Originally posted by Jordan Fujiwara.
That’s me, by the way. That’s right, this week’s blog is about my experience with this program thus far! People have been asking when I was going to blog about myself so I figured I’d dish one out. They’ve also been wondering when a prof might show up here; that is also in the works! So, about me: I’ll be 24 in exactly one month. I grew up in Eastern Passage, a then-small but now-bustling fishing town just northeast of Halifax, right across the harbour. I’ve been going to school in this neck of the woods for pretty much my whole life, receiving my BSc in Psychology from Dal (2009) and now, of course, the Corporate Residency MBA at Dal.
I’m doing something a little different for my Corporate Residency. While my peers have all gone off to work, I am working for me. The program’s flexibility allows for entrepreneurial residencies provided you put together a solid case for a business. For me, the opportunity was obvious. For decades there have been MBA student–owned consulting firms operating out of Dalhousie’s School of Business. Traditionally they were run full-time in the summer months by MBA students entering their second year and sold to fresh students around April. However, the new CRMBA curriculum has all its students off to work for 8 months, starting in January… tossing a wrench into those decade-long traditions.
Like I said, the opportunity was quite clear for me. I’d buy one of the firms and do that as my residency, and be able to work for myself for 8 months while learning the ups and downs of running one’s own company. It was a good choice for me because, despite having a BSc and starting a master’s degree, I was one of those classic students who didn’t reallllly know what he wanted to do. I knew I liked psychology (but not lab work, so much), and I knew I was interested in marketing or advertising or PR, and that was about it. Quite a broad scope. I felt the whole sandbox situation with the consulting firm would be a great way for me engage with the local business community and test many pieces of the business world at once to help guide me towards that narrower scope. So I went ahead with the plan. Randel Madell and I purchased Coburg Consultants Limited. Randel is an equal owner but works part-time. She is also a Corporate Residency MBA student with a full-time residency; can you say ambitious? You’ll meet her in the weeks to come.
Here’s the cool part: three months in and I’ve achieved that narrow scope! Yep, I know what kind of career I’m aiming for. The story goes like this: one of our first contracts was with Dal itself, to help market and promote the Corporate Residency MBA program. As current students who work in the building and are constantly accessible and have genuine connections to the rest of the class, Randel and I (and consequently, the company) were viewed as a huge asset. Part of the marketing contract involves a social media campaign. In fact, this blog is a part of that campaign, as well as the new Twitter feed and revamped Facebook page. Before rolling out all those shiny toys, I had to do a lot of research into social media and social marketing. And I kind of got hooked. Like a lot of us 20-somethings, I grew up as the Internet did and was around to see the birth of Google and Facebook, so I was pretty knowledgeable about how to use social media… but I had never truly looked at it through the lens of business and especially not with the tools and techniques that the program had provided me with.
What I found was mystifying. The entire landscape of marketing is being transformed at an unprecedented pace by the explosion of Web 2.0 tools and online communities. It’s changing so fast, in fact, that tons of companies find they can’t or can barely keep up. I want to ride that wave, since as long as the Internet is around, it won’t be stopping. Social Media and its applications to business / marketing is my narrow scope, and now I have 5 months in this “sandbox” as well a bunch of elective courses in the 2010/2011 school year to actively position myself to land a tremendously inticing career upon graduation. All thanks to Coburg and the Corporate Residency MBA.
I could write a lot more, but this blog is long enough as it is. If, as a prospective student or a curious individual, you have any questions about Coburg and how it’s been going, feel free to get in touch with me! You can find my email through the Coburg website (linked above) or ask a question on the Facebook fan page wall (also linked above). Cheers, and see you next Thursday (or earlier)!