Samantha Burnet is 23 years old, and is originally from Calgary, Alberta. In June of 2012 she graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science, subject of specialization in Life Science. For the past year Samantha has been living and working in Newmarket, Ontario, during which time she became interested in the Corporate Residency MBA program at Dalhousie University. She wants to complement her BSc with an MBA because she believes it presents a perfect opportunity to pursue a career path that incorporates both science and business. Beyond her academics, Samantha has been a competitive dancer, focusing seriously on competitions and conventions throughout grade school, and continuing during university more as a recreational hobby. Dance has provided Samantha with an amazing opportunity to meet new people, travel and establish balance in her life and she hopes to continue with it.
What sparked your interest in doing an MBA?
In high school when I was deciding what course of study I would pursue for my undergrad I found it came down to science or business. Ultimately, I found that the sciences provided me with an opportunity to explore different specializations and hands-on work in labs that would challenge my primary interest. After graduating, I continued to feel a pull toward business. When I discovered MBA programs that incorporate work experience and academic learning, I wanted to pursue a business education without further delay.
You are originally from Alberta, went to school and worked in Ontario, and are now about to start your MBA in Nova Scotia. What made you choose Dal’s Corporate Residency MBA program?
I chose Dalhousie first and foremost because I believe that this program and the university community as a whole present a very suitable match for me. Studying at Queen’s University, I became used to a very tightly knit environment and feel that Dalhousie’s sense of community closely mimics this style. In addition, I found this program to be the most desirable choice because of the work term residency position that I believe will give me the opportunity to network in the industry and determine the focus and type of professional environment best suited to my knowledge and experience.
In addition to Dalhousie, I applied to the Co-op MBA program at both McMaster University and Carleton. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to visit all three campuses in addition to guided tours of the business schools at McMaster and Carleton. After getting a sense of the atmosphere and dynamic at the different schools, in addition to feedback from current and graduated students, I determined that the environment at Dalhousie University was most suitable for me. Further, the reputation of this program and overall feedback I have received from other students made my decision to accept the offer from Dalhousie incredibly easy.
What are you most excited about in the days leading up to the start of the program?
Coming from Calgary, and having lived in Kingston, Ontario, for the past five years has given me the chance to get a feel for two very different city styles and cultures. I believe that Halifax will give me an entirely new experience that will contribute to the dynamic that I have been exposed to previously. In the past few years I have been able to come to Halifax on a few occasions to visit family, and believe that it is an incredibly welcoming and interesting city. Further, I am extremely anxious to start school again and be immersed in an environment filled with enthusiasm and rich diversity. After taking a year to determine this path, I have really generated the motivation and enthusiasm that I need to be successful in this program.
What is your ideal job upon graduation?
I am interested in pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry. I want to establish a career that will allow me to utilize my education in science, as well as complement the education I gain through the CRMBA program at Dalhousie.
What three attributes do you think are important for every business person to possess?
I think they are leadership, knowledge and integrity. To me, leadership means having the ability to motivate and inspire those around you while maintaining the focus and drive to attain a goal. In addition, I think it is critical to have the knowledge and analytical skills necessary to develop a plan of action in any situation. Last, and certainly not least: integrity, which will serve you well in any situation.
Who do you admire most as a business professional and why?
The person I admire most as a business professional is my father. I have had the opportunity throughout my life to watch his career evolve, and have realized that above other things that have motivated me through my education, he has truly been the most inspiring role model. My father spent many years obtaining his education, first completing a BA in Political Science and Economics, and then while working full time and attending night school he attained his CA designation. I have watched as he climbed the corporate ladder, and to this day he continues to develop and better himself as a business professional. Watching his career evolve and seeing the opportunities he has been exposed to in the corporate world is one, of many things, that inspired me to pursue my MBA.