Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Connor Batchelor, Ivey Business School

Connor Batchelor

Ivey Business School at Western University

“Empathetic, persistent, and adventurous, with an appetite for continuous learning and growth.”

Hometown: Calgary, AB

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am an avid squash player with a provincial squash referee certification

Graduate School and Major: University of Calgary – Master of Science (Neuroscience) [past degree]

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Aurora Cannabis Inc. – Project Manager Research & Development

How has the case method enriched your learning?  The case method taught at Ivey is unlike anything I have ever experienced in my academic career. Working through real-life business problems each day allows us as students to learn valuable business lessons and build a repertoire of situations we can draw upon when similar circumstances or patterns arise in the real-world. The true magic of case learning occurs gradually over time as we begin to apply the various lessons and frameworks we have learned to deepen our analysis and understanding of business problems. In learning teams, our understanding is further reinforced as we have the opportunity to learn from and challenge one another, which also complements the learning objectives and the day-to-day work we accomplish.

One of the key benefits of the case method is learning how to decipher complex information, decide what is most relevant, and then communicate your ideas in a clear and succinct manner to make well-informed business recommendations. Each case has multiple possible solutions, so your ability to defend your ideas while considering alternatives serves to better prepares us for real-world situations we are likely encounter in the workforce.

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 originally attracted to Ivey’s MBA program due to their standing and track record of success, one-year program length, and the many positive discussions I had with past alumni of the program. A big factor for me was the length of the program. Being only one year, I would limit my time out of the workforce and avoid additional costs associated with two-year and part-time programs. After looking into various MBA programs in Canada and the US, I was really encouraged by how helpful and accommodating the program staff was at addressing all my questions and helping me with my application. As a current student, I continue to be amazed by the level of commitment and dedication of program staff and professors in ensuring we get the most out of our MBA education.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Tenacious and Caring. When I joined 160+ other students at Ivey, I never thought I would even get the opportunity to meet a fraction of them. Since our program began in March, I have been overwhelmed by the incredible friends I have met and the unrelenting support they have offered to me and each other. It is clear that our differentiated advantage is our diversity and my classmates have been selfless in going out of their way to help others and drive initiatives that bring our class closer together. We have already overcome many challenges together from learning virtually to relocating across continents to supporting one another through the ups-and-downs of the MBA program. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of Ivey’s MBA class of 2022 and I know that the world will be a better place as a direct result of their efforts. I look forward to getting to know more of my classmates and hopefully learning with them in-person soon!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about helping people and finding ways to make healthcare and treatment more equitable and accessible. One of my biggest accomplishments would have to be when I was working as a Senior Project Manager for Alberta Health Services in community oncology. I was able to develop, implement, and lead a provincial healthcare initiative to expand access to clinical cancer treatments across rural cancer centers in Alberta. Not only did this make treatment more available to patients, but improved the quality of care that could be offered while supporting the advancement of clinical cancer research.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Coming from a science background, I would be lying if I told you that embarking on this MBA journey has been a breeze. There have been many nights where I have asked myself if I was making the right choice, if I should even be in the program, and how I could possibly contribute to class discussions with my background. I think an important lesson and accomplishment as an MBA student has been acknowledging that my strengths come from my diversity of experiences and that I am not expected to know everything. I have become more comfortable with not having all the answers and learning the importance of asking the right questions and collaborating with others to get to the solution. The ability to recognize that you will not be good at everything and to focus on what you are good at has been an important lesson for me, especially as someone who is a bit of a perfectionist and likes having all of the answers.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Having the opportunity to experience and transition through different roles in healthcare and research, I learned to appreciate the impact and importance of business and how these decisions would ultimately lead to the failure or success of companies and projects. As someone who could grasp the technical aspects of science and research to manage novel product and drug development, I realized that none of that would matter without a solid understanding of business. This is when I made the decision to pursue my MBA, so that I could be at the crossroads of business and science and use the information from both sides to best support companies to reach and benefit as many patients as possible. Whether in healthcare, pharmaceutical, or consulting roles, my goal is to use my experience and education to support positive health outcomes in patients.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I had looked into many MBA programs but chose to only apply to Ivey.

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into Ivey? I don’t think I did anything special, but I did attend as many Ivey recruiting events as I could. I think this helped me understand the caliber and quality of applicants they were seeking. I think it is really important to showcase who you are in your application, so really take some time to think about what is really important to you and what qualities or accomplishments you are proud of. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to Ivey’s MBA recruiting team, they are some of the most amazing and dedicated people you will meet and helped me immensely with the application process! The Ivey alumni network is also incredible and very supportive, so don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have about anything.



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