Learning with impact: Career growth through professional development

Carol Murray sharpened her strategic decision-making skills at UBC Sauder Executive Education and cleared a path toward senior management.


Back in 2013, Carol Murray decided to embark on a new level of professional development and selected the Sauder Executive Certificate Program - a suite of six courses aimed at helping managers make the leap to the next level in their careers.

"I was looking towards becoming a director, which I am now, and I decided the certificate programs would give me an edge," explains the director of finance and health care operations at WorkSafeBC.

Murray completed her fourth course, Strategic Decision Making, in early December and says she chose the course specifically to help prepare her for an upcoming project at work.

"It made sense to look at my strategic decision-making skills in more detail because we are going to be implementing a whole new financial system replacement program at work and there is a certain level of risk involved," she says. "So it made sense to analyze how to make more informed risk-based decisions."


Before joining WorkSafeBC back in 1999, Murray spent a decade working at Vancouver General Hospital - first as a consultant then as a manager. It was here she first put her Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC to work.

But as is Murray's style, she wanted to stretch herself professionally and went back to her alma mater for a Master of Health Administration (MHA), which she completed in 2000.


Murray says that stepping back into the classroom wasn't a difficult process because of the creative environment, team-building exercises, and the delivery of information that awaited her at Sauder.

"I really enjoyed the class. I thought it was well facilitated and Professor Dale Griffin had great skill at taking the concepts and showing them through case studies," says Murray. "The strategic decision making examples were also fascinating stories, like the Tylenol poisoning scare in the '80s and the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion."


It's only been a few weeks since she took the course, but Ms. Murray says she has already put her more acutely developed skills to work.

"It's made me look at myself and analyze new ways to approaching decisions," she says. "I've already offered up many suggestions or different processes to my team about ways that we can think about or approach a challenge."

And it's the impact Murray says she's noticing at work that validates the hard work she put in during the two-day course. "It has been really meaningful for my team and helped my managers grow," she says. "It's great to have personal growth and better yourself, but I firmly believe that what I take out of professional development needs to benefit my team."

Executive Education at the Sauder School of Business

Our professional development programs aim to transform your career and accelerate your organization’s business objectives. With more than one hundred open enrolment programs taught by top Sauder faculty and leading industry experts, we zero in on your goals and ensure you get results.

We have a broad range of programs, from short skill-building courses for managers who want to make their mark to intensive week-long programs in residence for senior leaders. Each is comprehensive and convenient, minimizing your time away from the office and family. All our programs can be customized to meet your organization’s business objectives and professional development needs.