Posts Tagged ‘MBA Careers’
“Securing” an internship
Writing this post I am in the fifth month of my internship with Ecotrust Canada. Ecotrust is a federal charity that self-identifies as an ENGO and an enterprising nonprofit, working towards a conservation economy for BC. The objective of this posting is to explain, based on my personal experience, the importance of using your network to secure an internship. As some of you may have heard, it is not about finding “a” job (internship) but rather “the” job. I believe I’ve succeeded in achieving the latter of the two.
Coming into Vancouver from Athens one thing I didn’t take into consideration was population. Having in mind populated cities of North America and, let’s be honest, my reference point of Hollywood films, I thought Vancouver would be much larger. I simply didn’t check in advance to discover that Vancouver and the Lower Mainland has a population of just over two million people! Coming from Athens, with a population in excess of five million, I can only say that Vancouver seemed very small and slow paced.
Networking is always an important aspect of community building, but within a business community centered around only two million people, it becomes crucial. I have, since arriving, made a serious effort to attend events, tweet, connect through LinkedIn and slowly but steadily build both my presence and my network here.
Simply… do it!
During the first couple of weeks of the MBA, I was elected as Co-President of SFU Net Impact Beedie Chapter, a student run chapter with its own mandate: “Our mission as emerging business leaders is to make a positive environmental, social and economic impact in the Vancouver community by advocating responsible and sustainable business practices.” In recognition of my commitment I was given a complimentary seat at a table sponsored by SFU at the 5th Annual Spring Gala and Young Agents Awards. At the event I had the pleasure to meet Brenda Kuecks, President of Ecotrust Canada when both of us arrived early and had casual time to time to talk and learn about each other’s background.
After keeping track of this relationship and calling to ask Brenda to be one of our speakers for the 20/30 Speaker Series hosted by Net Impact, I asked for an information interview. I was honored to have such an insightful meeting (jargon term: info interview), learning not only about Ecotrust Canada and its work but also much about the non – profit sector more generally. Being a student can open a lot of “doors”. Used strategically, these doors can lead you to people willing to provide good guidance.
Be knowledgeable of your environment
During the conversation, I introduced a funding opportunity that exists for students-researchers in Canadian Universities through the Mitacs organization, and specifically the Mitacs Accelerate Project that sponsors research based internships. It is an important funding opportunity that may help some of you garner financial support to put your experience and knowledge to the test in the workforce.
Long story short
It worked! Since October of 2011 I have been a member of Ecotrust Canada working as a Project Analyst in Economic Development. The project is titled “Business planning for social enterprises” and it has been a great experience. Not only am I getting to put into practice what I have learned during the MBA program, but at the same time I am receiving great guidance and insights to further improve my work.
- Connect: Be careful and be sure to personalize everything (especially LinkedIn invitations)
- Be sure to utilize your title: Being a graduate student opens a lot of doors
- Build your online presence and network
Also build your offline presence and network (sometimes it will bring you into a different set of
I am grateful and would like to thank Brenda Kuecks, President of Ecotrust Canada for offering me this opportunity, Oba Harding, Director of Business Development, Mitacs for providing his valuable help in securing a smooth and successful application, Jeremy Stone, Economic Development Project Manager of Ecotrust Canada for his close guidance and resourceful feedback on my work and of course all the staff at the organization that welcomed me at their “home”.
I would also like to mention the faculty, staff and fellow MBA candidates for their support and active presence during this important step of my life. They have all enriched my experience and have been really valuable to me in many different ways.
About George Chatzivasileiou
George is an MBA Candidate working at the nonprofit organization Ecotrust Canada as an Economic Development Project Analyst. This is an intern position co-sponsored by Mitacs Accelerate Program and of course Ecotrust Canada. George holds a BS in Shipping, Trade and Transport. He enjoys learning, thus you are most likely to see him at events with topics about economy, sustainability, social entrepreneurship and of course shipping. He is also blogging at g-controversial.blogspot.com.
I recently had the opportunity to add my name as a contributor to an article public in the Wall Street Journal’s Executive Adviser Report, entitled “When People Come and Go“. The research for the article began during the MBA program at SFU, when a group of classmates and myself were tasked with a project about Leadership and Teams. We talked about factors that influence team success, including membership stability and turnover. Immediately someone asked the question: What if your team has changing membership? We began to brainstorm and came up with dozens of examples of teams whose membership changes, including sports teams, project teams, and health care teams. We called these groups “fluid teams”, an expression that had not been used prior to our SFU MBA project.
Without really realizing it, my colleagues and I were asking questions that hadn’t yet been well answered in academic research. Since more and more organizations are turning to team-based work environments, research on fluid teams is becoming important for understanding organizational behaviour. Dealing with the loss of knowledge that occurs when a team member leaves, the lack of commitment that can come with temporary team membership, and the lack of cohesion that can plague teams with changing membership, is a challenge for many kinds of organizations, and research has not yet identified comprehensive solutions to these problems. However, organizations are looking to ensure the success of work teams even if membership is temporary.
The article was published on August 23, 2010 and was quickly picked up by several other online publications including Best Practices Construction Law and SFU Business News. CBC Radio also wanted to cover the article, and I was pleased to represent my colleagues on the CBC radio show On the Coast on Friday August 27.
The success of the article only solidifies the importance of collaboration and team effort to my current career aspirations. I’m very pleased to have contributed my writing, researching and editing skills to this article that is generating so much positive attention. It’s a great reminder for current students who might be wondering how their school work and team projects might contribute to their success post-graduation. We sometimes complain about having to do so many group projects, but they can have exciting results if they are applied in the right way.
I have linked to the WSJ article from the Write Ahead company web site, where many examples of my original writing can also be found. I’m always seeking new projects and looking for opportunities to apply this research and the rest of my business knowledge to other organizations.
We live in a world where organizations pay billions of dollars to have their logo front and centre during the most watched sporting event of all time (The FIFA World Cup). For the most part, this money is well spent, especially when you’re a company that will see a million-dollar plus revenue boost with as little as a single percentage in market-share increase. These are companies like Adidas and Nike, Budweiser (Anheuser Busch InBev) and Miller (SABMiller), or Microsoft and Apple. For smaller companies looking for a big increase in sales, events like the super-bowl, world-cup, and the Olympics are out of financial reach for prime sponsorship coverage; enter ambush marketing. Depicted in the video above, several beautiful women with the promotional colors and logo of a small Dutch brewery called Bavaria NV dance, strip, and get escorted from the stadium by police… Sounds odd until you learn that Budweiser is an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, and these girls were getting a lot of attention. This is the definition of ambush marketing, and like the guy that strips down naked and streaks across the field with the web address for an online gambling casino, it can receive a lot of attention. The SFU MBA Program in Vancouver has two professors that are particularly interested in this type of marketing, so much so that they’ve published a paper about it. Read the rest of this entry »
Wahiba Chair (SFU MBA ’08) is nourishing the Vancouver Technology scene with her fantastic new mobile application “CarrotLines“. Wahiba is one of these individuals who has entrepreneurism in her blood, and whose graduate business education served only to solidify and allow her to develop confidence in what is clearly an innate talent for business and technology. Below is a brief introduction to Wahiba and her incredibly colourful professional journey. Stay tuned for what promises to be a regular part of the A Few Good Minds MBA blog. Read the rest of this entry »
More than just a buzzword, sustainable business is going to become the norm. It has to. Every business has a social, an environmental, and an economic impact. To remain profitable all companies have to focus on sustainability, however the choose to define it.
If your company is interested in being more sustainable, you must first choose what aspect of sustainability – social, environmental, or economic – is most important to the business. Then, choose a pathway that is realistic and achievable. Sustainability activities, like any business activity, should be carefully planned, appropriately implemented, and regularly assessed, or it won’t be successful. So, set goals, create deadlines, and stick to them to gain credibility in the eyes of both internal and external stakeholders. Read the rest of this entry »
The routine of working 9-5 isn’t for everyone, and as a young entrepreneur, it certainly isn’t for me. I’ve launched my own business, Write Ahead editing & writing services. This path necessitates that I take what I’ve learned from my recently completed MBA from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and help businesses write, improve, or revise their business communications. Here is a story about a typical day in my atypical life, and how the SFU MBA helped me develop the skills and confidence to be an entrepreneur in Vancouver. Read the rest of this entry »
Every year in April, the SFU Alumni Board organizes what we refer to as an “MBA tune-up”. This half-day MBA networking and learning event features seminars from two of the Business Faculty’s most reputable professors. The SFU Business professors that present at the event are invited based on their current research projects. The idea is that MBA Alumni who have been out of the educational arena for some time have an opportunity to learn about current business research. This year’s SFU EMBA “Tune-Up”, scheduled for mid-April helps to exemplify the connectedness and breadth of the SFU MBA Alumni group. The two presenting professors will be Leyland Pitt (Marketing) and Anton Theunissen (Finance, Risk Management). Both of these professors are actively involved in the current MBA and EMBA classes offered by SFU Business. Currently these networking reunions are only available to Executive MBA Alumni from SFU, however there are plans to open this popular event to all MBA Alumni from SFU Business in the future. For more on this, read on: Read the rest of this entry »
This video was recently created to promote the Vancouver Business Career Expo. The event attracts nearly 100 employers and over 1000 business students at both the graduate and undergraduate level from SFU and Sauder (UBC) schools of business. Every year, the attendees (business students) select a group of employers who they feel were most organized and who impressed them the most. For 2009 (2010′s event was rescheduled due to the Olympics) the employers were Telus, BC Liquor Distribution Branch, Research in Motion, Sun Life Financial, BC Hydro, Best Buy Canada, Deloitte, and Department of National Defense. For more information on the Vancouver Business Career Expo, or to join as an exhibitor, please visit: www.businesscareerexpo.com
Click here to read a transcript of the video: Read the rest of this entry »
As we continue to follow Lindsay Angelo in her career as an MBA graduate from SFU Business, this post comes to you with a more playful tone. If you’ve been following the story so far, you’ll know that as of the end of March, 2010, Lindsay has finished her Olympic secondment and is back to work with BC Hydro in the MPID program. Just in case you’re out of the loop, the following link will bring you to the beginning of her story: MBA Student Profile – Lindsay Angelo, MBA, MPID Here is her Olympic account:
The last few months have been nothing short of amazing. Starting my Olympic secondment in December, 2009, I was lucky enough to land in the area of Village Plaza and Events, the group responsible for all entertainment, retail, recreation and leisure in the village. Two weeks into my secondment with VANOC, shortly before Christmas, I received an email from BC Hydro (where I am currently participating in the MPID Program) asking me to write some words about my Olympic experience to date. With the Christmas spirit live and well at the time, I thought there was no better way to share my enthusiasm and excitement than through a poem. The rhymes below describe my VANOC experience with a twist! Read the rest of this entry »
Here at A Few Good Minds Student MBA Blog we are aware that success is subjective, so we love hearing alumni success stories. In our opinion there’s nothing more impressive than seeing an individual whose educational choices have launched their career. This is especially true with one MBA Alumnae who we follow quite closely, Lindsay Angelo (MBA ’08). Since completing her MBA at SFU in Vancouver, Lindsay was brought on as a future-manager at British Columbia’s second largest corporation, and has led a team in the Athlete’s Village for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Read the rest of this entry »
A crucial element to the MPID program is the field rotation, a rotation that exposes you to the bare bones of BC Hydro, which is of course the generation of electricity. Although we have an array of functional areas at Hydro, generation is the core of what we do. For this reason, it is important to learn as much as possible in the MPID “field rotation”.
My field rotation at Burrard Generating Station was one-of-a-kind. I spent these precious months familiarizing myself with operational processes at the Plant while trying to learn how a Thermal Plant actually operates. My project portfolio included developing several tools to help the Plant better prepare for major outages (where the Plant will shut certain equipment down in order to perform work). This project was aimed at improving workplace safety and reducing risk. Read the rest of this entry »
Having worked in business for the majority of my career and as a newcomer to BC Hydro, I was unsure what to expect entering a rotation in Engineering, Aboriginal Relations and Generation. In general, since I had just finished my MBA, I had was excited and nervous to begin my career here in Vancouver. Would this new graduate business degree make a significant difference in my post-mba job? I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of experiences I gained during this rotation. From managing a $3.3 million Capital project to developing an Organizational Impact Assessment for a large project aimed at improving Project Delivery practices and processes, I wore many hats in this role – each one an entirely different style and colour! I was fortunate to work with two amazing project teams and a manager who provided mentorship, coaching and overall, a great introduction to BC Hydro. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s opportunities to meet business people like Jim Derbyshire, Mentor-in-Residence, that truly define the power and depth of the SFU community. Vancouver is often thought of as a small town, with few global career opportunities and a limited network to the outside world. Jim Derbyshire, hailing from the UK, and who has grown companies in the UK, New Zealand and Ottawa, Canada, would completely disagree. Jim is a Mentor-in-Residence for Simon Fraser University’s (Vancouver) Venture Connection Network. Throughout his nearly 35 year career, Jim has been a serial entrepreneur, Angel Investor, CEO, Mentor, and Consultant in several different industries and vocations. Jim has a very large global network and knowledge base which he is more than happy to share with the SFU students who attend his one-on-one advising sessions. Read more about my experience in an advising session with Jim: Read the rest of this entry »
This post will serve as the root page for what is an ongoing and exciting profile story of recent SFU MBA graduate, Lindsay Angelo. Through a combination of both interviews and first person accounts, A Few Good Minds will track the burgeoning career of this recent MBA Grad. At the bottom of this post are the links with descriptions for different parts of her story and her career adventure thus far after finishing her MBA coursework in August 2008. There is also a link describing the lead-up to her enrollment at SFU in Vancouver after receiving an undergrad from George Mason University in the USA.
Each link will bring you to a separate post on each of the two rotations Lindsay has completed at BC Hydro thus far, as well as a third link describing her Vancouver Olympic Secondment position. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever wondered how some folks manage to keep on top of so much current news and so many blogs? Google Reader is a handy tool that’s a real time saver, and probably the way they do it. As a full-time MBA student in the one-year program, with nearly 30 hours of class time each week, it’s a welcome time saver. Read the rest of this entry »