“I have never regretted that decision and the hard work that I had to put in to graduate. I am convinced it was one of the best career decisions I made and that the methodology and structure was instrumental in broadening the scope of my knowledge and ability. It was fundamental in contributing to whatever success I have obtained in my life.” Michael Archibald on choosing the MBA(FS)
New Year’s Eve 2016 was a milestone for Michael Archibald MBA(FS) 2009. On December 31, 2016, he was awarded the insignia of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Her Majesty the Queen for his services to banking in Grenada as chief operations officer of Fast Cash. For Michael, this was an unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebration. It was also a time to reflect on the road travelled, to honour and remember the culmination of his efforts to give back to Granada.
CFAME Connection reached Michael at his office in Granada to ask for this thoughts on how the MBA(FS) added perspective to his work in the financial services industry.
I chose the MBA(FS)for a number of things including the natural result of the progression of my career in banking and my own desire to reach as far up the ladder as I could. I was not what one would call a “star” pupil. In my teenage years, I was more interested in representing my school and my Island, Grenada, in sports like basketball, soccer and cricket. I got into banking largely by accident when I was hired as a Teller at the St. George’s Grenada Branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; a large Canadian international bank with branches around the Caribbean.
As I moved quickly up through the various jobs and levels at the branch, I became more interested in banking and my sporting interests as a player fell by the wayside. I was chosen as someone with “promise”, and transferred to Canada for a while as part of the International Audit Team visiting all their International offices in the Caribbean, New York and London as an Audit Officer. This is the time that I knew I was hooked.
I soon came to realize that I needed to further my education in the field, to improve my qualifications and my understanding of banking, business and related fields, if I was to realize my potential and grasp the opportunities that were becoming apparent to me. My circumstances would not allow me to resign and enter University full time so I enrolled with the Institute of Canadian Bankers and worked my way to becoming an Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers. I returned to the Caribbean at the level of Branch Management in both Grenada and St. Vincent and I knew that being an Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers was not enough.
In March 1979, there was a revolution in Grenada, the first and still the only one in the English-speaking Caribbean, resulting in the overthrow of the Government. The new Government asked for the help of young individuals in banking to form a new local bank with the idea of establishing an institution that recognized and understood our economy, our culture and our needs, better than international banks. I was selected to lead the team that formed the new bank; our results were extraordinary. The bank experienced a radical transformation from the newest and smallest bank on the island to becoming the largest.
Being a small branch manager of one of the international banks does not really prepare you properly for the challenges of establishing and managing a complete stand-alone entity. I knew I had to further my education and understand the financial world better. I enrolled in and attained my Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers and succeeded in the Stonier Graduate School of Banking in the United States. But I knew I needed more as the bank grew to become the largest bank on the island and a pillar of our economy. That led me to Dalhousie University in Canada and the MBA (FS) program. I have never regretted that decision and the hard work that I had to put in to graduate. I am convinced it was one of the best career decisions I made and that the methodology and structure was instrumental in broadening the scope of my knowledge and ability. It was fundamental in contributing to whatever success I have obtained in my life.