Among the many benefits of pursuing an MBA degree full-time, including full immersion in a university’s culture, students attending a school that fosters tightknit bonds between cohorts will also enjoy the support of an extensive alumni network. Those working in the industry presently owe much to their MBA education, and so they will do what they can to help future graduates of their program because they recognize the impact strong businesspeople will have upon entering the industry. Many graduates are also revered for their own successes and act as role models for current students.
Waterloo full time MBA students — at the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics for example — have the opportunity to participate in incubators such as the Launchpad program to first test out business plans that may help them as they later enter the workforce.
Many will have also spent countless hours at the Communitech Hub networking with other students, working away on team projects, and taking advantage of the resources the hub offers, which in turn enables them to grow their ideas. Their success in the real world can often be directly linked to the activities they pursued at school.
Some alumni success stories include those of Mathangi Mayakrishnan (Marketing Communications Manager, Microsoft Canada) and Rachel Ostrander (Advisory Consultant at Global Infrastructure Advisory, KMPG). For Rachel, pursuing her MBA gave her an opportunity to switch fields while gaining valuable working experience through co-op placement. Two separate co-op terms offered her the flexibility to explore a variety of potential career paths, while the school’s comprehensive network provided her with essential connections.
For Mathangi, the school’s reputable teaching culture, particularly its integrated core methodology, was her top reason for choosing to study here. It also allowed her to complete her MBA within a year so she could continue pursuing her career without taking too much time off. Her biggest take away from the program included the soft skill development it awarded like public speaking, presenting projects, and working as part of a team to reach high-stakes goals.
The school further credits their alumni through achievement awards presented at the graduate level. Each year at the end of September, they recognize exemplary performance academically, they acknowledge students’ involvement within the university’s community, and their career achievements since graduating from the program.
Awards include the MBA Alumnus of the year Award given to a graduate who has achieved exceptional career success supported by strong leadership capabilities, The Steve Farlow Entrepreneurship and Innovation award which recognizes an alumnus that embodies an entrepreneurial spirit, and who has demonstrated innovative business achievement, and the Dean’s Award for Community Excellence which recognizes a graduate who has continued to provide support, commitment and service to the school.
When applying for an MBA, students should ensure the program they choose permits them to connect with past students throughout their studies, allowing them to make the most of relationships not just with their own class but with previous graduates that have gone on to be victorious. Not only will they offer current students important career advice, but open doors for them to those industries before they even complete their degrees.