Originally posted by Scott A.E. Smith.
Sean Sinclair is on exchange at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, but he took a break from his studies to catch up with, across the Atlantic, ‘Coach’ Kirk Yanofsky. Kirk recently returned to campus from his Corporate Residency with Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI). In December 2011, Kirk was voted by his peers as the Class of 2013?s first-year Student of the Year. He’s a former volleyball coach, a proud father to (the cutest kid on Earth) Paige, and an all-around great guy. Enjoy!
Also: look out for our next feature with MBA Society President Christie Lang, also of the Class of 2013 (and who happened to do her Corporate Residency with Kirk at NSBI)!
You have a very interesting life story that sets you apart from the rest of your cohort. Please tell us about yourself, Kirk.
I came to the program with a slightly different (and somewhat longer) life experience than the rest of my classmates. I was a high-performance athlete coming out of high school and throughout university. I have been fortunate to have travelled extensively in Canada and been to a few places in Europe. My first career and passion was volleyball and coaching was a natural progression after my playing days. I attended the National Coaching Institute in Calgary (one of only two centres at the time) and received my NCCP Level 4 certification (which qualified me to prepare athletes for national and international level competition). A decade-long career as a professional coach followed (in university and with the national team). After this, I moved on take advantage of an opportunity to work locally (Halifax) in medical devices marketing, education and sales. After a couple years, while this was a good job with some great people, I decided it was not the right job for me and I started to look at other options. After much evaluation this led me back to Dalhousie for degree #3—I have a BSc (’93) and MSc (’99), also from Dal.
Apart from all this, I had the amazing experience of becoming a father in 2007, and the challenging experience of my wife passing away after a battle with leukemia in 2010.
Most recently, I did my corporate residency at NSBI here in Halifax.
Was it difficult to get back into the academic mindset after working for that long? And do you feel that your life experience provides you with a different focus and respect for academia than, say, your younger counterparts?