Studying at the Sauder School of Business is not essential if you want to become a CFO in a multinational company. But according to Sharon Stelman-Gal, who graduated with a UBC MBA in 2005, it definitely helps.

With a bachelor’s degree from Tel Aviv University and experience in finance, Stelman-Gal came to Vancouver with the aim of developing an international network and widening her expertise.

Sauder did not disappoint. She learned a set of advanced business skills that can be applied anywhere in the world and that allow her to solve strategic dilemmas and lead management processes in the workplace.

“The MBA program at Sauder helped me to understand the big picture and to communicate using terminology and theories that make sense in a wide range of business contexts,” says Stelman-Gal. “I had a very analytical, data and numbers-based background and I wanted to round out this experience by developing my strategy, management and human resources skills.”

Professional network

As it turns out, the company Stelman-Gal ended up working for when she returned to her native Israel is a specialist in HR management. As the CFO of Manpower Israel, she manages 25 people in the accounting and payments department. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and operates in 80 countries worldwide. In Israel, Manpower has more than 40 business units, and employs 400 permanent employees and more than 50,000 external employees through the company's 8,000 clients.

"I had a very analytical, data and numbers-based background and I wanted to round out this experience by developing my strategy, management and human resources skills."
- Sharon Stelman-Gal, UBC MBA 2005

“My work allows me to take part in the financial and strategic decision-making of a major company and that’s been an amazing experience,” Stelman-Gal adds. “The international exposure I got from the UBC MBA program is something that I find extremely valuable when I’m working with clients and colleagues from around the world. I also came to understand the true value of professional networks. Sauder was the first learning environment I had been in where this was really emphasized.”

Global perspective

The Sauder School of Business has made providing a global perspective for its students a key feature of the program. In 2014, the UBC MBA maintained its top rank among North American schools for the international mobility of its graduates, placing 33rd worldwide (Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2014). Sauder also leads North American MBA programs for the international composition of its faculty and ranks third in North America for the international make-up of its student body.

Asked about what prompted her to choose Sauder over other international business schools, Stelman-Gal explains that the diversity of the student body was a huge draw.

“I wanted to learn about different cultures and different ways of doing business,” she says. “Sauder gives you a transformative educational experience and I now have a network of classmates from all over the world. The program boosted my confidence and self-esteem and challenged me to think differently about how to achieve success in my career. When I came back to Israel I felt like I had so much more to offer, both professionally and personally. Needless to say, I strongly recommend it.”

Learn how the Sauder MBA Program curriculum shapes the business leaders of tomorrow. Or find out how your company can engage with students and alumni from the Sauder School of Business with the help of the Business Career Centre.