UBC Master of Business Administration (UBC MBA) student Dipti Muley has two sons, aged nine and 15. She says her decade and a half of parenting has equipped her with workplace skills as well as any resume line item ever could. It’s also the reason for her chosen career path.
Muley is an expert in relationship management. Since entering the full-time UBC MBA, she has skillfully managed her family’s busy schedules alongside her course load and an internship with PwC Canada. Every moment is filled with intention, whether that’s spending quality time with her sons and husband or focused on her academics and professional development.
She says patience, empathy, and inclusion are core parts of her parenting philosophy. She strives to be a source of stability and calm in even the most stressful of situations. With two children, she has become a measured mediator and referee who can solve conflicts and create compromise. At home, she is a leader in every sense of the word and she brings that confidence to the classroom.
Cultivating team culture by ‘walking the walk’
“There is a lot that I bring to the UBC MBA program because leadership is parenthood and vice versa,” says Muley. “You are either leading a team at home or leading a team in a professional setting. Your behaviour is being watched by people and you create the culture.”
One of the most transferable lessons of parenthood, Muley says, is that strong leaders inspire through their actions, not just their words.
“I am a much better person because I’m a parent, frankly. You see your flaws in your children because they absorb things. You become better because you have to walk the walk and use your actions.”
One of Muley’s biggest learnings from the UBC MBA program was the realization that a connected team with a good culture can solve any complex problem. “You can get a lot done, and do it well,” she says.
To reach that point, Muley draws on her experience as a mother to build an environment where everyone has an opportunity to speak. She encourages team members to try to understand each other rather than point fingers. If something goes wrong on a project, she taps into her conflict management prowess to find out why the problem arose and focus on solutions.
Viewing the UBC MBA as a critical stepping stone
“The UBC MBA was key to re-entering the workforce, it is a definite stepping stone because it gives you a network and elevates your skills,” says Muley. “Once you’re elevated, you can choose your direction.”
Prior to making the decision to embark on her MBA, Muley had an earlier career in computer science engineering, but she put her professional life on hold to raise her two young children.
“When my first son was born, I started to get worried about what kind of earth he would live in” says Muley. “Parenthood inspired my eventual career choice in the sustainability and climate change space.”
Though she considered doing a graduate degree in public policy, she ultimately landed on the UBC MBA because of the potential to make an impact through business.
“Private companies have the power and the money to affect change and move the needle” explains Muley. “I realized an MBA would give me the skills I needed and open up many opportunities.”
Through her coursework, mentorship from professors, and interactions with classmates, Muley has developed an even clearer picture of the skills she offers. “Research, verbal communication, relationship building, and the ability to think holistically – those are my strengths.”
Gaining a competitive edge in sustainability consulting
Last May, Muley landed a transformative internship with PwC Canada as a senior associate in the company’s Sustainability and Climate Change team.
It was a four-month experience that offered valuable insights into the day-to-day of sustainability consulting and further convinced Muley that she wants to pursue it as a career. She even hopes to inspire her children to follow in her footsteps.
“I would like both my children to work in the climate space – in my view, that’s the only space to work in. They need to think of how to solve the problems of the world.”
Preparing for the next act with confidence
When Muley reflects back on the hard work over the 16-month program she says she wouldn’t have been able to balance school and home life without the “immense” support from her husband.
“Any parent who is planning to enter an intensive program should create a support system, communicate with the people in this system, and manage expectations,” says Muley.
By leveraging the valuable experience from her internship, Muley has landed a full-time position in PwC’s Sustainability and Climate Change team. As she readies for graduation and embarks on the new opportunity, her view of her value proposition is crystal clear.
She says her talents and skill set are inextricably linked to her role as a parent and that she plans to channel the confidence she demonstrated in the classroom into the next stage of her career.
“Interactions and feedback from UBC Sauder professors, my classmates, and my career manager has helped me see my skills and capabilities in a new light and strengthened my confidence to achieve my goals.”
Parallels in parenthood: this UBC MBA student says leading a family translates into leading in business