The UBC MBA allowed Chris Dorrow to help some of Kenya’s poorest people develop essential business skills. Now with Accenture, he’s applying the concepts he learned at Sauder on a global scale.
While pursuing his MBA, Chris took part in Social Entrepreneurship 101 (SE 101), a course that saw him travel to Nairobi where business students from UBC and Strathmore University mentor young people, identify sources of funding for their projects, and help them launch businesses.
Specializing in innovation and entrepreneurship, Chris’ other main interest during his MBA was strategic design and how, through a collaborative process involving multiple disciplines, it can be used to solve complex problems and drive innovation.
Chris is now an Innovation Director at Accenture, and the two key aspects of his postgraduate education and experience are coming together. Not only has he been asked to start up a new innovation practice for the global consulting firm’s Ottawa office, but he is also leading an international project that is very similar to the work he was doing in Kenya.
Applying Sauder experience
“The project is an education platform focused on better business basics for not-for-profit organizations,” says Chris. “We develop training workshops and courses on communications, motivation and business technology and cover all of the programs that are essential to succeeding in business. It’s great to be able to use the skills and experiences that Sauder gave me and apply them on a much larger scale.”
As for the other aspect of his work, Chris credits Sauder professor Moura Quayle for teaching him valuable lessons about how innovation can be encouraged and enhanced.
“All of the innovation and design thinking classes and workshops on the MBA program are proving so useful in my work right now,” he says. “Accenture is extremely interested in this subject. It’s something so fresh and so new that they don’t have a clear picture of what that landscape looks like yet, but they’re really hungry to find out.”
Developing strong relationships
Even though Chris has moved back to Ottawa to continue his career, he says that he feels deeply connected to the Sauder network and is keen to play an active role in the community that did so much for him. He is still in contact with his former classmates and plans to get involved in a new mentorship program being developed by Sauder’s Alumni Relations department for incoming students. His advice for people considering the UBC MBA is to build strong relationships and get involved as much as they can outside of the classroom.
“The experiences you get with your fellow students, the late nights, the partnerships, the relationships, the awareness of other cultures and perspectives are so important,” he says. “These are the things you’ll really value about the program after you graduate.”
If you’re looking for incredible experiences and a powerful professional network, find out more about the UBC MBA program.