Learn about Duncan Raymond's MBA experience Queen's University Smith School of Business, and why he chose this prestigious program!
- Name: Duncan Raymond
- Business School: Queen's University Smith School of Business
- Originally from: Halifax, NS
Q: How did you choose your MBA program? What are Queen's greatest assets?
A: I chose Queen's University for my MBA because of the team nature of the program, the prestige of the program and for the incredibly strong alumni network.
In my eyes as a prospective student, the Queen's MBA had set itself apart with its opportunity to work in a 'business unit' for one entire half of the program. This is a non-negotiable team, which mimics the situations in which you'd find yourself in the real world. It challenges you to address strengths and weaknesses, focus on real collaboration and find a certain harmony. It has been a rewarding experience to date.
Furthermore, the prestige of a Queen's MBA and the incredible alumni network is second to none. In speaking with industry leaders, alumni or not, I have received great feedback that I've made a great decision in attending a fantastic business school, which has opened many doors for me already. The alumni are particularly helpful, as they look out closely to help in any way that they can to get you prepared to take your next career steps.
Q: What has been your favorite classroom experience?
A: My favourite classroom experience to date has been doing presentations seemingly every week throughout the 'core' of the program. It has been amazing to watch the dramatic improvement my classmates presentation skills, and how captivating these classes have become. It is not uncommon to have the entire class laughing, or the entire class engaging in a fierce discussion as part of an open-format presentation. These experiences have allowed our skills and confidence to flourish in a very supporting environment.
Q: What activities are you involved in outside of class?
A: Outside of the classroom, I'm a VP of the Healthcare Club where we have brought in guest speakers and have organized lunch and learns for our Club. I'm also a member of the Distinctly Case stream, which is geared towards case interview preparation for jobs in management consulting. This has been a particularly invigorating program, and has pushed us to learn methods that we would not otherwise have done in class.
Outside of school, we have a great group of like-minded people who love to go out for a bike ride, to play golf or play on our MBA co-ed softball team.
Q: How have your classmates influenced your MBA experience?
A: My classmates have been one of the great surprises of my MBA experience so far. The breadth of experience and skills in each and every student is astounding, and commonly much different than the experiences I have had in my career. Specifically on my team, I would argue we influence each other on a daily basis as we are working on assignments and projects together. It is such an invaluable experience because I am learning things that I otherwise may not have ever learned, or at least would not have learned in such a concentrated period of time. The last thing I would say about my classmates is just how enjoyable they've made coming to school every day. There is not a day where you dread being in the building due to how much is going on and the general excitement in our class.
Q: How did you decide that an MBA was the next step for you?
A: I decided an MBA was the next step for me when I felt like I wasn't fulfilling what I knew I could do in my previous job. I had a fantastic job, which I loved, but I felt like I wasn't using the entire skill set I had to offer and did not want to stop progressing. So I started to look into business schools that would offer me the chance to pivot my career, and fully immerse myself in that program. Very quickly Queen's stood out to me due to the one-year nature of the program, its hallowed reputation and the fact that they had a major scholarship earmarked for my geographical region of Atlantic Canada (D&R Sobey Scholarship). After speaking with the Associate Director of the program, I knew in my gut that it was going to be a great fit. The rest, as they say, is history!
Q: How do you fund your MBA? Can you offer any advice to students looking to finance their MBA?
A: My MBA is funded largely through the D&R Sobey Scholarship for Atlantic Canadian students. It is an incredibly generous gift on behalf of the Sobey Family, and one that I very much appreciate. I would encourage students to keep their eyes out for scholarship opportunities as they search for MBA programs, as there are so many sources of funding out there that nobody knows about. Do your homework! In addition to scholarship funding, Canadian banks offer competitive rates on student lines of credit that are helpful in financing your living situation. With the nature of the one-year program at Queen's, your opportunity cost of only missing one year of earning a salary is also very welcome, as at most schools, you may be on the sideline for up to 2 years. At the end of the day, it is an investment in yourself, and one that will provide real returns for the rest of your life!
Interested in receiving an MBA or Business Master's Degree? Check out Queen's University Smith School of Business to learn more about their graduate business opportunities!