Meet the MBA Class of 2021: Noah McColl, Ivey Business School

Noah McColl

Ivey Business School at Western University

“Curious about (almost) everything.”

Hometown: Saltspring Island, British Columbia, Canada

Fun Fact About Yourself: I lived in Ethiopia for five years. During that time, I got into home brewing. In a pinch, I can make a mean honey wine, known as tej in Ethiopia.

Undergraduate School and Major: Yale University, Engineering Sciences

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: charity: water, Senior Portfolio Manager

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Creativity. COVID turned our year on its head. It’s been incredible to see how classmates have found creative ways to still make the year a proper MBA experience. From call-in fitness classes to Zoom-talent shows, we’ve invented a lot of new fun.

How has the case method enriched your learning? The case method has been amazing for creating opportunities for classmates to share their past experiences. It really brings the content to life when when examples are shared of concepts being applied in the real world.

Aside from classmates and cases, what part of the school’s MBA programming led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I was excited about the practicality of the MBA skillset. There are more technical graduate degrees, but the MBA gives manager level insight to a range of business disciplines and then allows you to apply those learnings in group work. From my pre-Ivey career, I know how impactful this blend of business knowledge and collaborative aptitude will be.

You moved online quickly after arriving on campus due to COVID-19. What has the transition been? How has online platform impacted your relationships with your peers? Obviously none of us expected our MBA year to be as it is. The first few months were especially challenging as we were all far away from our old lives, families and communities. Furthermore, there was a lot of uncertainty about how long restrictions would be in place and how the program would adapt. Over time, the program and the class has adapted nicely. I think we were all surprised how seamlessly the case method and curriculum was adapted to the online format. Socially, we also created some fun in the virtual environment and then more recently some small in person hangouts have been fun. The year ahead still has many unknowns. After COVID-19’s real life crash course in resiliency, I’m confident our group will still take full value from our Ivey experience.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Supporting the charity: water team in passing the 10 million people served milestone. Water access is foundational to global development, and a cause I’m so proud to have supported.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Right before Ivey, my job entailed partnership management with a portfolio of non-profits. Through this experience, I got to develop relationships with a range of non-profit leaders, many of whom had MBAs and private sector experience. As someone who enjoys working through organizational issues, I concluded that an MBA would be a good path to take me to higher levels of management within non-profits.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? None

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into Ivey? I spent many hours chatting with Ivey alumni. This both sold me further on the program, but also prepared me well for the application and interview. People are a huge part of Ivey, so it’s important to know them.

What is the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started at Ivey? London is not as cold as they said.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.