Steen Madsen, Investment Advisor, RBC Dominion Securities graduated in the MBA (FS) Class of 2016. In a recent virtual interview with CFAME Connection, Steen reflected on his academic journey, offering profound insight into the opportunities and challenges facing those involved in life-long learning.
To be honest, I had the thought of attaining an MBA for 20 years – a bucket list item if you want to call it! The MBA (FS) program offered rich academic content with a high degree of real-world learning supporting the entire program. I wanted education that went beyond my industry, which would allow me to explore other career opportunities beyond banking.
As Rick Nason would say, I embraced the spirit of emergence when I decided to enroll in the MBA(FS). Working within banking and wealth management roles, requires that I must continually adapt to a changing environment both in the market place and within an evolving organization. Studying alongside other industry participants provided new perspectives which inspired me to move forward personally as well as professionally.
Timing the markets or attempting to time the markets is never a proven success; however, I believe that life goals in relation to timing is crucial. For me, it was the right time to take that next-step towards an MBA. Having career and life experience when I entered the MBA(FS) program broadened my learning capacity, positioning me to legitimately contribute within an academic environment. My favorite part of the MBA (FS) program was the intensives. In those three or four days, I learned alongside other industry-experienced students committed to life-long learning
For someone just starting the MBA program, time management will be critical. Use your existing scheduling skills to their fullest and learn to block chunks of time to get the work load and studying done. Use this time wisely, not only to achieve a mark, but to gain knowledge. Integrating an academic journey into the reality of family life and career responsibilities requires a thoughtful approach. The first step starts with a scheduling dynamic that is backed by family permission to spend the hours to get each course done. When I started the program, my daughter was 3 years old; when I graduated, she had turned seven. This meant that her entire memory and impression of her Dad throughtout that time was of me studying in my home office. During those years, there was a shift in philosophy of what is important, that learning for the sake of acquiring knowledge was the ultimate goal.
When I received the letter of acceptance, “congratulations, you’re in.” I bought a Dal sweatshirt. I wore that same sweatshirt for each and every intensive exam, the entire length of the program (4 years), kind of like a lucky charm. Hah, it worked! Believe it or not, I wasn’t the only one to do that!
My next challenge is back to studying. This time a must because it is my insurance licensing which will be a small part of my wealth management business going forward. I still balance work hours with family life because my kids are 8 and 11 and between homework-help and activities there is little time other than the odd NFL game or UFC fight to watch. I really enjoy being a Dad and the time I spend with my children is a blessing. I appreciate every moment – they are only young once!