Meet our MGB alumni

Susana Abraham

Susana Abraham

Susana Abraham

Home Country: Ghana

MGB: September 2018 Entry Path 2

Current Position: Associate, Corporate & Investor Relations, BCI

My passion for global business grew out of my interest to explore the world and experience different cultures. As I explored this through semesters abroad and summer school in different countries during my undergraduate studies, I was sold on the idea of pursuing that stream of business as a postgraduate degree. I like to think of it as the entrepreneur met the explorer.

The UVic MGB Program stood out for me because it focused on experiential learning, and provided access to individuals from all over the world which has allowed for networks and life-long friends spanning across different continents. The hands-on experience which was built into the program structure was especially essential to my professional growth and future impact as an emerging leader. In spite of challenges which come from backpacking through three countries in a year, the benefits of learning and interacting with people of different cultures and living in unfamiliar places outweighed them. It provided me with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and perspectives needed to live, work and communicate in a changing international environment.

If there is one thing I can promise you, it is that this experience will improve your adaptability to change, emotional and cultural intelligence, as well as cross-cultural communication.

But most importantly, it was fun!

Do you have questions for Susana? Send an email to gillasst@uvic.ca with the subject line "Susana Abraham" and we will put you in touch.

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Claire Altares

Claire Altares

Home Country: Canada

MGB: January 2017 Entry Path 3

Current Position: Premium Banker & Mutual Fund Advisor, HSBC

After years of working and travelling following my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology, I decided I needed to get into an industry that would let me do both simultaneously. When I came across the MGB program, I knew right away this is the program for me!   

The MGB provided an amazing opportunity to experience the life of an expat with diverse yet similar people who intuitively became family throughout the time in the program. Being able to live and learn in three different continents in one year provided us with endless opportunities to practice our adaptability and opened up our minds to many more different perspectives that we were not aware of before. Living in each country gave us much more knowledge and wisdom in addition to what we learned from inside the classroom setting.

No matter where you go, it is what you make of it! During this program, many of us were able to take advantage of the proximity of other countries surrounding us in each of the continents. This enabled us to further expand our understanding of the different cultures, and prepare us for exploring other continents through not only the lens of business but also from other angles of life. Being able to obtain a master’s degree while simultaneously learning through adventures around the world is something that is truly a remarkable and memorable experience.

Do you have questions for Claire? Send an email to gillasst@uvic.ca with the subject line "Claire Altares" and we will put you in touch.


Clara Bouhamou

Clara Bouhamou

Clara Bouhamou

Home Countries: France and Morocco

MGB: January 2016 Entry Path 4

Current Position: Manager of Strategy, Service Excellence, People & Culture, CarePros

As soon as I learned about the UVic MGB program, I wanted to be a part of it!

Before being an MGB student, I completed an undergraduate degree in Business Management in France, worked as a business manager, and was the president of a humanitarian association for Moroccan villages. However, the Master of Global Business was the most breathtaking and challenging experience of my life. There is nothing like this kind of program anywhere else.

First, cohort sizes are small, which helped us create a strong team. Second, we studied in incredible facilities and had great opportunities to network around the world, thanks to the design of the program. Third, we had the opportunity to visit companies and learn more about their ways of doing business. Finally, our professors become mentors who helped us grow within this program. Another incredible experience is developing our team skills. We became a family by living, studying, cooking, partying, crying, and travelling together. This experience is unique, and will make you part of a special, diverse and amazing team.

Living and studying in three different countries in only nine months was one of the most amazing but challenging experiences. We all learned about our boundaries and enhanced our ability to adapt. The MGB program offers various practical exercises to develop your business skills, such as being a consultant for a foreign company.

The Master of Global Business is incredible. It will change you and your vision of life. By being part of the MGB family, you truly become a global citizen!

Do you have questions for Clara? Send an email to gillasst@uvic.ca with the subject line "Clara Bouhamou" and we will put you in touch.


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Felipe Civita

Felipe Civita

Home Country: Brazil

MGB: January 2018 Entry Path 3

Current position: International Projects Officer, NorQuest College

After working in international business for two and a half years, I found myself looking for a graduate program that would provide me with a deeper understanding of how to develop effective international strategies and a solid cross-cultural understanding. However, I wanted to stay away from graduate programs that focused heavily on theory – I wanted a more hands-on program. 

Although the MGB program provides a strong theoretical foundation, its innovative curriculum and unique classroom settings provide students with the necessary tools to become global leaders. The curriculum is very hands-on, and I often found myself engaged in discussions with my colleagues around different international strategies and analyzing real companies and deals. There is a strong focus on social and environmental sustainability and the role of future leaders in making business decisions.

The program is also a great tool to expand your international network. Given the broad diversity of students and faculty, I find myself in a privileged position with an expanded network of contacts worldwide. 

As I moved through the semester in Victoria, Maastricht and Lima, my colleagues and I discussed effective international business strategies and how companies can successfully enter new markets.

Please contact me if you have any questions about the program - I'd love to chat! 

Do you have questions for Felipe? Send an email to gillasst@uvic.ca with the subject line "Felipe Civita" and we will put you in touch.


UVic MGB Student Keivan Hirji

Keivan Hirji

Keivan Hirji

Home Country: Canada

MGB: January 2019 Entry Path 4

Current Position: Policy Advisor, Marine Mammal Unit, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

If you truly want to understand global business, you can’t just learn it, you have to live it. As business becomes more cosmopolitan, companies are critically challenged to interact with cultures from around the world. The UVic MGB program is unrivalled in its applied and experiential learning with an international scope. This offers a sharp competitive edge and set of expertise that firms are desperately searching for when recruiting talent.

One of the most impactful benefits of the MGB program is the cultural diversity in each cohort. In our class of 26 students, we had 12 different nationalities represented. This has allowed me to establish an international network of ambitious colleagues, which will be invaluable when practicing global business in the future. Moreover, I have made lifelong friends from around the world, united in our shared sense of global citizenship.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela

Do you have questions for Keivan? Send an email to gillasst@uvic.ca with the subject line "Keivan Hirji" and we will put you in touch.

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Akua Hughes

Akua Hughes

Country of origin: Ghana

MGB: September 2016 Entry Path 2

Current Position: Fraud Analyst, TD Canada Trust

Growing up, I had a long list of countries I wanted to visit for varying reasons. Certainly, my greatest motivation for joining the MGB program was a chance to live and study in three countries. I had such high expectations for meeting new people and trying new things. I hadn’t considered the real challenges of adapting to three different cultures and educational systems, balancing school work with making suitable travel and living arrangements, and living out of a suitcase for nine months.

Indeed, my journey in the MGB program has brought along some of the most challenging times of my life, but this period has also broadened my understanding of my own culture as well as that of others. I’ve explored the concept of business in different regional contexts, interacting and learning from real professionals both inside and outside the classroom. I’ve increased my capacity to function in a global team and built a resume strong enough to compete in the international job market. Most importantly, I’ve formed friendships across borders and made beautiful memories I will always cherish. Looking back, I am glad I made the wise decision to join the MGB program. This experience has changed my life and I am confident it will change yours!

Do you have questions for Akua? Send an email to gillasst@uvic.ca with the subject line "Akua Hughes" and we will put you in touch.

David

David Lee

David Hyun Min Lee

Home Country: Canada

MGB: September 2018 Entry Path 1

Current Position: Analyst, Securities Settlements at RBC Capital Markets

It is no longer a secret that global business has a direct impact on small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), corporations, and governments. Many policies and free trade agreements are being developed across the world to drive its economy. As a result, most organizations are not only searching for candidates with knowledge in global business, but those with intercultural competencies, adaptability, and flexibility as well.

Over the course of the MGB program, I was able to learn the fundamentals of global business with an opportunity to apply this knowledge on a major consulting project in Austria and internship at the Canadian Embassy in the Netherlands. In addition, an opportunity to obtain Mandarin language certification was an added bonus. Meanwhile, the value of company visits in each region could not be ignored, as some of our cohorts were able to find an internship through them.

What truly separates the UVic MGB program from the rest of global business programs is its true diversity and experiencing life in three to four countries throughout the globe. The frustrations from long flights and layovers, travelling every week to nearby cities/countries, packing every three months, trying stinky tofu in Taiwan, and being mesmerized by the architecture in Europe, are few perks of this program. Also, you will learn to adapt and respect each other's culture, as well as learn a few basic phrases in more than five languages. But, most importantly, your cohorts will be there with you to share joyful moments and offer a shoulder to cry on.

As a proud alumni of the MGB program, I cannot encourage enough for those seeking a true global business program or in pursuit of global career to grab this opportunity and begin a journey that will truly change your life!

Do you have questions for David? Send an email to gillasst@uvic.ca with the subject line "David Lee" and we will put you in touch.


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Mouhoubo Olhaye

Mouhoubo Olhaye

Country of origin: Canada

MGB: September 2016 Entry Path 2

During my search for a master’s degree in business, the main objective was to find a program that offered practical experience, given that employers value students that have some professional background. The MGB program is one that develops and prepares you for the real-world. Its combination of studying, travelling, and work (internship) is something of great value, allowing you to gain the knowledge and networks that you need for your professional development. Also working with diverse classmates not only gives you the opportunity to understand different cultures, but you also become more open- minded and flexible with your thinking.

Throughout my journey in the UVic MGB program, I have learned a lot by meeting professionals through company visits and having supportive professors who help us excel within this program. More importantly, working on meaningful projects enhanced my business skills. Also living in different countries has enabled me to leave my comfort zone by learning to adapt into new cultures. Of course, this experience would be incomplete if it wasn’t for the amazing MGB classmates who start off as strangers, but end up being friends who support and rely on each other. This program is truly unique and in order to be successful, it requires you to be curious, considerate, and up for a challenge. I believe having a positive attitude and being respectful towards others is critical for this program, so if you are ready for a challenging yet valuable experience, then this program is for you!

Do you have questions for Mouhoubo? Send an email to gillasst@uvic.ca with the subject line "Mouhoubo Olhaye" and we will put you in touch.

Katie

Katie Pearce

Katie Pearce

Home Country: Canada

MGB: September 2014 Entry Path 1

Current Position: Commercial Management, Associated British Ports

There is really nothing else like the MGB program. You’re challenged and exposed to new experiences daily and the best part is that the learning extends beyond the classroom and onto the streets of the 3 different countries we get to live in. We’re taught by world-class professors and we have constant support from a super administrative team, so we know we’re in good hands. Beyond the usual business courses, there is an emphasis on leadership, communication, personal reflection and cross-cultural awareness that contributes to your own personal and professional growth and I believe this is what sets the MGB apart from other International Graduate Business programs.

I came to the MGB with an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and International Development Studies and 3 years of work experience at an international consulting firm, so even though my academic background was not rooted in Business Administration, I found I was able to make meaningful contributions to class discussions and group projects. Our different backgrounds contributed fresh perspectives and creative approaches when we tackled issues brought up in class.

The cohort model of the program makes it possible to make friends for life from diverse backgrounds and nationalities because we live, study and travel together all year long. School doesn’t just have to consist of sitting in a classroom and reading from textbooks or case studies. A program like the MGB proves that in spades.

My advice would be to bring an open mind, a good work ethic and teamwork-oriented attitude, and most importantly, a sense of adventure.

Do you have questions for Katie? Send an email to gillasst@uvic.ca with the subject line "Katie Pearce" and we will put you in touch.