I was excited and looking forward to learn the fundamentals of business as I enrolled at Ivey: Pro-Forma statements, Customer Segmentation, Cost Leadership, Activity Based Costing etc.
And yet, as I look back on the last six months of the program, I realize that while business fundamentals are critical to my future career, there are other things I’ve learned at Ivey that are just as important.
I’ve learned that I will not always be the smartest person at the table. In fact, at Ivey we each have our strengths and weaknesses. It is a humbling realization. My classmates are some of the most intelligent and resourceful people I have ever met. Often times, I am awed by the words they speak.
I’ve learned that business can be used to propagate “good” or “unspeakable evil”. Six months ago I would not have fully understood that statement, today I believe it wholeheartedly.
Each of us have achieved something before coming to Ivey, we each have accomplishments and accolades that we bring to Ivey. When we augment all that we were before Ivey, with everything we have experienced at Ivey I feel that – On our shoulders are placed a burden to help those who are less fortunate, a burden to give our talents back to society, a burden to empower communities.
Recently, I decided to give back in two material ways. The first is LEADER, which is a program that was started by MBA students at Ivey 25 years ago. Ivey MBAs travel to emerging countries to teach business courses to local entrepreneurs, in the hope that the entrepreneurs can jump start their local communities with commerce. In May 2015, I will be travelling to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to teach business to local entrepreneurs using Ivey’s case method.
I am also helping to develop a regional curriculum for teaching a business program in Africa. Since Africa is culturally different relative to North America, the cases we use in Ivey are quite foreign to Africans. I will be working to regionalize our cases to make them more relevant to African entrepreneurs.
Second, I am volunteering at the Center for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children (CREVAWC). I will be assisting CREVAWC with an awareness campaign to help them raise funding and corporate sponsorship. Watching a number of my classmates volunteering their time at CREVAWC is a testament to Ivey’s desire to make an impact, locally and globally.
Ivey is a journey. I thought I came to Ivey to learn about business, but along the way Ivey held up a mirror and I’ve learned about myself.
Aviviere grew up in Toronto and holds a MASc from the University of Waterloo. Before pursuing his MBA at Ivey, Aviviere worked in Technology Strategy Consulting. Aviviere has travelled three continents and will be traveling to his fourth next year as part of LEADER Project – coaching local entrepreneurs in Africa. Aviviere loves travel photography and lazy Sundays – although neither have been realistic options at Ivey.