The UBC JD/MBA showed Jeetesh Rup what he’d want in a career. And gave him the tools to achieve it.
Jeetesh Rup recalls the exact moment he realized he’d have to rethink his education.
“I remember being in a boardroom, sitting there with two senior lawyers who were interviewing me,” says Rup, a second-year law student at the time.
“It dawned on me that as much as I knew about the law, I knew nothing about business,” he says.
To Rup, this felt like a gap in his education, especially considering he had completed his undergraduate degree in history, without any business training whatsoever.
“To be a lawyer is to be a business professional,” he says. “How can one enter any field and expect to be successful in this day and age if you don’t understand how business works?”
Rup’s epiphany led him to the UBC JD/MBA, a four-year dual degree program administered by UBC Sauder's Robert H. Lee Graduate School and the Peter A. Allard School of Law at The University of British Columbia.
Admittance to the dual degree requires being accepted into each of the highly competitive programs. For Rup, this meant that on top of his legal studies and his full-time position managing a field hockey equipment store, he would have to write the GMAT.
While that may seem daunting, Rup describes it as “play time.”
“It was fun for me because it was so different from everything I was doing at the time,” he says. “Having all those demands on me taught me to be more effective and efficient.”
During the MBA component of the UBC JD/MBA program, Rup gained real-world experience through an internship with the Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way. There, he developed a new governance model for the not-for-profit, drawing upon both his legal studies and his new business training.
Rup found this internship through UBC Sauder’s Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre, whose advisors were critical to his professional development.
“They helped me think through my career – what I should focus on, how I should market myself, which companies I should target,” he says.
Armed with this refined direction, Rup started marketing his skillset to law firms in the hopes of landing an articling position upon graduation. The response he received? It was vastly different from his earlier experience.
“For second year summer positions, I was only interviewed by two law firms and I didn’t end up with any jobs,” he says. “But when I went to interview for articles, anytime anybody heard about my MBA, I moved to the front.
“I went from having two interviews with two smaller firms to having ten interviews for articles with national firms or the top law firms in Vancouver.”
After completing his articles, Rup practiced for a few years at the law firm Sangra Moller. But his MBA had instilled in him a love of business and finance. With the goal of transitioning into a more business-focused career, Rup turned once again to advisors at UBC Sauder’s Business Career Centre.
“Five years out of my MBA they were vital resources for me, helping me move to the next stage of my career and getting the job that I have now,” Rup says.
That job? It’s as a senior management consultant at KPMG in Edmonton, Alberta.
“Management consultants are essentially brains for hire,” he says. “We go in, learn about a company’s operations, and we problem solve.”
It’s fast-paced, ever-changing and, most importantly for Rup, team-based. It’s also a role that draws heavily on his training at UBC Sauder.
“For me personally, the one year that was transformational for me was my MBA,” he says. “I ended up picking up skills and capabilities that to this day have added so much value to everything I do.”
"How can one enter any field and expect to be successful in this day and age if you don't understand and how business works?"