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The Globe and Mail

Business school tips from Canadian MBA and EMBA alumni

These successful grads are now leaders in the fields of finance, health care and government

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What were the most valuable connections you made during the program (e.g., professors, future colleagues, fellow students), and in what way were they helpful? I continue to have a strong relationship with a few professors; one in particular introduced me to my current boss while I was working in my previous job.

—Jamie Stein, Rotman MBA 2011; manager, Social Media, ING Direct, Toronto

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What were the most valuable connections you made during the program (e.g., professors, future colleagues, fellow students), and in what way were they helpful? I interacted with outstanding people at the highest levels of industry, finance and technology, who allowed me to appreciate how, for example, the Toyota production system could be applied to improve quality of care and eliminate delays. —Clifford Albert, McGill-HEC MBA 2010; Canadian Institute for Laser Surgery, Montreal

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What were the most valuable connections you made during the program (e.g., professors, future colleagues, fellow students), and in what way were they helpful? The MBA faculty continue to offer me feedback and mentorship; the career services team and alumni office still offer me great opportunities; and my own cohort has been an amazing source of ideas, support and friendship.—Tuesday Reitano, McGill-HEC MBA 2008; program manager, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna

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How did you pay for the program? I was fortunate that my company sponsored me; I was also fortunate to be able to bring back learning from the program and implement it in the organization.—Jagjit Obhan, Kellog-Schulich EMBA 2012; assistant vice-president, External Finance Group Head, Manulife Bank, Toronto

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How did you pay for the program? 95% by myself: left, right and back pockets. Personal savings, lines of credit, RRSPs and student loans. The remaining 5% came from Rotman through bursary funds recognizing students who were making special contributions to the program life.—François Cartier, Rotman MBA 2007; director, Energy Investments, Private Equity, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

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How does the EMBA compare to the MBA as a credential? If you’re [starting out], an MBA might be more useful, but as a senior executive moving from one position to another, I would assume that an EMBA would be as strong, if not stronger, depending on the connections you made in the program.—Mike Ross, McGill MBA 2011; consultant, McKinsey & Co., Montreal

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How does the EMBA compare to the MBA as a credential? Although I believe the MBA is more recognizable, this is changing as more people get EMBAs. And a major strength of the Sauder EMBA is that it is targeted: From day one of the program, the classroom learning has been transferable to my place of work.—Blake Armstrong, Sauder EMBA 2010; senior operation leader, St. Michael’s Care & Hospice Centre, Burnaby, B.C.

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How does the EMBA compare to the MBA as a credential? I’m not sure that employers really differentiate between EMBA and MBA as long as you get the job done. I have heard people say that an EMBA [program] is not as rigorous. But I disagree—balancing studies, family and work was very challenging.—Eric Demaere, EMBA Sauder 2009; director, Strategic Transformation, Fraser Health Authority

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