Meet Ivey’s MBA Class Of 2024

How do you know a business school is great?

Just look at the measures that matter – and the Ivey Business School at Western University tops the list.

For many, rankings are equated with excellence. For 8 of the past 10 years, Ivey has reigned as the top MBA program in Canada according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Another factor: Longevity. Last year, Ivey celebrated the 100th anniversary of its first graduating class – and the 90th anniversary of its graduate program’s launch. Let’s not forget expertise. Think 128 full-time faculty and a world-class executive education program with campuses in Hong Kong and Toronto. Of course, there is influence. By that, you’ll hear that Ivey boasts the top business journal in Canada – and churns out more case studies than nearly every business school in the world.

High rankings, proven longevity, deep expertise, and far-reaching influence. Talk about great selling points! This reputation provides a seal of approval for MBAs graduates. When a business school is sandwiched between Toronto and Detroit, their graduates will find plenty of opportunities nearby too. Still, Ivey offers an advantage that few business schools can match: alumni base. Here, Ivey hits on every metric: size, prestige, and involvement.

Ivey MBA Leadership Day


In terms of scale, Ivey features 32,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni and 15,000 more executive education alumni working in over 100 countries. Among MBAs, 1 of every 2 graduates work in a c-suite role, holding titles like chair, president, VP, or managing director. When it comes to MBA alumni, Ivey’s list includes Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, Prem Watsa (Canada’s answer to Warren Buffet), and David McKay, President and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada. Among Ivey HBA holders, you’ll find Darryl White, CEO of the Bank of Montreal, and Simu Liu, an actor who starred in Marvel’s Shang-Chi franchise and appeared alongside Ken in Barbie. That doesn’t include recently-retired CEOs of Bell Canada and Sun Life Fnancial – let alone the founder of Janus Capital.

In other words, Ivey would be hard-pressed to stick to a minute-long elevator pitch!

For the Class of 2024, the real advantage of Ivey alumni is their pay-it-forward attitude. Calls returned, meetings set, doors opened. Based on his experiences thus far, Faizan Ahmad, an investment banker, believes the alumni network is one of Ivey’s biggest assets.

“All through networking, I have reached out to alumni who have busy schedules but are kind enough to take out the time to discuss the career opportunities available. They are invested in the success of another Ivey grad and root for you throughout the process. This was clearly visible in Get Connected as well as the Industry Trek.”

Grand Hall at the main campus of Ivey


Ahmad himself comes to London, Ontario from Edinburgh, Scotland, hoping to transition from banking to consulting – and maybe scale the Alberta Rockies. Based on his trajectory, you wouldn’t want to bet against him on either.

“I was able to establish and run a quantitative trading algorithmic platform, scaling it from 2 people to over 20 across 2 years, raising funding from VC and PE funds. This was one of the most challenging as well as the most rewarding experiences – more so after I exited the controlling stake to a PE fund at an $8.3 million valuation and took on a more direction setting role.”

An $8.3 million dollar valuation? That’s one of the big numbers posted by the Class of 2024 before they arrived on campus. Take Apourv Pandey. An Indian geologist, he discovered coal mine that will produce 1,000 jobs by the time it ends operations in 2026. Working as an entry-level investment associate, Christian Grande closed a new client who added a million dollars to the portfolio. Ronald Edward made his name at Loblaw, where he purchased 250 articles that added millions of dollars in revenue. The same can be said of Yesha Shah, who produced similar results during her time at Salesforce. 

“I joined a team focused on developing scalable solutions for the world’s largest CRM platform,” she writes. “Over 1.5 years, I successfully transformed the billing engine and Quote to Cash processes, contributing to a remarkable $3M in B2B annual revenue growth. Although my efforts positively impacted sales reps, the most significant difference was seen in the increased user engagement of multi-million-dollar clients.”

MBA Social Impact Day


Another class member focused on saving money. Arthur Bronzim headed up a business intelligence team for ANIP, the National Association for the Tire Industry. Here, he fought against a trade policy that forced his team to wade into a deeply political and technical issue – one that could cost his industry hundreds-of-millions of dollars.

“Long story short, this battle took us almost two years to win,” Bronzim explains. “It included countless PowerPoint decks, storytelling tools, econometric models, travels to Congress, public hearings, and strategy meetings. However, leading the technical team in a massive project like this allowed me to discuss strategy with unimaginably big stakeholders, including C-suite executives of this giant industry and policymakers.”

In James Ma’s case, his great achievement is on display every day on London’s roads. “When I was at ZF (previously TRW), I designed a number of brake packages and rotating components for the RAM HD trucks by myself from scratch. The situation was very abnormal due to a combination of retirements and resignations where I was left alone to do the work. It was incredibly challenging and involved a lot of learning and innovation to deliver everything on time, but the process and results were very fulfilling. If you see a RAM HD truck on the road, chances are something I designed is in there.”

MBA Social Impact


The Class of 2024 also put their creative talents on display at Ivey. Apourv Pandey and Eniola Makanjuola helped organized a Mental Health Symposium that made a strong impression on their classmates. “[Our] panelists were fellow classmates who were brave enough to share their mental health journey from symptoms, diagnosis and how they dealt with it or still dealing with it. This event helped a lot of people because they were listening to people they saw daily, which helped form a connection that they could relate to easily.”

Another popular event, says Christian Grande, were the Fireside Chats he co-organized for the Finance Club. During these times, Ivey MBAs would hear from influential industry practitioners. Recognizing the steep learning curve in the MBA core, Faizan Ahmad opened his door for personalized tutoring in quant-heavy courses like Finance, Accounting, and Analytics.

“The most rewarding experience was the sense of happiness when I saw my classmates smiling after the Finance exams ended,” Ahmad explains. “It was a sense of fulfillment having made sure my friends realized their true potential within their comfort zone.”

Ivey Building in Spring


Apourv Pandey describes the Ivey MBA as a “go game from day zero.” Early on, the class is tested with the legendary 24-Hour Report. Picture getting a complex case at 6:00 p.m. – replete with narrative and data – and be expected to produce a detailed report and accompanying presentation by 6:00 p.m. the following day. Talk about a pressure-cooker that really reveals how team members operate under heavy demands, short deadlines, and no clear-cut answers.

“One of my most significant accomplishments as an MBA student was completing the accounting 24-hour report in collaboration with great team members,” notes Ronald Edward. “The report presented complex challenges, but my team members and I were able to stay motivated and knock the ball out of the park! Shout out to learning team #5!”

That said, the Ivey MBA hasn’t just been an academic maze. For Josée Morell, many lessons were absorbed through serving as the social representative in MBA student government. “While I used to measure success primarily through academic achievements, the MBA program challenged me to broaden my definition of success beyond academics. Taking on this leadership role and facilitating multiple inclusive events every month – all while managing the demands of the program – is an achievement that has filled me with pride.”

Main floor by Starbucks


Alas, Morell may only be the social representative in title only. Ask the Class of 2024 where everyone gathers and they’ll point you to Kurtis Aleksandre’s house every Friday – a place described as welcoming, inclusive, and fun by his classmates.

“Kurtis Aleksandre is kind enough to offer pretty much an open-door policy at his house,” observes Jonathan Soriano. “This has become the natural go-to spot for the cohort because it gives everyone an opportunity to interact in a more laid-back setting, and is a very inclusive environment. I personally have been able to develop many meaningful relationships with my peers through multiple events at Kurtis’s house.”

Casa de Aleksandre is just one of the popular spots for the Ivey class. Running closely behind is an Ivey staple: Barney’s – known for its spacious patio and reasonable prices. “The vibrant atmosphere at Barney’s Patio offers the perfect respite after a demanding week of studying cases at school,” explains Prateek Bindal. “It’s a place where my classmates and I gravitate to reenergize and unwind. The welcoming ambiance, amazing drinks, delicious food, and enjoyable company make it the ideal spot to relax and create memorable moments together outside the academic setting.”

Ivey MBAs equally bullish on their London digs. While the city carries the reputation of a college town, it is actually a tech and medical hub that’s home to 400,000 people. The birthplace of insulin, London boasts Canada’s largest brewery (Labatt) along with its popular Covent Garden Markets – a gathering spot packed with bars, shopping, and live music. Like its UK inspiration, the Ontario London has a River Thames running through it too! Most of all, London is known as the “Garden City” for a reason. Arthur Bronzim, for one, observes that you can find parks and trails nearly anywhere in London, making it a great place for picnics and outdoor activities. He even lists Gibbons Park as his favorite – though many locals and alumni swear by Victoria Park, Storybook Gardens, or Springbank Park.

On the surface, London Ontario doesn’t come across as the most exciting city in the world for an MBA,” admits Ramsey Andary, a 2023 grad and P&Q Best & Brightest MBA. “However, what I loved most about Western University’s beloved town is the collegiate culture at the heart of London that energizes life into the city. Moving to a small city together as a cohort and being in close proximity to one another, students become each other’s second family for the year. Rather than balancing two separate lives within a big city, students can wholeheartedly focus on enjoying their brief year as a student while the close vicinity to Toronto lends the flexibility to maintain a strong business network.”

MBAs on Social IMpact Day


The Class of 2024 includes some colorful backgrounds too. Arthur Bronzim has scaled some of the highest mountains in Brazil…despite being afraid of heights. He’ll find common cause with Faizan Ahmad, who has summited the Kanchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world with a 28,169-foot elevation. During COVID, Giuliana Fonseca grew hydroponic strawberries, lettuce, and spinach. Apourv Pandey once biked over 1,800 miles over seven in the mountains of northern India. And he has an even better story too…

“I have been kidnapped twice by the tribals whose land I wanted to survey for geological explorations. Though terrified at first, the healthy relations I built with them over the years proved critical for my work.”

As a whole, the Class of 2024 is made up of 150 MBA students. Over the past year, the class average GMAT has increased from 665 to 670, with 530 and 760 marking the low and high scors respectively. Another 15% of the class submitted GRE scores. Women account for 35% of the class, up three points from the previous year. By the same token, international students account for the same 35% share of the class as women. Overall, the class includes representatives from 30 countries.

Such numbers don’t represent the true diversity of Ivey says “23 alum Ramsey Andary. “54% of the 2023 Ivey MBA cohort hold citizenships outside of Canada (representing 24 different birth countries in total), while 49% of Western students as a whole identify as a visible minority. With events put on by my classmates such as Diwali, Holi, Lunar New Year, Nigeria’s Independence party, Eid al-Fitr, and Ukrainian winter holiday celebrations, our cohort was immersed in such a rich variety of cultural experiences over the past year!”

In terms of academic backgrounds, 35% of the class hold undergraduate degrees in Business-related fields. Engineers account for 27% of the class seats, followed by degree-holders from the Arts (17%) and the Sciences (14%). Professionally, the largest segment of the class – 18% — last worked in Finance and Insurance. Technology backgrounds make up 10% of the class, followed by Consulting (9%), Non-Profit and Public Sector (6%), Healthcare (5%), and Accounting (5%).

Next Page: Profiles of 12 Ivey MBAs

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