When Nina was just one year into her career at STEMCELL Technologies, she sensed there might be a limitation to her career trajectory based on her current business skill set. She was making tactical decisions and managing a small team, but wanted to contribute to the organization’s efforts into cancer research in a more beneficial way.
Nina knew that to realize her goal of becoming a valued member of the senior leadership team she would need to hone her knowledge of the business landscape. She began researching how she could achieve her goals—without having to compromise her current full-time position.
She decided that the Part-Time MBA (PTMBA) program at UBC Sauder (now the Professional MBA) provided the right balance for her life and career plans, with accommodative weekend work, and short, intensive on-site residencies.
Nina hoped this new path would help her rise through the ranks of her organization, but she couldn't have guessed just how quickly.
The fact that I would be learning from experts in their field, with different professional backgrounds from me, was a big draw.
Finding the fast track
Nina's professional development at UBC Sauder pays off in a few short months
Nina began the PTMBA program in January 2013, and by May of that same year she was promoted to a more senior Sales Management position. She was now leading a large, national sales team—an opportunity she would have expected within a few years, not months.
Nina attributes this fast ascent to the experience and knowledge gained during her time at UBC Sauder. She was absorbing diverse perspectives from her classmates and professors, and applying new principles to her job in real-time. In addition to a solid foundation in business strategy, Nina was deepening her understanding of the human side of business. Professors Daniel Skarlicki and Jim Southcott were fundamental to her success as a leader—helping to hone Nina’s creative and critical thinking skills, which allowed her to unlock this same potential within her own team.
Nina also took advantage of the option to study abroad and her time at ESSEC Business School in France gave her the opportunity to get a more global perspective on the business landscape.
Throughout all of this professional development, Nina continued to learn and push her boundaries—a work ethic that continues to serve her well even today.
The exchange program really helped me understand how perspectives differ in other cultures- in the history and meaning behind the way things are done.
Taking the lead and giving back
Nina uses her newfound business acumen to give back to UBC Sauder students
Now, as Director, US Sales at STEMCELL Technologies, Nina finds herself in senior leadership meetings, still drawing on her learnings from the PTMBA program, including skills in business strategy, accounting and economics.
She says her time at UBC Sauder helped her develop the ability to make quick, informed decisions, “I can sort through the most relevant information and make smart business decisions with confidence.” Her keen understanding of strategy and people management, along with the business insights she gained during her PTMBA, are what helped Nina accelerate her already successful career track.
As Nina continues to push her professional boundaries, she is happy to give back as well, “I was thrilled when UBC Sauder approached me to become a mentor for a current MBA student and it really feels like my education has come full circle, both professionally, and personally.”
It's nice to feel like you're giving back to the program that really helped shape you and get you to where your are today.
"I am equipped with the cross-departmental knowledge and insights that enable me to have a holistic vision as a leader."