Matthew Colphon had a decision to make. He could stay in his current role, where he was quite content. Or he could push himself.
“As much as my job was fun,” says Matthew, who was then an admission and recruitment officer at the University of Waterloo, “It wasn’t leveraging what I’d learned in my science degree or in the business courses I’d taken during my undergrad. I knew I needed more of a challenge.”
So, even though it was sooner than he’d anticipated exploring the possibility of pursuing an MBA – he was only 24 at the time – he decided to write the GMAT with one goal: getting a score high enough to be accepted to the rigourous 16-month full-time MBA program at UBC Sauder School of Business and expand his career options.
Learning to solve critical, time-sensitive problems
UBC Sauder gives Matt a roadmap for success
Three months into his UBC MBA, Matthew zeroed in on consulting.
“You’re always solving problems that are relatively critical and often time-sensitive,” he says. “In case studies, for example, you’re exploring different industries and constantly learning new things, yet you get to do it within a structured environment that teaches you how to be a great business asset.”
Matthew turned to the Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre (BCC), where he met one-on-one with his career manager, who evaluated his GMAT score and his CV, then essentially laid out a roadmap for him. Of the manager’s many recommendations, one proved especially pivotal: that Matthew join UBC Sauder’s Strategy Consulting Mentorship Program (SCMP).
“The SCMP taught me to interview well, to be confident in the setting,” he says. “That program is what helped me land the role of Associate Consultant at Bain & Company in Toronto.”
In consulting you have a huge impact on any project you touch, right from the first day you're out.
Working with the top minds in business
Matthew launches a fast-paced career in the hypercompetitive world of consulting
Right out of the UBC MBA, Matthew landed a much sought-after role at Bain & Company.
“It was everything I hoped it would be,” he says. “You’re surrounded by the top two per cent of business minds, everyone is brilliant and intellectually curious.”
It was, as he had hoped, a role that pushed him outside his comfort zone.
“There’s not a minute you’re too comfortable because you’re constantly doing something new,” he says.
The position required an exceptional amount of travel, though, so in an effort to find more work-life balance, Matthew started thinking about consulting in-house.
“I wanted to stay in one industry a bit longer to understand it at a deeper level,” he says.
Now, he’s Senior Manager, Strategy & Transformation at RBC in Toronto, where he acts as an in-house consultant for everything from their digital experience to their insurance business.
“It’s rewarding to work on projects that up-level the business and get immediate results,” he says.
Matthew first learned about this position through a fellow UBC MBA alum.
“The connections you get through UBC Sauder are invaluable. You end up meeting so many people who can help you in so many ways and who you can in turn help too,” he says.
I take for granted how much I've grown, how much my comfort zone has expanded.