, finance and analysis. Others have sent care kits to newcomers to make them feel more comfortable in Canada. There is healthy competition within the program. We challenge each other to aim for higher goals while being there for each other at the same time. “
Next page: An Interview with Ivey MBA Faculty Director Larry Menor
Page 3: In-depth profiles of the class of 2022
Page 1 of 3