Originally posted by Jordan Fujiwara.
Today we’re going to hear Randel Madell’s story. She is my partner in crime as she owns half of Coburg Consultants Limited. However, she works for Coburg part-time while tackling a full-time corporate residency (she’s not crazy, just ambitious). Originally from Calgary, with a BA in Economics and English from St. Mary’s University College (not to be confused with the Saint Mary’s in Halifax; this school is in Calgary), Randel was unsure of her career direction, but totally sure that she wanted an MBA on the east or west coast. The ocean called.
A year before officially signing up for the program, she came to Halifax to check it out and spoke with Rick Nason, who now teaches finance in the Corporate Residency MBA. He noted that the program was well suited to those who weren’t entirely sure what they would be doing with an MBA (i.e. Randel). Fast forward to today, and Randel couldn’t be happier with the choice she made: “I just want to emphasize the opportunities I’ve had with the program: business competitions, the huge number of interviews and networking sessions, being part of the MBA Society, owning Coburg… and we’re only halfway through.”
She was particularly fond of the some of the business competitions, such as the Scotiabank Stock Challenge held at Saint Mary’s University last year: “They set up 10 companies and a live trading floor. In between ten three-minute rounds they gave you a news release and you had a minute to figure out how the companies’ stock would be affected. Then the round started and you had three minutes to buy or sell. Our team won first place in that and also placed second in the Sobeys Live Case Competition.” Randel is definitely looking to get involved in more of these business competitions in the fall/winter and is even looking to set up a course credit that integrates them.
She tells a familiar tale of the camaraderie of the program: “No one’s a number,” she says, “One of the biggest things I’ve been impressed with is the support network. Not just from the students, but from the MBA office as well. I was diagnosed with lupus early in the work term and everyone has been nothing but supportive and have been helping me figure out ways to manage it. Another great example is that I moved recently within the city and essentially all of my moving was done by fellow MBAs from both 2011 and 2012 classes.”
Randel’s full-time position is with Cushman & Wakefield Atlantic as a Research Coordinator. C&W is the largest global real estate solutions company in the world. “Basically I keep track of every square foot of commercial space in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,” she explains. “I also write quarterly reports for these regions that involve the inventory, market shift, forecasting and economic outlook for the region. These are written for every segment (retail, industrial, office) of the market in both provinces, and then published globally through the company website.”
She fondly recalls the experience of a particular company conference in PEI: “It was quite intimate: The Canadian president & CEO of Cushman & Wakefield was there for a few days and I got to have some great discussions with him as well as members of all our Atlantic Canadian offices.” Randel bunked up with classmate Alex Mulkewytch, who is also doing her residency with C&W in the same position as Randel but based in St. John’s, Newfoundland. “Other networking within the company has been incredible too. I have worked on deals with, spoken to or met in person someone from every major office in Canada, and it has opened several doors for the future.”
“I think if anyone’s interested in commercial real estate, it’s a big industry and hard to be able to learn about it, but this job gives you a great introduction.” Currently, Randel is exploring the possibility of going to work with C&W after she graduates next year! Clearly, they like her. Great job, Randel!
Also, Randel is this year’s Director of Career Services and Alumni Relations on the MBA Society. “My biggest job is acting as the liaison between the students and Management Career Services. I’m the channel to use if the new class has any concerns (especially anonymous ones) about the residencies or the hiring process.” Her final piece of advice for today: “Be open minded. Just… the amount of incredible opportunities that are going to be put in front of you… if you keep an open mind you will get an amazing residency.”
As a real-life example of someone who’s doing something a little different for his residency, I’m a big supporter of that message, Randel. We’ve been called the “tailor-made MBA” for a reason. See you next week!