“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
“The MBA(FS) had a remarkable impact on my career advancement. Alongside higher education and knowledge, the years within this MBA program provided new skills, superior perspective and personal reputation through an accredited graduate degree. I have been privileged to interact with high-level professionals and senior leaders through my organization. Most importantly, I gained access to an extensive alumni network with my colleagues through Dalhousie University.
Golnaz Zilabi, MBA(FS) Class of 2019
Golnaz Zilabi, Portfolio Analyst at RBC Wealth Management Private Banking, was a member of IRIS Cameras, International Business class team that finished 1st place in the GLO-BUS simulation exercise conducted during IB Winter 2018. Graduating in the Class of 2019, Golnaz discussed her thoughts on accepting the challenge of a robust academic journey and how her studies influenced her personal and career goals.
In a recent interview with CEGE Connection, Golnaz has come back to share, one year later, how the MBA(FS) influenced her journey since crossing the stage to receive her degree in 2019.
My reasons for pursing MBA studies were both personal and work-related goals.
The academic content within the MBA(FS) was aligned to my career in Portfolio Management. As a seasoned Portfolio Analyst, I recognized that my current platform was responsive, but with the competitive nature of the financial industry and evolving technological advancements, I needed to be proactive within a rapidly changing environment. Over this past year, my focus within my organization, was on increasing agility, specifically in the area of financial project management. My reading in the area of risk management books and articles relating to qualitative risk techniques has been extensive, enabling me tackling strategic plans and new initiatives. In a volatile world, responding and adapting to fluctuations and uncertainties is a strategic imperative to thrive within this dynamic milieu.
My MBA(FS) years reminded me that I needed to embrace creativity to achieve balance and personal well-being. I have enjoyed exploring this area of endeavour. I began with choosing simple steps to expand my comfort zone and overcome my tentative reservations such as aspiration and presentation skills. With each step, I found that the variety of new projects and ideas that I examined, such as interior designing, propelled my creativity forward.
Travelling with my family has always been very important to me. Our world has a lot of amazing places to visit and learning about new locations and sightseeing is a way of including creativity in my family’s life.
I am committed to giving back to my community. I enjoy volunteering at my children’s schools, especially accompany their classes on field trips. Getting involved is a great way to show my children that I am taking an interest in their education. I want them to know that learning is an invaluable gift, one that will continue to impact on their lives as they move forward in their education.
The MBA(FS) had a remarkable impact on my career advancement. Alongside higher education and knowledge, the years within this MBA program provided new skills, superior perspective and personal reputation through an accredited graduate degree. I have been privileged to interact with high-level professionals and senior leaders through my organization. Most importantly, I gained access to an extensive alumni network with my colleagues through Dalhousie University.
Editor’s Note: From CEGE Connection Archives. Original Article published June 16, 2020
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
Neil Gaiman, Coraline
“Failure is one of the greatest experiences you can have. As leaders in any organization, you need to accept that all your decisions will have some kind of risk. There is a balance in finding the potential corporate risk and opportunity risk to garner success. Failure with acceptable risk should not be feared or punished and should be encouraged to promote growth.”
M.E. “Ozzy” Osborne MBA(FS) Class of 2019
I did not have the opportunity to attend the convocation in October 2019, however, I did get to watch it streamed (though not with the best resolution) in the early hours of the morning. As I watched people with whom I spent years within classes and intensives, I kept thinking; What was the most interesting memory of a class or intensive? Of all the course intensives attended and with several amazing memories, I think Business 5103 – Management Skills Development (Leadership) with Dr. James Barker kept coming to mind. During the intensive, there were several scenarios that were presented for discussion on how, as a supervisor, you would conduct yourself. It was then I realized that with over two decades in the Canadian Military, I had a somewhat “unique” leadership style (which I may have vocalized).
Attending the various classes in the MBA(FS) program, I was able to see the different styles from different professors. They ranged from academic to professional to cordial to sarcastic and a myriad in-between. I was also able to see the methods in which others in the class viewed leadership and, in many cases, how it was applied though our group work. I am fortunate in that the Canadian Military teaches leadership to all of its personnel prior to being permitted to lead at any level, which is defined as “the process of influencing others to accomplish the mission by providing purpose, direction, and motivation”. I have noticed some constants (with anecdotes) in the best supervisors and leaders I have worked with:
Consistency (Get up and make your bed): Seems a relatively simple idea starting first thing in the morning. Everyday, get up at about same time and make your bed. In order to lead, you must have a routine and methodology to apply to your day. Secondly, to start the day you need to accomplish something, even if it is small and achievable. Even with the worst day, you have still accomplished making your bed. A leader will have realistic achievable goals.
Lead by Example (If you are not up before the sun it is a wasted day): Always lead from the front. To do that, it takes a longer day and commitment to succeed. Always getting up before sunrise is not easy for people. I enjoy waking up at 3:00am and walking my dogs, getting to the gym by 4:00am for a few hours and then to the office at 6:00am or 6:30am to start the day (defiantly not a schedule for everyone). Many of my supervisors are in the office working when I arrive in the morning despite my personal morning routine. I asked one of my supervisors why they were in so early and the answer was “If you work this early, I work this early.” What was shocking was they did not need to be there at that hour and when my day ended, they would still be at their desk reviewing the day’s submissions, making corrections, etc. Always lead by example.
Small Success (do not fight the river): Most of us work in large banks, organizations and companies. That means we will not change the world or change how our organizations will do business. Trying to make major changes will be difficult, if not near impossible, to cut through “red tape.” So, concentrate on the small things to help. Whether that is changing a small procedure to make life easier for your subordinates or helping a client/customer with something. A leader’s ultimate goal should be to leave an organization better than when they arrive.
Time Management (1/3 to 2/3 rule): One of the most interesting theories the military uses is the one-third / two-thirds planning rule. This means that for any given planning or work-related project, a maximum of one-third of the total time is for you as the manager/reviewer/approver and the remainder of the time is for the team to work. The more time that can be provided to your team, the better. If there is a time crunch, as the manager, it should be yours to absorb. This way, the quality of the product is not compromised. A leader provides time for the team to do the work well.
Ethics and Values are not easy (Shave with your eyes open): This is the hardest thing for any leader to do. Everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. Can you make the decision when you are going to lose something with either decision? The best supervisors I have known worry about doing what is right and not what is easy. A leader can make hard decisions.
Adaptability (Plans do not survive first contact): We all pride ourselves in planning out a method to achieve team goals. The reality is that any plans you make rarely last. In essence. you only have a short time before you need to be able to assess, decide, and adapt to the new situations that will follow. When this occurs, it is important to remain calm, think, adjust, and carry-on. The ability to analyze and adjust for fluid situations is essential. Leaders can adapt.
Accept Appropriate Risk – Failure is not Always Bad (Do not be 10 Ply): Failure is one of the greatest experiences you can have. As leaders in any organization, you need to accept that all your decisions will have some kind of risk. There is a balance in finding the potential corporate risk and opportunity risk to garner success. Failure with acceptable risk should not be feared or punished and should be encouraged to promote growth. When you fail, do not collapse or give up. It is time to learn and improve. A leader accepts risk.
I recommend watching Admiral McRaven and Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s speeches on YouTube for some introspective thoughts on leadership and ethics.
M.E. “Ozzy” Osborne CD, MBA(FS) Class of 2019
Captain, Deputy Comptroller
Congratulations to the Class of 2020
CEGE Connection sends our warmest congratulations to the Class of 2020 as you cross the virtual stage to receive your diplomas today.
We are proud of your achievements and wish you the very best as you continue your journey.
We thank you for your commitment to excellence, life-long learning and the communities in which you live and work.
The CEGE Team
“Here at Dal and here in the Rowe School of Business, we are embracing creativity and adjusting to what will be a new normal for management. We are pivoting, not just our academic courses to a post-COVID-19 new normal. We are also pivoting our research, our ways of working together, and our ways of thinking about work and organizations.”
Dr. James Barker
In February of 2020, our world changed. And we have all experienced that change together in the COVID-19 pandemic. A change that has affected everything that we do. How we conduct ourselves with each other, how we work, how we learn. Everything has been shaped, everything has been moved, everything is different. Words that maybe only a few of us had heard before like, Zoom, Teams, enhanced collaboration – even TikTok – are now part of our work vocabulary and work lives. We have brought so many new elements into our workplace in the last five months as we all have struggled to adapt to a situation none of us has ever experienced.
We like to use the words, “the new normal” to talk about how life is going to be different and will remain different after the pandemic. What is important for us, as we think about organizations, as we think about our businesses, is to start to understand what that new normal is, what it means for us, and how we move with it, especially how we engage in that new normal positively and effectively.
We learned quickly within the pandemic that we faced a constant push of new knowledge out to us all, from knowledge about social distancing, face masks, and about how to work together on-line: How to be more present in virtual meetings. How to dress for a virtual negotiation. How to lean into the camera when you want to make a point during on-line collaboration. Steadily and surely, we are beginning to learn how to make our new normal more productive for us.
With that thought in mind, I want you to know that here at Dal and here in the Rowe School of Business, we are embracing creativity and adjusting to what will be a new normal for management. We are pivoting, not just our academic courses to a post-COVID-19 new normal. We are also pivoting our research, our ways of working together, and our ways of thinking about work and organizations.
Just to speak for myself, much of what I have done in the last five months has been changing the pharmacy safety research that I do to account for the new normal of community pharmacy in Canada: identifying and assessing how our pharmacists can effectively and safely navigate the changes wrought by COVID-19. Here in the Rowe School and the Faculty of Management, we are actively learning how to manage in this new normal and continually working to feed that knowledge back to you. You will see this new knowledge, not just in the classes that you are taking, you will see it in our research reports and presentations, workshops and blog posts, everything from now on is going to be shaped by Covid19 and focused on what we can learn from our experience with the pandemic.
We are also rapidly identifying, assessing, and making available to you other emerging knowledge that you can use to navigate your own new normal of work. And we are collaborating with our peers around the world to ensure that we can move useful knowledge out to you quickly. Dal MBA students who have recently taken our Management Skills course will know the work of Phil Clampitt from the University of Wisconsin. Phil sent me a copy of his latest thinking about how to manage in the Post-COVID-19 organization for me to include for you in this post: Phil Clampitt Seven Lessons Learned from COVID-19.
Experiencing and engaging within the last five months has been a struggle for all of us. We are all struggling together. The pandemic has shown how closely interconnected, interrelated and interdependent we all are. How much our ability to cope with this pandemic depends upon how we deal effectively with that interrelatedness, interdependedness, and interconnectedness so that we can move forward, so that we can shift and address the potentialities of our movement, so that we move in a positive direction. As you go forward in your own navigating of the new normal, remember that here at Dal and at the Rowe School and Faculty of Management, we are working hard with you and to support you in that forward movement.
Editor’s Note: First published August 11, 2020
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Strength of the Human Spirit: COVID-19 – Isolation, Loneliness & Societal Change
12pm – 1pm (ADT): Virtual Presentation
1pm – 2pm (ADT): Breakout Discussion
Dr. Terry Waite knows a thing or two about solitude and loneliness. The English humanitarian and author travelled to Lebanon in 1987 to secure the release of four hostages as an envoy for the Church of England. He was kidnapped and held captive for 1,763 days by Islamic fundamentalists until his release in 1991.
Enduring nearly five years of solitary confinement, Dr. Waite’s experiences and observations about the power of solitude in our lives is more relevant than ever as we contemplate the future in a new world of restrictions imposed by the coronavirus.
The author of three books (Taken on Trust, Out of the Silence and Solitude) will share his thoughts on how solitude can shape the human soul and act as a force for good in our lives, if used effectively.
Following Dr. Waite’s formal presentation, breakout sessions combining students and community participants will be made available to encourage further exploration of the many issues and challenges raised by COVID-19.
Submit questions for Dr. Waite to address here: Wendy.TerrisKlaus@dal.ca
To participate in the follow-on discussion group: email email@example.com noting DISCUSSION.
Starts: Saturday October 17, 2020 – 12:00 PM
Ends: Saturday October 17, 2020 – 02:00 PM
Attend the event here: https://tinyurl.com/y54cno22
This Lloyd G. Shaw Lecture at Dalhousie University is supported in partnership with the Warren Discussion Series of Segelberg Trust.
Supported by Dalhousie University, Faculty of Management and School of Social Work.
Further information: Contact David Stuewe at David.Stuewe@dal.ca
“I have found the ‘more’ I had been looking for. I found it with Epilepsy Canada. In hindsight, I see that my personal quest and perseverance to obtain my MBA was to honour the memory of my little girl. She was my inspiration and it is my soul-fulfilling honour to be able use my hard-earned MBA to help find a cure for epilepsy.”
Carrie Morrison MBA(FS) Class of 2018
At the end of my academic journey with Dal and my MBA goal achieved, many people asked, “what are you going to do with your degree?” To be honest, I always knew I wanted to do more… more than my role at the bank, which fulfills my need for professional growth, my ambition and pays my bills. The problem was I did not know what “more” looked like or how it would manifest itself or materialize.
Currently, I work as the Chief of Staff for Enterprise Systems, Security and Solutions, TD Bank. I work closely with senior leaders to run, protect and transform the bank. This means we ensure stable and secure operations through technological solutions, enablement, advancements and innovations. Sounds kind of fancy but in simplified terms, the team I work with delivers information and cyber security, enterprise technology and transformational programs and initiatives. It is a role, to be honest, which challenges me daily and provides me a new-found knowledge and insight beyond what I had imagined. And yet, even though I feel engaged professionally, I acknowledged that I was ready for something outside my career path.
I determined that it was time to search for the “more” by exploring options and opportunities. I asked myself some soul-searching questions: What could I do with my MBA? How could I leverage my education and degree for the greater good? Why had I persevered through years of school? What was it all for? I recognized that I was personally invested in school, but it was during this time of reflection and discovery that I came to find its true connection.
My MBA gave me a professional distinction which was recognized not only within my company and industry, but across the country and, in fact, world. Those three letters, MBA, are a universal acronym and symbol that tells people, ‘hey, that person knows a thing or two…’! My MBA gives me credibility – a credibility for which I am responsible to live up to and uphold, a credibility which is tangible and understandable inside and outside of a business context.
This credibility led me to consider opportunities which would have otherwise been out of immediate reach. Opportunities like: becoming an Exec at a fintech or startup, something new and exciting and almost entrepreneurial in spirit; possibly teaching, taking additional adult learning courses in order to inspire and instill knowledge in others, which I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to receive; and/or finally join a Board. Not just any board, a board which had salience for me. A board which fulfilled my soul and personal quest for “more”.
This was it! Joining a Board would allow me to leverage my MBA for a good cause. My MBA was an allowance, giving me the permission to apply within this arena without having to have work for 25+years. It provided me credibility which is usually gained through years of service. Through my journey of self-discovery, which followed graduation and lasted about a year, I had finally figured out what “more” meant to me.
Before I started my MBA, my husband and I sadly lost a child, Carlee Dale, when she was an infant, to a rare epileptic disorder called Ohtahara Syndrome. The experience of losing a child changed me forever and I hope no one will ever have to live with the lasting sorrow, like I do. I persevered through some personally tragic, hard and dark times. As time progressed, so has my healing. However, I continued to crave a challenge of perseverance. The challenge gave me relief and solace. It gave me something on which to focus my energy, while providing a distraction.
Fast forward, having my MBA in hand, the only thing that made sense was to fight in Carlee Dale’s memory and for other people impacted by epilepsy. I applied to the Board for Epilepsy Canada and was welcomed to join the Board in September 2019. Epilepsy Canada is a Canadian charity which works to raise funds to fund research and find a cure for epilepsy. Its funding is driven primarily by social media, individual events and sadly, estates. We are actively seeking corporate partnerships and alliances in order to strengthen and support our ability to fund important research initiatives to find a cure across Canada.
I have found the ‘more’ I had been looking for. I found it with Epilepsy Canada. In hindsight, I see that my personal quest and perseverance to obtain my MBA was to honour the memory of my little girl. She was my inspiration and it is my soul-fulfilling honour to be able to use my hard-earned MBA to help find a cure for epilepsy.
Epilepsy Canada. – Canada’s only national, registered charity, dedicated to raising funds for Epilepsy research and education.
Founded in 1966.
Did you know:
From all of us at CEGE Connection, we send out warm wishes for a joyful and memorable Thanksgiving.
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer