It has been a historic year for the Ivey MBA, with Sharon Hodgson taking the reins as dean in May. A Wharton MBA who was most recently a senior executive at IBM, Hodgson headed up the firm’s Canadian consulting arm and the North American analytics unit. So what can future Ivey MBAs expect from Dean Hodgson? We recently asked J.D. Clarke, Ivey’s executive director of master’s programs, recruitment, and admissions.
A) What is the most exciting thing that has happened at your school in the past 12 months?
“We recently appointed Dean Sharon Hodgson, who brings to Ivey unique perspectives, dynamic work experience, and a broad worldview. Her leadership will not only be felt at the school level but throughout all of Ivey’s programs. As a seasoned business executive leading cutting edge teams in areas such as artificial intelligence and data analytics, I expect Dean Hodgson will work towards a holistic positioning of the full-time MBA program, balancing progressive student programming in tune with a global career marketplace.”
B) What project or initiative do you have in your pipeline that will be attractive to the Classes of 2021 and 2022?
“At Ivey, we are working towards putting in place greater structure and clarity around the MBA programs objectives and priorities. Specifically, every member of the MBA community will be guided by an MBA cultural blueprint that clarifies what we believe, how we behave, and the outcomes we wish to achieve. Furthermore, driven by our desire to constantly innovate, we plan on selectively experimenting with instituting promising new initiatives introduced by the faculty and students that hold the potential to advance the educational objectives and the desired career transitions of our MBA students.”
C) What is the biggest strength of your full-time MBA program?
“Driven by our case-based method of learning, our philosophy is to educate rather than to instruct. Teaching almost exclusively with cases is not easy, but requires engaged, collaborative, and shared learning efforts between faculty and students.”
D) What is the most underrated part of your program that you wish prospective students knew more about?
“Ivey students consistently reflect on the school’s caring sense of community and supportive relationships formed between students, staff, and faculty. The experience creates long-lasting bonds as well as an invaluable network upon graduation. It’s hard to put a value on this and hard to explain without experiencing the program itself.”
THREE REASONS WHY THE CLASS OF 2020 CHOSE IVEY
The case method may highlight Ivey’s marquee, but it was the community that led the class to take a leap of faith. Here are several of the benefits that brought the Class of 2020 to London:
1) Supportive Alumni: “Ivey graduates are known for being remarkably polished and confident. I wanted to be challenged outside my comfort zone in order to develop my executive presence and impact change within the healthcare industry. When I was initially contemplating pursuing an MBA, I had many coffee chats with Ivey MBA alumni who were also physicians. I was especially impressed by those I had known prior to completing their MBA at Ivey – something was different, in a very powerful way. They seemed more confident, articulate and thoughtful. There was a transformation that had happened. All Ivey alumni, genuinely and unanimously, emphasized this part of the program and I thought, “That’s something I want to be part of.”
2) Wide Range of Activities: “I was looking for a school that went beyond the academics. In less than three months, we have already engaged in a host of activities including networking simulations, team-based workshops, and club events – all of which ensure that our technical business education is adequately complemented with tools to help develop our leadership, management, and communication skills.”
3) Case Method: “The case-based nature of the classes integrates the core disciplines in a way that is readily applicable outside of a classroom setting. These cases prompt robust classroom discussions that draw upon everyone’s previous professional experiences and makes for a more holistic learning experience.”
Katherine J. Wynne
MYTH BUSTER: IS IVEY ISOLATED?
No doubt, London isn’t Toronto. At 500,000 people, it is a tenth the size of ‘The 416’ – and more than two hours away. As a result, some wonder whether London – and Ivey by extension – is as cosmopolitan or full of opportunities as bigger city programs. Here is what two members of the Class of 2019 had to say:
“The biggest myth I have heard was that Ivey was not as inclusive and diverse as other Canadian schools because it was located in a smaller city – London, Ontario. I was pleased to see that the situation was the complete opposite. The school and my classmates were extremely open and actively supporting myself and our Pride Club from day one. In addition, we have people from all around the world, with the most impressive and interesting backgrounds and cultures. The school really places diversity and inclusion in its priority list.”
“Ivey alumni are readily happy to refer you to people they know who might be able to help. Ivey prides itself on having an engaged, active, and responsive alumni network especially in Toronto, which is only a two-hour drive away if you are really down for an in-person coffee chat. Most importantly, most of the big names come to campus in London for info sessions and interviews.”
ADVICE FOR GETTING INTO IVEY
Thinking about taking a shot at joining Canada’s oldest business school in the Class of 2021? The program is seeking diverse and dynamic candidates, says Maneola Brito – ones who aren’t afraid to step forward to lead.
“Make sure your leadership skills are showcased in your application with solid examples, but most importantly, make sure you are not trying to be someone you are not just to get in. Show who you really are; it is your personality and experiences that will add value to those around you. Inspiring leaders are authentic and not afraid of being themselves.”
Before graduating, William Nguyen served as a student ambassador. In his experienced, the difference between accepted and rejected candidates boiled down to one factor: confidence. “Confidence helps candidates to be herself or himself whether it’s on the application or in an interview. And that’s in the best interests of students. Ivey purposefully selects those that it believes make a good fit.”
A FINAL WORD
Outside class, Andrew Newton has developed a passion for running. For him, running became a transformational experience, a daily commitment of pushing himself to go further and faster so the finish line is all the more “exhilarating.” His running also served as a metaphor for business school – one that valued risk and perseverance.
“You get out of it what you put into it. The journey to get to your goal is the best part, and your capacity is only limited by your own perception of it. So push yourself and get at it. If you don’t hit your goal, the base off of which you start the next time is much for advanced than when you first started.”
What motivated these professionals to enter business schools? Which programs did they also consider? What strategies did they use to choose their MBA program? What extracurricular activities have they enjoyed most so far? Find the answers to these questions and many more in the in-depth profiles of these incoming MBA candidates.
|Shirin Ahmed||New York City, NY||Yale University||International Rescue Committee|
|Prateek Chhikara||New Delhi, India||Symbiosis International University, Pune||Indian Army Special Forces|
|Fletcher Courage||Meaford, Ontario||Carleton University||The Rideau Club|
|Martina Di Gioacchino||Vaughan, Ontario||Queen’s University||Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care, Government of Ontario|
|Alistair Leighton||Albany, Western Australia||University of Western Australia||Vattenfall Wind Power|
|Logan McGinn||Sudbury, Ontario||Laurentian University||Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Western University|
|Alexandre Netto||São Paulo, Brazil||Universidade de São Paulo||MUFG Bank|
|Andrew Newton||Oakville, Ontario||Carleton University||TouchBistro|
|Fiyin Oyewo||Lagos, Nigeria||Covenant University||Oriental Energy Resources Limited|
|Emmanuel Ukposidolo||Markham, Ontario||Western University||Kiewit (InEight)|
|Chau Vu||Hanoi, Vietnam||Illinois Wesleyan University||XLE Group|
|Katherine J. Wynne||Calgary, Alberta||George Washington University||The Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce|