Michelle Hunter exemplifies the best of what CFAME offers students – a compassionate voice on the other side of the phone. At a recent 20th Anniversary celebration of the MBA (FS) program, Michelle received a special and well-deserved recognition for her contribution and commitment to the welfare of students. Anyone who embarks on the MBA 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 CFAME students over the years. On a personal note, Michelle and I have been friends for 17 years. I am excited that we will be working together on the CFAME Connection project. Her knowledge and experience will give depth and breadth to the discussion.
In a recent interview, Michelle reflected on CFAME’s extraordinary legacy.
I have been with the Centre for Advanced Management Education for 17 years and this year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary for the MBA (FS) program; it has been a wonderful 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 (FS), MPA (M) and MIM have remained constant.
Students enrolled in one of the CFAME 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. Therefore, when Dalhousie provided them with the opportunity to earn a master degree while continuing to work toward furthering their careers, it was a 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 the in smallest of ways, to achieve their goals. The thing I most enjoy about talking 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.