Meet Wyle Baoween – MBA

Wyle Baoween sees things differently

Before coming to the Gustavson School of Business, Wyle Baoween, a Civil Engineer, spent eight years in the construction industry. Originally from Yemen, his work had taken him to Asia, Africa and Europe. At that point in his life, Wyle knew he wanted to do something different. It was his friends that talked him into applying to universities in Canada for a Master degree in Business Administration. The University of Victoria was one of these universities.

When acceptance letters started arriving, Wyle had to make a choice. Although Victoria’s weather and location were major factors in making that decision, Wyle talked to the program administration at the Gustavson School of Business and felt “the staff made all the difference. They were patient, friendly and informative. They mitigated my concerns and made me feel so welcome.”

Excited as Wyle was to start the MBA program at UVic, getting a student visa for a native Yemeni proved more complicated than he had originally anticipated – which meant that his entry to Canada was delayed. According to Wyle, “the Program Coordinator was there to help me reorganize my schedule and rearrange my classes. It made me feel really good about my decision.”

Wyle tells us “UVic MBA classes are small and intimate; they have no borders. Back home, things tend to be formal and you need to address people by their official titles.”

Wyle found the interaction with teachers and students in the program very natural. And, he was able to build strong relationships quickly. According to Wyle, “one of the greatest advantages of the MBA program is its integrated approach and team work.” He continues, “You work with people from different backgrounds, with different experiences and perspectives and you must all learn to support and communicate with one another.”

Fascinated by the global aspect of the program, both in terms of his colleagues and academics, Wyle chose to specialize in International Business. He recalls the great opportunities he and his classmates were given to help local and international clients solve real-life issues.

When it came time to find a co-op job Wyle faced his fair share of challenges. Being from a different country it was hard to translate his work experience and credentials for the Canadian market. “Landing that four-month co-op placement at Seaspan had a huge impact on my life. It provided me practical, hands-on experience and access to an employer I may not have had otherwise.”

For Wyle, it also opened the door to his future. Wyle is now working as a Project Manager at Seaspan’s head office, located in North Vancouver. His work is focused on process improvement and change management – two areas he became passionate about through his time at Gustavson.

When he reflects on his experience at Gustavson, Wyle believes “the MBA program changed my life and the way I look at things. When I first came to Victoria, I was open to all possibilities but didn’t really know what to expect.”

Wyle met his fiancé, also a candidate in the same MBA program, and will soon be getting married. “It’s certainly been a wonderful adventure!” he says.