UBC Sauder’s nine-month Master of Management (MM) gives ambitious candidates like Michael Mah the business acumen to enhance their non-business Bachelor’s degrees and gain an edge in a competitive market.
Michael Mah comes from a family with a long history in retail and real estate. But he dreamed of running his own dentistry practice so he turned to UBC Sauder’s Master of Management (MM) program to gain the breadth of business knowledge he needed.
“Growing up, we’d talk about business around the dinner table,” he says. “So I had knowledge of specific industries, but I never had any formalized training in it.”
While he says being from a business-oriented family gave him a unique perspective, he felt that to pursue his own path, he would benefit from the expertise of MM instructors, the guidance of career advisors, and the diverse backgrounds of his fellow classmates.
“With the MM you explore all kinds of business problems. It makes you more adaptable so that no matter what direction you ultimately go in, you stand to succeed.”
Presentation and collaboration
Michael took to UBC Sauder right from the start of the program.
“Being immersed in business education was exhilarating,” he says. “It’s a totally different style of learning from my undergraduate studies – it’s very interactive.”
A true people person, Michael says he’d always prided himself on his communication skills.
“UBC Sauder honed my ability to deliver a message,” he says. “My presentation skills are far stronger than they ever were.”
As the crowning achievement of his MM, Michael and his team partook in what’s called the Capstone Project, where real businesses turn to UBC Sauder students for their insight.
“I distilled my entire MM into that presentation,” he says. “It was one of the best projects I’d ever completed.”
Since graduation, Michael has kept in close contact with his advisors, professors and cohort, even attending a classmate’s wedding last year.
“In the MM you make lasting relationships you’ll have forever,” he says.
Running a business in healthcare
Michael has since become a dentist and is currently in the process of acquiring his own practice. Throughout this experience, he’s been putting to use the business acumen he learned through his MM.
“I find myself drawing upon my MM every day,” he says. “Not just when I’m using financial metrics to forecast how successful I think the business will be, but particularly when it comes to my business relationships.”
He says the MM helped him build his team of consultants and advisors who are guiding him through this acquisition process.
“The MM gave me the ability to seek out the right people for the right job,” he says. “And now that we’re going through this process, I have a much better grasp of the business implications than I otherwise would.”
Were it not for the MM program, Michael says he wouldn’t already be at this career-defining moment.
“My business in healthcare is very different from my family’s businesses,” he says. “The MM gave me a foundation to leverage those experiences and apply them to my career.
“It was one of the best, most pivotal experiences of my life.”
"Being immersed in business education was exhilarating."