“Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but if we take the time to see not just what we lost, but what we stand to gain, we might be pleasantly surprised by where life takes us next. “
– Andrew Ourique, MBA(L), Class of 2023 –
Completing an MBA program is a significant accomplishment, and joining the esteemed Dalhousie Alumni Network is a momentous occasion. Andrew Ourique, a recent MBA (Financial Services) graduate reflects on his five-year journey of remarkable transformations.
Andrew has transitioned from a steadfast employee to an adaptable entrepreneur, while embracing diverse industries. Amidst personal trials, Andrew shares how he has grown immeasurably and has learnt to prioritize happiness as his ultimate life goal.
“Congratulations on completing your MBA Program and welcome to the Dalhousie Alumni Network!”
I had to take a moment to let those words sink in. I started my MBA journey back in January 2018. A lot has happened over these five years. I’ve moved roles 3 times, from a loyal, one-company man to an entrepreneur, working with clients from different industries every day. While that might be perceived as a huge transition, it pales in comparison to the growth I’ve experienced personally throughout my journey; from enduring a global pandemic, losing two unborn children, and mental health struggles. It’s been a whirlwind to say the least and yet, after all of the trials and tribulations I’ve had to endure, I wouldn’t change a thing because it’s got me to where I am today, with the outlook I have for my future.
Life is hard. There will be ups and downs but in the end there is one thing I’ve realized is the most important thing to prioritize: Happiness. It took me a long time to realize this simple truth. When I first started my MBA journey, I was focused on one goal and one goal alone. To become a Vice President at my firm. It’s all I thought about, every decision I made was centered around it. Every move I made both professionally and personally was done in pursuit of that goal; from the projects I worked on to the clothes I wore and even how I acted.
Today, I have a very different goal in my life. To be happy. Full stop.
Today, I am happy, fulfilled and grateful for the experiences I’ve had to get me to this place in my life. I have the confidence to hold steadfast to the decisions I make in pursuit of happiness. Has it been perfect, absolutely not. Have I experienced rejection, absolutely! Has it been tough, at times, for sure. Would I change anything, no way.
My grandmother used to say, “tis life,” every time we would talk about something that didn’t go according to plan. She was a wise woman. It has taken me years to understand the true meaning behind those words. Initially, I believed they expressed disappointment—anticipating one outcome that didn’t materialize. However, after all these years, I have finally realized the truth: these words convey excitement and opportunity. Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but if we take the time to see not just what we lost, but what we stand to gain, we might be pleasantly surprised by where life takes us next.
Dan Shaw says
Andrew, great to hear your story – I felt like I got a preview of it at the pub on Wednesday night at the Dal MBA Alumni event. Thx so much for your contributions to student life in the MBA Leadership program, for your work as MBA FSL Student Sub-Committee Chair, and for your work toward building a new combined MBA curriculum! Look forward to watching your future entrepreneurial endeavours and success!
Director, MBA Programs
Faculty of Management