Photo Credit: Centre for Executive and Graduate Education
October 2, 2018, the Dalhousie University MBA(FS) Class of 2018 celebrated the culmination of their academic journey in the graduation ceremonies held at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.
In the audience, Ann Etter watched as her son, John-David Etter crossed the stage to receive his well-earned degree. This was the same stage she crossed in 2001 when she was awarded the identical MBA(FS) degree. Seventeen years have passed between the two graduations, a confirmation that the pursuit of academic excellence continues and evolves within a world of dynamic change.
CEGE Connection reached out to Ann for her thoughts as she celebrates her son’s achievement and remembers her personal journey to acquire knowledge.
Ann C. Etter
September 28, 2018
The Old and the New
I’ve always been interested in learning new things, however, as I reflect on the topic of lifelong learning, it’s words that my Dad said to me in 1972 that have resonated with me for the past 46 years. As background, I was working with BMO in the summer of ’72 and found I enjoyed banking so much that I decided not to return to university to complete my undergrad degree. My Dad took me aside and shared some very important words of wisdom …he said, “I want you to remember that you are never too old to go back to school”. And there it is – 46 years ago – my foundation to lifelong learning!
Women in banking was a lot different a half century ago than it is today. Women were not actively promoted to management jobs in any bank nor were they highly educated. It didn’t take me long to realize that I would have to equip myself with more education if I was to compete for higher level jobs. So while working full time, I went back to school and obtained my undergrad degree. But I couldn’t stop there. I had a thirst for knowledge and continued through the years with bank courses, too many to count, and went on to obtain numerous designations which eventually brought me to the realization I wanted to obtain an MBA. Hence, enter Dalhousie University which had the foresight to introduce the MBA in Financial Services.
I applied, was accepted and started on the journey to obtain and expand my knowledge of the business environment. Dalhousie provided the opportunity to learn via distance as well as providing a supportive network, which is important, especially if one has a demanding job. The courses, tailored to the Financial Services industry, are challenging and thought-provoking. The profs are top notch and available if needed. The networking opportunities with other students was invaluable.
One of my objectives on this journey was to show my son by example that hard work and commitment to a goal pays off. JD, who was a teenager at the time, knew that obtaining an MBA was important to me. He was extremely supportive at home, allowing me the time I needed to study and complete assignments. JD learned the importance of lifelong learning and went on to set goals for himself to achieve educational success. I’m very proud of JD’s accomplishments. I know that with JD’s outgoing personality and commitment to doing the best job possible, he will be successful no matter where in life his path leads.
As for me, you may be seeing more of me around campus. Lifelong learning will always be a part of my life. As I get closer to retirement, I find myself thinking about what courses I’d like to take in my spare time. Dalhousie is doing a stellar job of keeping the MBA (FS) alumni informed of talks that we can attend. And there are a plethora of courses available.
It will be exciting to attend fall convocation ceremonies knowing that JD and I are the first mother-son duo to obtain the MBA Financial Services.