Shakiba Jalal and Nathan Risling are U of S employees finishing an MBA.

Taking care of business: Growing number of U of S employees pursuing MBA

Many professionals on campus, not just those with business backgrounds, are pursuing the Edwards master of business administration (MBA) program to bolster their skill sets and advance their careers.

The MBA has proven to be relevant to a diverse group of students from arts, business, engineering and health care, to name just a few. In addition, for the 10 U of S employees who are currently enrolled, the Edwards School of Business MBA is an attractive option because of the responsive program design and focus on teambuilding, leadership and business strategy.

Shakiba Jalal, who works in the Department of Computer Science, said she was drawn to the Edwards MBA because she was looking to enhance her skill set.

“With a strong background in science, I was looking for a program to complement my analytical skills with a strategic approach to leadership and management,” said Jalal.

Nathan Risling, who works in Institutional Planning and Assessment, said it is about building on the mechanics and basic concepts learned from his Bachelor of Commerce degree.

“The MBA has a deeper focus on the implications of the decisions you’re making in an integrated, strategic approach,” he explained.

Jalal described the Edwards MBA as a toolkit to utilize in any situation that requires strategic problem-solving. The pillars of the program include foundations of management, the human side of management and integrated business perspectives.

“The human side of management is intriguing as it takes into account personal reflection and helps students understand organizational leadership, group dynamics and business strategy,” said Risling.

The essential management skills retreat was a welcome change, in response to student feedback.

“Incorporating skills beyond the academic component, like the focus on personal well-being and the access to a trainer, is an exciting addition,” said Jalal. “I am really looking forward to the new workshops and retreat.”

While many people will agree graduate-level education is worth the investment, balancing a full-time job, along with family and school can be a hard task to juggle.

“The Edwards MBA fits well into family life,” said Risling. “Being able to leave your office and head to class without having to worry about the hassle of parking is just one of the small benefits.”

“It is very convenient having the MBA classes located here on campus,” added Jalal. “The support of my employer and the Administrative and Supervisory Personnel Association tuition waiver were also a factor in my decision.”

For those folks on campus considering the MBA, Jalal and Risling suggest taking the next step. They said while writing the Graduate Management Admission Test may seem daunting at first, the benefits of the MBA program will outweigh the initial investment.

“You have the chance to make the MBA program your own,” said Risling. “You will get a lot out of it in a supportive environment.”

The Edwards School of Business offers informational sessions about its MBA program every month. To learn about upcoming information sessions and admission requirements, please visit edwardsmba.ca

Natasha Katchuk is a communications officer in the Edwards School of Business.

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