Built into the Sprott School of Business MBA program is the opportunity for candidates to build professional networks in their chosen market.
Toby Vo, vice-president of communications and networking at Sprott’s MBA Society, spent the summer doing an internship at Habitat for Humanity, Greater Ottawa, where he managed projects and planned events in four departments.
Alexis Ashworth, CEO of the non-profit organization, is a Carleton MBA grad of 2013, and she and Vo would compare notes on their MBA experiences over lunch.
“For the first two weeks, I did not have much to do,” he said. “The next thing I know is that I did not have any more spare time. But that’s how I like it.”
This summer season was fruitful for the MBA internship program that has offered provided placements for candidates to work with companies like Deloitte, CBC and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Sprott is known internationally for its hands-on program and ability to connect foreign students with small, sometimes closed industries.
“I knew Carleton had an extensive program on establishing networks for their candidates,” said Umar Sani Bello, MBA Society president. Originally from Kaduna, Nigeria, Sani Bello received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from McMaster University in 2011.
His MBA with a specialization in management and change led him to the software-as-a-service company Buildmetric, which helps homebuilders deal with construction defects and warranties through an app.
Joining a tech start-up made sense for the entrepreneurial Sani Bello, who one day hopes to start his own company.
“The start-up environment is more difficult and more challenging than I realized,” he said, “however, it is also a lot more exciting and rewarding.”
On Aug. 7, the federal government started its 150-day countdown to the sesquicentennial year. Hui Zhang was then the research assistant at the Campfire Project, an interactive storytelling website created to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary.
“It not only gave me hands-on experience in social media and marketing,” said Zhang. “I also derived great interest in Canadian history and cultural heritage due to the nature of the project.”
The founder and lead storyteller of the Project, Leanne Clare, explained her goal to bring Canadians together, to share what they thought their country could become, peaking Zhang’s interest. Clare, a research associate for Carleton’s Centre for Community Innovation (3ci), helped Zhang develop her knowledge of audience-building and engaging readers while the latter discovered more about her adoptive country.
“The project helped foster my research and analytical abilities, and enhanced my communication skills,” said the Guangzhou, China native. She hopes the experience takes her into a career in human resources management.
Sprott’s four-term MBA program was ideal for Sani Bello and Zhang who hit the ground running in their 16-week internships.
Zhang knew she would be able to apply what she learned in the classroom to a real business environment, while Sani Bello focused on start-up culture and launching a product.
“The idea of getting an MBA while simultaneously building on a network in a city quickly becoming a tech hub just resonated with me,” he said. “My goal is now to expand my start-up experience a little more, and then wear the entrepreneurship hat myself.”