After graduating with an undergraduate degree in science, Steve Deery, MBA/19, was unsure of his next steps. Unlike many science grads, he wasn’t interested in going to medical school or pursuing science further, but instead decided to try his hand at an MBA at Carleton’s Sprott School of Business.

“When I got to the first orientation event, the organizer recognized my name and face, and told me she was glad that I made it to the event,” said Steve. “I thought to myself wow, I could see myself here. It’s such a welcoming community.”

During the internship component of the MBA, Steve applied to work at MaRS Discovery District, a startup accelerator and incubator supporting over 1,200 science and tech companies.  The company is based out of Toronto, so in order to land the job as a student from Ottawa, he knew he had to impress them.

“I got an interview, and realized at that point that if I had an interview they were considering hiring me, so I pulled out all the stops,” said Steve. “I went down in person to Toronto to show them how much I wanted it, and they were impressed and hired me for the summer. It was great because they hired me into a product management role, which is something that is not touched on at all in the MBA.”

At the end of the summer, Steve was asked to continue working remotely until he finished his MBA, and was hired on full-time in January.

“I’m an Associate Product Manager in software, and I’m someone who has never done programming before,” said Steve. “It’s a little bit of business analysis, a little bit of management.”

Steve knows firsthand the importance of networking, which often takes place informally through getting to know people in the same industry.

“Everyone says ‘networking’ like it’s a skill you have, but it’s really learning who to talk to and who to get friendly with,” said Steve. “Even if you have a boss that you have catch-ups with, go for a coffee with them and talk about your professional interests.”

Steve recently came back to Carleton University to speak to current students in the MBA program. His inspiration to do this came from hearing fellow alumni Melanie Judges and Sebastian Kwasiborski speak at an event for prospective students he attended before applying to the MBA.

For students who are looking for the right internship or first job after graduation, he has some advice.

“Don’t be shy about where you end up because so many skills, especially for an MBA student, are transferrable. You can learn leadership, time management, and responsibility qualities anywhere. Informational interviews, or coffee chats, are also really useful.”

Monday, September 9, 2019 in ,
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