Michelle Hunter exemplifies the best of what CEGE offers students – a compassionate voice on the other side of the phone. Anyone who embarks on the MBA(FSL), MPA(M) MIM academic journey appreciates how important it is to reach someone who can help them achieve a home-work-study balance. Michelle has been there for hundreds of CEGE students over the years. On a personal note, Michelle and I have been friends for 20 years. I am excited that we are working together on the CEGE Connection, an initiative to build and foster a virtual community that thrives on the exchange of knowledge and experience.
In a recent interview, Michelle reflected on CEGE’s extraordinary legacy.
I have been with the Centre for Executive and Graduate Education for 20 years. It has been an extraordinary experience. Although the Centre has had a few name changes; new programs added and some retired, some programs have undergone major re-design, and the delivery model has evolved significantly; relativity speaking – the students in the MBA (FSL), MPA (M) and MIM have remained constant.
Students enrolled in one of the CEGE programs have made a choice to achieve a personal goal of earning a master’s degree and when they do achieve this goal it is a very special accomplishment. I recall in the early days of the programs, returning to studies was not even a consideration for most of our students. Putting their careers on hold to go back to school was not realistic or feasible. When Dalhousie offered the opportunity to earn a master’s degree while continuing to work toward furthering their careers, it was a personal and career goal that was now achievable.
It is wonderful to connect with the students in the program and to continue the connection after they graduate. The first initial conversation is typically when someone inquiries about applying to the program or after they have been accepted. We have a conversation about program planning or resources Dalhousie has to offer. It is a great feeling to know that I can assist someone, even in the smallest of ways, to achieve their goals. What I most enjoy talking about with our students is the personal connection: learning about their families, their careers, and how they are applying what they are learning in the program and implementing this new knowledge in their personal and professional lives.
It is an honour to work with the students, they inspire me – they are committed, goal oriented and dedicated to lifelong learning.
Acting Director, Centre for Executive and Graduate Education
Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University
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