A consultant with a background in psychology, Joyce Ip had always excelled at communications. But to progress at her firm she knew she needed to master business strategy. Since pursuing a Part-time MBA at UBC Sauder, Joyce has become a partner at her consultancy firm specializing in risk management.
“Being able to provide clients with solutions for when something impacts their business – whether it’s a flood, fire or a cyber-attack – and ensuring their most critical services continue to function; that’s what I love about my work,” she says.
In an industry like Joyce’s, the day-to-day is understandably varied. Likewise, so are the teams she works with.
“One day I could be meeting with the accounting manager followed by the HR manager followed by the operations manager,” she says. “UBC Sauder prepared me to speak everyone’s language and understand what’s important to their diverse roles.”
Not only did Joyce, who served as class president, gain this from her classwork, but also from her classmates.
“I didn’t come from a business background, so I knew I’d have to work three times harder just to get to the same level as my peers,” she says. “On day one I was sitting beside someone in finance and in front of someone in banking and I turned to them and said ‘I have no idea what’s going on, can you help me out?’ They didn’t even flinch. They sat with me during the break and helped me out.”
Over the course of the program, Joyce’s relationships with her classmates strengthened even further.
Having a cohort from such a diverse background brought an additional layer to the theory we were learning in the classroom
To this day, Joyce’s alumni peers are an invaluable resource for her – offering her support when their expertise is needed, recruiting her for projects when her expertise is needed.
But these relationships were hard won.
“During the program, we would usually only see each other outside of class when we were up against a deadline for a group project,” she says, noting that the intensity of the program didn’t allow classmates enough time to bond on a personal level. “It was often during mid-panic, high-stress situations.”
UBC Sauder’s evolved Professional MBA, an evolution of the Part-time MBA program, puts a premium on personal connections. The new degree is as rigourous as its predecessor, but with key additions based on the feedback of our alumni, including better networking opportunities.
The new Professional MBA program is designed to give candidates the opportunity to deepen relationships within their network better than ever before.
A key aspect of the new degree is the addition of three eight-day professional residencies, says Darren Dahl, Director of UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School.
“They offer candidates the chance to be immersed with their cohort so they can learn alongside each other and get know each other much better than they otherwise would,” he says. “When students graduate from the Professional MBA, we want to ensure they leave with a valuable network of friends, allies and mentors who can support them throughout their lives and careers.
"UBC Sauder prepared me to speak everyone's language and understand what's important to their diverse roles."