Originally posted by Jordan Fujiwara.
She never thought she’d be taking up an MBA until she applied. With no business background (she was a makeup artist) and a BA in Communications and Art History from Université de Moncton, Camille (pronounced Kah-Mee not Kah-Mill) Hannan wasn’t exactly sure that many MBA schools would take her seriously. But when looking at our program: “I had a sense I could really be myself. Some universities might laugh in my face, but I feltthey were open,” she says.
Her journey to secure an eight-month corporate residency wasn’t without its challenges. “I just want to say that it was very important to me to find the job that I really wanted,” she explains. “I sent like 50 résumés out to 50 different companies.” Eventually, she got a response from CBC/Radio-Canada. However, it took some time before they could sign her on. Camille waited as Christmas drew nearer and things got tenser. “I put everything on the line to have that job at CBC/Radio-Canada. I got the offer on Christmas Eve (a nice present) and then later learned that I’d be moving to Montreal. I had four days to prepare with no apartment or anything lined up. It was very risky, but maybe that just goes with my personality. If there are first-years reading this that end up in this situation, I’d say you just have to trust that it’s going to happen.”
Camille said she’d do it all over again: the position at CBC/Radio-Canada was a tremendous opportunity for her. She had two primary roles. The first was helping to manage the application of new enterprise class software that made use of social media and web applications to streamline internal processes. She created several online “teamspaces” and worked closely with senior management to start to figure out the best way to use it. The other part of her job was to write business articles and employee profiles for internal distribution, for example, explaining to employees the implications of the new Canadian accounting standards (IFRS).
The actual work aside, Camille also was enamoured of the vibrant culture. “It’s a very dynamic place. There’s a certain kind of energy that you experience when working in production,” she explains, referring back to her makeup days in Moncton, “and I felt that same energy there. It’s a stimulating work environment. For example, all the radio personalities work on the same floor. The company, by its entertainment nature, is great at hosting events too. Say there’s an internal awards show. Well, the person giving away the awards isn’t some manager, it’d be a big TV star or something! Another thing I’d like to say: I love love love living in Montreal. It’s a fun city and being able to work mostly in French but also use English… it’s such a creative and open environment!” On top of all that, she reports that she had an awesome boss and good mentors, and never felt any animosity from the rest of the team for being an ‘intern.’
It’s safe to assume that she misses her work. She is still working for them remotely, for 15 hours a week, and hopes to rejoin them when she graduates. Again, it’s a bit of a risk since it’s not a guarantee but she’s perfectly okay with that.
Overall, she’s glad she ended up taking this MBA. “Even though I was working in a place where there aren’t a lot of MBAs, it’s clear to me that we need good managers wherever we go. This program has given me the skills needed to grow in that area and I’ve been given opportunities faster than I would have otherwise.”
I would like to thank all of you for reading: we’ll see you next Thursday!