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BW Businessworld

Warmth Of Values

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Sitting in the Management Consulting class, learning how to narrow down on a specific assignment scope using concept of a funnel, took me back in time. Two years ago I remember sitting with my fiancé and a fresh sheet of paper, ready to do an MBA after four years of a successful corporate career. We had hit a road-block, clueless about which programme to choose and where. The same funnel technique (which I am using in my class) came handy when we started-up on a broader scope, narrowing down the options. And soon things started falling in place.

We started by eliminating the places I would not like to do my MBA from. With some relevant work experience in my hands, I was keen to be in a class where others too have some work experience, I could learn so much from their experience. Having lived in India all my life, I was also looking at a diverse classroom with students from all over the world. I little more homework on the places I would like to live in after my MBA, I shortlisted – Canada.

Down the funnel - The Richard Ivey School of Business (Ivey), with its reputation, classroom diversity and case study approach seemed to be the best option. The one-year length of the programme and inputs from alumni and people in the industry clinched the deal for me.

So here I am enjoying every minute of the Ivey MBA, constantly amazed by the programme, the career management department, my classmates, the faculty and most of all myself. Each time I thought I was reaching full capacity at Ivey, I learned to accommodate more; case preparation for the three classes, extensive classroom discussions, team meetings for various assignments, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Senators' meeting, career management activities and a social event, all in a day's work. Multi-tasking has taken on a whole new meaning now, and I expect so much more of myself than I ever did before. The one year format may seems to make things intense, but teaches efficient use of time in itself.

A typical Ivey class starts with students outlining the problem that emerged from a case study. Everyone comes to class prepared where opinions fly around, faculty navigating the discussion and its depth. Being a student groomed in the Indian method of studying, I was surprised to note that faculty encouraged thoughts different from their own, and even commended students who challenged them and offered a different opinion.

Solidarity comes in many forms at Ivey – some serious, some fun, and some a mix of both. In the true spirit of Ivey's contribution to society, the men in class were growing moustaches in the month of November to raise money for the cause of prostate cancer through the Movember campaign. I am interested in pursuing a career in the not-for-profit sector after I graduate, and Ivey's commitment to society, both in activities and classroom teaching, makes me believe that business management education is moving in the right direction and will only get better.

As winter approaches, the city of London in Canada is turning increasingly beautiful. Those of us who have never seen a ‘white' winter are excited for the forthcoming season, gearing-up with winter clothes. For me, the warmth and polite manners of Canadians merge into my Ivey and London experience, creating six months of excellent memories and a plethora of learnings for the future.

Naveli Gupta is a student in the MBA program at the Richard Ivey School of Business (Ivey), University of Western Ontario, Canada