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Ivey MBA students take 1st Place at the NIBC Case Competition

February 12th, 2015 by mbastudents

L to R: John O’Sullivan, Ryan Nelson, Robert Herjavac, Josh Axler and Karim Mashnuk

An Ivey MBA team won the NIBC Case Competition in Vancouver, distinguishing themselves amongst over 382 teams worldwide.  The team, composed of John O’Sullivan, Ryan Nelson, Karim Mashnuk and Josh Axler, began at 5:00 AM on a foggy Wednesday morning.  They were handed a case that presented Electronic Arts Inc. with an opportunity to pursue the acquisition of a smaller but well known competitor, Take Two Interactive.  After six gruelling hours of financial analysis and creative brainstorming, Team Ivey MBA had a solution that they were set to impress upon the judges.  After two rounds of presentations in front of increasingly senior investment bankers,  24 MBA teams were reduced to just two.  On the final day, Team Ivey MBA presented in front of more than 300 students and 150 professionals and prevailed as the 2015 NIBC Case Competition winners.


The Ivey team receiving the 1st place prize.

Ryan Nelson Ryan Nelson is an Ivey MBA candidate from the 2015 graduating class.  He has experience in Investment and Asset Management with DREAM Corp., and is intent on returning to the real estate industry upon graduation. He has also been fortunate enough to have traveled around the world, with work experiences ranging from Europe to India to Australia.

A Message from the MBAA President

January 23rd, 2015 by mbastudents

It’s almost lunch, and I’ve just made it through the first week of Elective Period 5. It’s early January, and I am not acutely aware that for the MBA Class of 2015, there are now many more days behind us then there are ahead of us. It’s a bittersweet thought – the experiences that we’ve shared will yield a lifetime of memories, and pretty soon this life-changing chapter in our lives will draw to a close. I take solace in the fact that after Ivey, we are all going on to bigger and better things (even if most of us don’t know what that thing is yet!). Already, I’m looking forward to the first reunion after graduation, and finding out about how our class is making a difference across the globe.

From now until April, the focus of the MBAA will be to pick up where we left off after the Study Trips and the holidays, and truly make the most of our time in London. Our third Family Dinner will be taking place in about 2 weeks, and plans for the Formal and Dis-Orientation are coming together very nicely. The clubs will be making plans for a wide variety of social and recruiting events in the coming weeks – DJ Scammer is getting things kicked off tomorrow with the Ivey MBA Welcome Back Party, which should be a blast!

We are now firmly into just-in-time recruiting season, and the MBAA is committed to working with the Career Management Office to provide any assistance that we can. Although everyone runs their own race, so to speak, we are all in this together as Team Ivey. I want to see everyone cross their own finish line – a win for my classmates is a win for all of us. So far, I think that our class has done an outstanding job in helping and supporting each other, and the MBAA will do its utmost to ensure that remains the case going forward.

One of the next items on my to-do list is the preparation for the Admit Weekend, which is coming up in just three short weeks. It seems like just yesterday when I first walked into Ivey as an admitted student, eager to meet my future classmates and get a first real taste of the Ivey experience. I remember watching the excellent presentation given by my esteemed predecessor, Drew Rankin, and never contemplating that I would be called upon to do the same in a year’s time. And yet, all of a sudden here I am, trying to work out how to match the standard that the MBAA of 2014 have set. For me, Admit Weekend was the first time that I truly felt like I belonged to the Ivey Family, and the MBAA’s goal in the next few weeks is to help build an experience that will leave the Class of 2016 feeling exactly the same way.

Onwards and upwards!


Graham Oneill Born in the UK and raised in Ireland, Graham O’Neill graduated from the National University of Ireland (Galway) in 2006 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. Graham has worked 8+ years in the  field of traffic and transportation planning on wide variety of private and public sector projects in Ireland, the UK and Canada. Post-Ivey, he will make a full transition into the business world by moving into management consulting. Outside of class, Graham is the President of the MBA Association, and the co-captain of the Ivey MBA Rugby Team.

The Ivey Experience from an International Student’s Perspective

January 23rd, 2015 by mbastudents

On my first day in Canada, I naively decided to weather the snow storm and walk to Ivey with unabated gusto. I slipped 4 times (I counted!) and by the time I reached I was drenched, miserable and scared about what I had landed myself into. It had been 7 months when it snowed for the first time this season. I took the same walk and realized something had changed within me..I was no longer unsure of myself…

I extrapolate this example to encapsulate how I have handled my Ivey stint so far. Adjusting to MBA life at Ivey is not really an adjustment as for the most part there is no time to adjust. The adjustment happens itself ever so organically. From the first day I was challenged by a rigorous curriculum, complex projects and deadlines that always seem so unjust.

However as an international student the biggest challenge was finding a niche for myself and being part of a community. Ivey facilitated this process by organizing multiple social events and providing me the platform to connect with my peers much more frequently in the initial phase. I think it is also incumbent, especially for international students, to be more involved and participative in informal gatherings to establish a comfort level with their peers which is critical in the first few months.

In my initial days, I struggled with operational aspects like finding an accommodation, amenities, groceries, books etc. The process was made so much easier by the help of the senior batch who were more than available for any help that I needed. Ivey has a large contingent of India international students who were able to guide me in not just adjusting but also guiding how to achieve the most out of my time here. Leveraging such a support base is critical for any international student who might be a bit jittery in initial phase.

Another challenge that is more unique to International students is understanding the job market and career paths available in Canada. Ivey’s career management team plays a critical role in this aspect through personal counselling that is a continuous process and it is up to every student to utilize their resources and Ivey’s alumni network. Issues regarding visas are also addressed effectively by events organized by Ivey for international students.

The word “Culture” is thrown around quite liberally by all institutions, but that’s what I credit Ivey the most in my process of social and cultural assimilation. I continue to be amazed at the support I have been given by faculty, administration and most importantly, my fellow students. Ivey is a place where if you ask for help, people will go out of their way while treating you with affection, kindness and respect. You just have to ask…

Karan_Sharma Karan Sharma’s passion and competence lies in solving business challenges of clients and driving business growth for organizations. As a technology and business strategy professional with 7+ years of experience, he has bridged the gap between technology requirements of clients and the services portfolio of his organization in order to establish mutually beneficial partnerships. He endeavors to continue adding value to his clients and strengthen his firm’s positioning in the competitive business landscape.

The Ivey Mirror

November 8th, 2014 by mbastudents

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.

The BizBasics Speaker Series

November 8th, 2014 by mbastudents

One of my favourite parts about the joint JD/MBA program is that I have the opportunity to jump back and forth (both literally and figuratively) between law and business. Sometimes I get to wear my law hat and other times, my business hat. This is a luxury that most law students do not have.

As a consequence, many law students without business backgrounds are missing the fundamental business tools that law firms have come to expect from their summer and articling students.

That is how the concept for BizBasics was born. The BizBasics Speaker Series is a joint venture between Western Law and Ivey Business School in which Bay Street lawyers along with Ivey MBA students come to Western Law to run a series of introductory accounting, finance, and general business seminars specifically designed for law students.

BizBasics is the only program of its kind that brings law students up to speed on both the technical and soft skills involved in the business world. Seminars on understanding and interpreting financial statements are complimented by guest speakers discussing the importance of networking and business development in law.

Law students can RSVP for individual seminars on Western Law’s internal Career and Professional Development Office website. All seminars take place during the law school’s break period between 12:30pm and 2:00pm and students in attendance are provided with a complimentary pizza lunch.

One of the greatest outcomes of the BizBasics program has been the integration of the law school and business school. Each side is outstanding in its own right but this is the first time that this level of collaboration has occurred between them.

Over 10% of the MBA class is involved in either preparing seminar content or presenting the material at the law school. It has provided MBA students with specialized knowledge in certain areas (accounting, finance, excel, business communications, etc.) the opportunity to apply their skills in an environment where they are no longer the students, but rather the teachers.

Western Law continues to establish itself as one of Canada’s leading Business Law schools and BizBasics is an important initiative that both supports and strengthens this distinct reputation.

It is my hope that BizBasics will continue to improve and evolve in years to come.



 Michael hails from Toronto and holds a BA from McGill University. Before returning to school to pursue a JD/MBA degree at Western and Ivey, Michael worked in marketing strategy for Rogers Sportsnet. Michael has extensive experience living and traveling abroad and loves country music. To de-stress from a long day of studies, Michael plays hockey and rugby for Ivey.