Ye (Ian) Fu is a second-year MBA student in the Corporate Residency program. He is originally from China and chose to come to Canada for the first time to pursue his MBA. Ian was able to apply what he had learned from the MBA program, and make lasting connections that have served him well in his professional development with the Bank of Montreal (BMO) during his recent work term. Gain insight into why Ian believes that leveraging connections is one of the most important skills to master.
When asked about his decision to pursue his MBA in Canada, Ian says the Dalhousie Corporate Residency MBA program was especially attractive. Combining traditional academic coursework with an 8-month paid residency, the CRMBA is a unique opportunity for students to fast-track their professional success.
“The reason why I chose to come to Canada is to experience Canadian culture and gain North American work experience. Considering this, the Corporate Residency MBA program stood out to me immediately. The 22-month program includes an 8-month paid work term, which provides me with the opportunity to experience the corporate culture in Canada and to network with professionals in the industry to pave the way for my post-graduate job search next year.”
Ian completed his 8-month residency with BMO in Toronto this past August where he worked as a Data Analyst. He notes that transitioning between two projects challenged him to be organized and rely on skills he had developed through the CRMBA program.
“I had to quickly learn how to manage the relationship with both teams and carry on two projects at the same time. The effective communication and time management skills I learned from my MBA PPE (Personal Professional Effectiveness) class really helped me succeed during this transition.”
Ian says that a big part of his residency success can be attributed to the supportive nature of his supervisor and team members. Having that degree of support enabled Ian to gain confidence in his abilities and seek out tasks and learning opportunities outside of his comfort zone.
“Both of the teams that I was a part of were super supportive and helpful in answering my questions and guiding me through projects. I had weekly meetings with my supervisor where I was able to talk to him about the things I learned and ask for his feedback. I’ve benefitted tremendously from the cohesive team environment and the ease of access to upper management at BMO.”
For Ian, one of the most beneficial aspects of his residency was the increased opportunity to make professional connections, which he says directly influenced his future career development.
“Your work term is the best time for you to demonstrate your personality and work ethic. Making a good impression with your colleagues and managers can really help you stand out. Earning a reference letter from your manager is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from the rest of the competition.”
“It’s never too early to start networking. Everyone in the company should be your target audience, even from different teams, as you never know if someone from the finance team might offer you a position even when you are working in marketing. Be proactive; introduce yourself and ask people questions, this is the best way to start the conversation. Don’t get frustrated by a few failures. If you’re doing what you believe is the best for you, success will come!”
Want to learn more about how to improve and leverage your networking skills? Check out our blog post ‘Build Your Confidence and Practice the Art of Networking’ to learn tips and tricks on that you can apply to your job search and career growth.