Logan Coughlin-O’Brien is an Employer Development Assistant at Dalhousie University. Currently enrolled in Dalhousie’s Corporate Residency MBA Program (Class of 2021), Logan’s interest spans the fields of Investment Finance, Strategy, and Management.
In a recent virtual interview with CEGE Connection, Logan spoke about how the Corporate Residency MBA Program presented opportunities to learn, connect and engage within the world of business. Communication, teamwork, customer service, and leadership are areas that have been developed during his tenure as an MBA student. When Logan crosses the stage this year, he is confident that he will be well-positioned for success in his chosen career path.
Enrolling in the Dalhousie MBA program was a pivotal decision, guided by my undergraduate studies in linguistics, which identified that a big shift was required to prepare me to achieve my future career objectives. At the end of my BA degree, I recognized that a Dalhousie MBA would offer a broader exploration into career choices. I was looking for professional opportunities that would engage me for the remainder of my working life, while allowing me to make a valuable contribution to society.
I once thought a career in academia would suit me. My undergraduate experience included working within teams. I enjoyed the camaraderie and working together to identify challenges and find solutions, which clearly suggested that being confined to an academic situation was not the best option for me. Dalhousie’s Corporate Residency MBA Program was an excellent opening to use my prior knowledge and pivot into the world of business, while preparing for a career that would suit my personality and aspirations.
As I look forward to graduating, I can say that my MBA journey experience honed the skill sets within the business landscape. The opportunities for employment movement are open to me. More importantly, I know that I have chosen a career direction that will be fruitful and enjoyable.
How did I keep the balance between work, study, and life? Many times, throughout my MBA journey, the only thought running through my head was: “there’s no way I’m getting everything done.” At the end of the day, however, progress was made, and projects were completed. I found that it was important to celebrate and reward my accomplishments. As a strong advocate for a work-hard/play-hard mentality, I believe that there must be an equilibrium between my studies, my part-time work experience, and my social life. I learned quickly that a schedule was essential to plan relaxing downtime, while balancing my 10-20 hours workweek with a busy school program and a stimulating role on the MBA society. Of course, keeping this balance was challenging. Some weeks I opted for meeting study deadlines over social activities and other weeks, I set an assignment on the backburner to enjoy meeting up with family and friends.
Dalhousie’s Corporate Residency MBA Program integrates an 8-month residency term following the first year, which allows students to incorporate the course learnings. With an economy impacted by Covid-19, my initial work placement had to shut down their internship program in March 2020. While regrettable, this drawback fostered my entrepreneurial spirit. I reached out to network, to learn new skills, and found work experience within business development and an independently led equity research group. Without question, one of the many takeaways from the MBA was the importance of enhancing my communication and networking abilities.
My next step is to obtain employment where I can bring my passion, talents, and experience to the table. My first-year financial management class ignited my curiosity and a genuine interest in deepening my understanding of financial management. Currently, I am actively seeking a position within investment finance, specifically roles that revolve around Investor Relations, Business Development, and client focused work.
Dalhousie’s Corporate Residency MBA Program came at a decisive point in my life. I am excited to explore new challenges that are waiting for me when I receive my MBA.