2019 Best & Brightest MBAs: Tegan Boaler, McGill University (Desautels)

Tegan Boaler

Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

“Dreams big with an eye for detail; impatient to make things better.”

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec (originally from Surrey, England)

Fun fact about yourself: Since moving to North America, I have gained a new-found love for Twizzlers (some might call it an addiction)

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Exeter (UK) – First Class Bachelor of Arts with Honors (English Literature)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Schneider Electric – Senior Internal Communications Business Partner

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Montreal

Where will you be working after graduation? The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Innovation

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Desautels Entrance Award
  • Kelly Family Leadership Award
  • President, Desautels Graduate Society

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My tenure as President of the Desautels Graduate Society has undoubtedly been my proudest achievement. I am proud that I had the courage to ‘step up’ and be seen by my classmates, and that they elected me as their voice. I am proud of all the little changes our executive team achieved – from re-launching the annual ski trip to being more inclusive of all students and cross-program activities during MBA Orientation Week to more transparent financial reporting processes and streamlined communications strategies. I am most proud of what these collective small changes represent: my dedication to making things better and being of service.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am proud of bringing together a team and sharing collective success. Nothing makes me prouder than helping others develop and seeing them surpass their own expectations.

What was your favorite MBA Course Negotiations with Professor Jay Hewlin. The quantitative and more technical courses are important, but this course provided crucial life and leadership skills. Jay encouraged us to step out of our comfort zones and explore through practical simulations. This enabled us to finish with insights not only about influencing others and overcoming difficult conversations but insights into ourselves as business leaders.

Why did you choose this business school? Meeting with alumni and current students ahead of applying, the emphasis on diversity (professional backgrounds, nationalities) and community very much appealed to me.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Own your narrative: be clear on what value you can bring to the program, and your own unique qualities.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? Remember that you are not 19 anymore, and your body will not like your ‘student diet’! Seriously, I wish I had known that the hardest academic challenges in the MBA would be some of my most treasured moments of achievement. That sometimes it’s not about getting that top grade. It’s about stepping up, taking risks, and learning along the way.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Lauren Pochereva, a Professional MBA student. I admire all my classmates who take care of professional and family commitments on top of their MBA studies, and Lauren succeeds in doing all this while being involved in the student community. She never fails to bring her heart and determination to the table, helping all of us stay focused on outcomes which will truly make a difference.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mum – who taught me to never say ‘I can’t’ and never let anybody else tell me I can’t either.

What is your favorite movie about business? Forrest Gump – a serial entrepreneur who follows his heart and finds success by living the best way he knows how.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working in London as a senior communications professional, wondering if I am capable of something different.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? Whilst investing in my MBA education has been a significant financial decision, I have never thought of the value as a dollar amount. For me, it’s completely in our own hands what ‘return’ we yield from the program and, more importantly, how we apply this value and pass it on.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Writing a book and starting my own social impact business.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Someone who cares enough to be present, asks difficult questions and will be there until the end.

Hobbies? Baking, exploring new places and cuisines, reading, theatre. I’ve also gained a few new hobbies thanks to my classmates – immersive escape rooms is a favourite!

What made Tegan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“From the moment she entered the program, Tegan stood out due to her superior communications skills and ability to connect with classmates from all corners of the globe. It was no surprise that she was unanimously elected as Class President. Her professionalism, empathy and high level of patience are skillsets that were fully leveraged throughout the program and which will undoubtedly serve her in her future career.”

Sema Burney

MBA Career Coach



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