Dal­housie University

Learn­ing how to take ad­van­tange of op­por­tu­nity is the key to suc­cess

The Coast - Career Minded - - SPONSOR CONTENT -

Life doesn’t al­ways work out as planned: Ali­son MacPher­son went into her bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Hu­man Ki­net­ics think­ing that she would pur­sue med­i­cal school. Lit­tle did she know that a year of travel would give her the time to re­flect, and spark a ca­reer in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try (plus a travel bug).

Ali­son’s next step was to take her science back­ground and pair it with the Cor­po­rate Res­i­dency MBA at Dal­housie University’s Rowe School of Busi­ness: a pro­gram that pro­vides per­sonal and pro­fes­sional growth.

“The Dal­housie CRMBA al­lows ac­cess to per­sonal ca­reer coach­ing, which is a valu­able as­set for re­flect­ing on your ar­eas of in­ter­est, pas­sion and skills. This ser­vice pro­vides some di­rec­tion on how you might ap­ply these to a given in­dus­try or po­si­tion,” says Ali­son. She has been ex­posed to dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives through these highly en­gag­ing pro­fes­sors, who of­ten use real-world ex­am­ples and cur­rent events to spark dy­namic and in­for­ma­tive class­room dis­cus­sions.

In the CRMBA pro­gram, Ali­son was treated as a pro­fes­sional and had the re­sources avail­able to help her com­bine her in­ter­ests, field of un­der­grad­u­ate study and the MBA, to find a path­way that suited her. She knew that the in­vest­ment that she was mak­ing in the pro­gram would re­turn to her quickly, and that her ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties af­ter the pro­gram wouldn’t have ap­peared oth­er­wise.

“The great­est op­por­tu­ni­ties arise from the cor­po­rate res­i­dency com­po­nent. Work­ing for an or­ga­ni­za­tion for eight months not only al­lows stu­dents to par­tic­i­pate in mean­ing­ful work, and gain in­dus­try aware­ness, but also many stu­dents get hired back from the or­ga­ni­za­tions,” says Ali­son. Ali­son chose No­var­tis Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Canada Inc. for her res­i­dency, and is con­tin­u­ing to work 10 hours per week along­side her full course load. This al­lows her to see projects through, to gain in­creas­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity and is a chance to build a great cor­po­rate net­work.

If you’re able to do this, you are able to make a tremen­dously pos­i­tive im­pact.

She was placed in the head of­fice in Mon­treal, where she was work­ing in Health Eco­nom­ics and Out­comes Re­search (HEOR) for the Latin Amer­ica and Canada re­gion. “I had the op­por­tu­nity to work within a fan­tas­tic team, and through this ex­pe­ri­ence I have been co-au­thored on 28 HEOR pub­li­ca­tions, and in­vited to at­tend an in­ter­na­tional congress in São Paulo,” says Ali­son. These net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, where she is able to en­gage with busi­ness leaders in the lo­cal com­mu­nity and be­yond, pro­vide a chance to learn about the jobs that oth­er­wise go un­ad­ver­tised.

The CRMBA con­stantly pushes Ali­son out­side of her com­fort zone, al­low­ing for con­sid­er­able growth. “If you’re able to do this, and not be afraid of step­ping out­side of your com­fort zone, you are able to make a tremen­dously pos­i­tive im­pact,” says Ali­son.

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