Originally posted by Jordan Fujiwara.
Alright, finally, another interview! Can you believe it’s almost Christmas again? Ridiculous. Anyway, today we’re going to meet Matt Gurnham. He’s a Halifax native who also went to Dalhousie for his undergraduate degree. He did a BSc in Biology and Philosophy before coming into our Corporate Residency MBA.
“[The program] is great in the sense that it gave someone like myself (who didn’t necessarily want to get a master’s because it didn’t open that many doors) the opportunity to get a solid business education, and a job. I feel like I’m getting a well-rounded commerce education in two years,” he says. “I mean, I was able to get initial interviews with three of the five major Canadian banks without any prior banking experience.” That happened just recently, but for the moment let’s step back to January and see who Matt worked for during the corporate residency.
He was with the Programs Branch of Transport Canada, which operates all the publicly-owned airports in Canada and also handles a lot of the environmental work associated with that. “My day to day changed a lot; I basically did everything I could get my hands on,” he explains. “I had lots of different projects. I did some budgeting and finance, I helped the Regional Director prepare for meetings, I wrote up the business plan… but my main project was to develop an information management system for the Atlantic Region. The different departments within Programs all had their own system for storing documents and other information, so I had to learn what they all did and find a way to integrate them.” Over the eight months, Matt was primarily stationed in Moncton, though he was able to travel back to Halifax quite frequently and worked in Dartmouth for a short period. He completed ‘Phase 1’ of his major project, and is now working with Transport Canada part time during the rest of the school year in order to start on the next few phases.
“I’d say the most exciting thing that happened on my residency was being able to do a presentation at a manager’s meeting about the information management system. There was some resistance towards the whole project at first; people weren’t on board with it because, well, they didn’t really understand the current system. My presentation explained it, evaluated it and pointed out what was wrong with it, what needed to be changed and helped them visualize the process and the end goal. It helped them to appreciate what I was trying to do.”
When it comes time to graduate, Transport Canada is definitely a possibility for Matt. However, he also really enjoys finance and learning about it so he is keeping his options open. For now, he’s strapped in like the rest of us during this lovely time of major deadlines and final exams.
That’s all for now! We’ll have our video special next week and I am going to try to round up most of the second-year students who have yet to be interviewed and get them all before the year’s out. Then I’ll get WordPress to publish them automatically so as to avoid any more interruptions. Wish me luck!