Challenge to Change | UBC MBA accelerates career in tech

Kim Zatlyn had a successful career in advertising, but she was looking for an even more demanding, even faster-paced career in tech. The UBC MBA prepared her for exactly that.


By any measure, Kim Zatlyn was successful. She was thriving in the fast-paced, competitive world of advertising.

“I was working with everything from the largest companies in the country to smaller, local not-for-profits,” she says. “Advertising gave me a strong foundation in marketing and exposure to a broad range of businesses.”

But as she surveyed the professional landscape, she didn’t see a role she could envision herself filling in five or ten years. To bridge the gap between where she was and where she wanted to be, she knew she’d need an MBA.

“I always knew I wanted to do my MBA,” she says. “It was just a question of when.”


Zatlyn thrives on adrenaline. Even on her days off, she pushes her limits, spending her downtime running long distances and trying the latest, most demanding workouts.

This lightning fast pace was something she was looking for in her career.

“I knew I ultimately wanted to get into tech,” she says. “I just didn’t know what the possibilities were or where I would fit in.”

She would find the answers in UBC Sauder’s MBA program, offered by the Robert H. Lee Graduate School.


Zatlyn’s ability to handle demanding environments was tested from the start of the Full-Time MBA.

“During the first six months you’re given more than you can possibly handle,” she says. “There’s a lot to take on academically and on top of that you’re meeting all your classmates for the first time, getting involved in real-world case studies and attending talks. The UBC MBA teaches you to work better, faster, and smarter.”

It also taught Zatlyn to stretch outside her comfort zone, particularly in courses like Technology Entrepreneurship.

Kim Zatlyn Quote Image

“It changed my way of thinking,” she says. “The cases we focused on and the leaders we studied gave me insight into what I might want to do and how I might get there.”

For Zatlyn, ‘there’ was Paris. It had been number one on her location wishlist for years, so she jumped at the opportunity to do an exchange at Hautes Études Commerciales.

“I relished the opportunity to learn from industry experts during my exchange in France,” she says. “It also made me realize that one semester abroad wasn’t long enough for me; I wanted to work internationally.” 


Kim Zatlyn
After graduation, Zatlyn landed at eBay in London where she stayed for three years before transferring to the company’s headquarters in San Francisco’s Bay Area. That opened the door for a position with Salesforce, one of the world’s leading collaboration software companies.

Zatlyn is now Senior Manager, Product Marketing at Salesforce. She works with a close-knit, high-performing team, marketing one of the company’s fastest growing products. She spends her days doing everything from offering internal marketing support to presenting at major industry events.

“Salesforce is the fastest moving company I’ve ever worked for,” Zatlyn says. “It’s wild, the pace at which we acquire companies, evolve our processes, launch new products, and focus on new markets.”

“My UBC MBA prepared me to work at this pace.”


Name: Kim Zatlyn
Title: Senior Manager, Product Marketing at Salesforce
Track: Product and Service Management
Nationality: Canadian