Graduate Success Stories
David Marquis, Queen’s MBA
Director, Corporate Development & Strategy
Bell Canada, Montreal
When David applied to the Queen’s MBA program, he was working as an R&D engineer at Rolls-Royce in Montréal. He had heard great things about the program and wanted to complement his technical background with a business skill set. He believes the program transformed the way he thought about his career and business in general. After an exciting and intense year at Queen’s, he joined The Boston Consulting Group in Toronto. He is now Director of Corporate Development & Strategy at Bell Canada, and proud to be part of the team executing an ambitious new strategy of service and network investment for Bell.
"From that first week in Goodes Hall, the learning experience at Queen’s was truly exceptional, and being a member of the Queen’s MBA class has been a highlight in my career. In particular, the great faculty, small class size, and the team-based learning environment stood out to me as features that differentiate the Queen’s experience. Overall, the program gave me the tools necessary to take control of my career and help me achieve my personal and professional goals."
Sanyu Kiruluta, Queen’s MBA
Team Lead, Developer Relations
Research In Motion Ltd, London, UK
Before entering the Queen’s MBA program, Sanyu worked for seven years in software engineering in Silicon Valley. Her desire to learn more about the management side of the business led her to the decision to pursue an MBA degree. After graduation, she joined Research in Motion (RIM) as a Senior Application Development Consultant in London, UK. Recently she was promoted to Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) Team Lead, Developer Relations.
"Working on the tech side of start-ups in Silicon Valley over the course of boom/ bust/boom cycles made me very aware that the best technology wasn’t all that was required for a company to succeed. My Queens MBA provided insights into the other parts of the organization; not only how they worked, but also how to communicate with them on their terms. It was the stepping stone I needed to take my career to the next level. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use something I learned in the program."
Jeff Blackburn, Queen’s MBA
Vice President and General Manager
Exco Technologies Limited, Toronto
When Jeff decided to pursue his MBA, he was a Design Engineer at Exco Engineering, an operating unit of Exco Technologies Limited. He chose the Queen’s MBA program because of its strong reputation and one year format. Upon graduation, he secured a job in the consulting group at Deloitte and Touche where he worked for 6 years, rising to the position of Senior Manager. He recently returned to Exco as Vice President and General Manager, with overall responsibility for Exco Engineering.
"The Queen’s MBA opened doors that would have otherwise been closed to me. Without it, I would not have been able to get into the management consulting field and subsequently return to my former employer in a leadership role. The team-based approach taught me to work effectively with a diverse group of people, and the network the program provided has been a tremendous asset both professionally and personally."
Claudia Soong, Queen’s MBA
RBC Capital Markets, Toronto
When Claudia applied to the Queen’s MBA program, she was a Branch Manager at CIBC in Toronto. Her goal was to accelerate her career in the finance industry. Upon graduation, she joined RBC Capital Markets (the investment banking arm of Royal Bank of Canada) as an Associate in the generalist program in Toronto. She later moved to New York and joined the Corporate Banking team covering the Real Estate and Consumer sectors. During her time in New York she was involved in a number of mergers and acquisitions, corporate and leveraged buyout transactions. She recently relocated back to Toronto to join the Asset-Based Lending team in RBC Capital Markets and was promoted to Vice President.
"I chose Queen’s because I wanted a program that would provide me with a competitive advantage. The Queen’s MBA enabled me to become a contender for a broader range of career opportunities. I enjoyed the extra-curricular activities and the smaller class size because it allowed me to develop stronger bonds with my classmates. The dedicated faculty and an extremely supportive team of program staff allowed me to focus and succeed. The experience was truly invaluable."
Logan Dunning, Queen’s MBA
Upon completing her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, Logan accepted a technical engineering design position with an oil and gas consulting firm in Calgary. Once she had achieved her professional engineering status, she started to think more about her career path. Although she really enjoyed the work, she did not want to limit herself to the technical side of the industry. She decided it was time to return to school and pursue an MBA at Queen’s. Upon completion of the MBA program, she accepted a position with AltaGas in Calgary. Currently, she holds the position of Commercial Manager and says she finds herself utilizing the skills she acquired at Queen’s every day.
"The team-based learning approach of the Queen’s MBA is so unique and provided valuable experience that was instantly transferrable to the workplace. I thoroughly enjoyed the extracurricular activities, such as case competitions and the MBA games, which allowed me to further strengthen the bonds that I had already formed with my classmates. For me the Queen’s MBA allowed me to change and accelerate my career path in just twelve months."
William Sutherland, Queen’s MBA
Kensington Financial, Toronto
Prior to entering the Queen’s MBA program, William was an Engineering Specialist with Toyota, where he ran a sales and project engineering team. He chose Queen’s because it offered a well-rounded program that focused on both the hard and soft skills he was looking for. Upon graduation, he joined RBC Capital Markets as an Associate, where he participated in acquisitions, equity raises, corporate splits and conversions. In 2010, he joined Kensington Capital as a Principal. In this role, he is a senior member in the deal investment and management team, and a leader in portfolio due diligence and investment review.
"I looked at several MBA programs, both in Canada and the United States, and Queen’s was the one that met all of my requirements. The tools and experience that I gained during the program enabled me to move from the engineering sector into the world of corporate finance. Both the financial skills and soft skills that Queen’s provided have been tremendous assets. The team-based approach fostered a more creative approach to problem-solving, and provided the opportunity to participate in –and effectively lead - a team in a very dynamic environment. Queen’s challenged me to think differently, and achieve my full potential."
Nora Kleinewillinghoefer, Queen’s MBA
A.T. Kearney Ltd., Vancouver
At the time she decided to enroll in the Queen’s MBA program, Nora was a Marketing Specialist for Grouse Mountain Resort in Vancouver. She knew that she wanted to make a career shift, and during the program decided on a career in Consulting. Upon graduation in May of 2011, she joined the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney as an Associate.
"I chose Queen’s because I wanted a school with an excellent reputation, high caliber students, and strong team dynamic that fostered collaboration. The team based approach provided a real-world collegial environment in an educational setting, with support systems to guide us through the process. When I decided to focus my attention on the consulting industry, the QSB Career Centre provided the support I needed to prepare for the recruiting process and assisted me in making the right connections to be successful. During classes, the faculty encouraged discussion of differing perspectives and a multidimensional view of problems and solutions. The fast-paced twelve month experience was a whirlwind of activity which propelled me to new levels in my career and set me up for long term success."
Robert Wall, Queen’s MBA
Infrastructure Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Prior to joining the Queen’s MBA program, Robert worked as a Professional Engineer in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Upon graduation, he decided to transition to a career in Finance, and accepted a position within the Private Investments team of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. In his new role, Robert is part of a team that makes private investments in infrastructure assets on a global basis. This work involves both the acquisition and ongoing management of infrastructure assets and companies. He believes that his Queen’s MBA experience played a key role in his completing this transition, enabling him to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence it required.
"My Queen’s MBA has had clear and immediate returns. I was able to pursue a career that was of great interest to me and develop a framework of thinking that will stay with me for many years. The program’s team-based approach was powerful and a key part of the learning. My time at Queen’s was made truly enjoyable by the relationships I developed with my classmates and the faculty."
Suzanne Morel, Queen’s MBA
Director, Government Relations
CPP Investment Board, Toronto
Before coming to Queen’s, Suzanne was an international trade negotiator for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. She chose the Queen’s MBA program because of its strong reputation, team-based approach and exchange opportunities. While in the program, Suzanne took advantage of the international exchange opportunities and spent the final four months of the program at the University of Peking in Beijing, China. Upon graduation, she joined the CPP Investment Board and was subsequently promoted to Director, Government Relations.
"I would describe the experience as intense, exhilarating and unforgettable...an accomplishment of which I am very proud. The Queen’s MBA enabled me to move into a new sector and the skills I acquired through the program led to a promotion shortly after joining the CPP Investment Board. I enjoyed the team-based approach because it allowed me to learn from teammates while contributing to their experience. I value the memories of working with my team and will always be grateful for what I learned from them. The academic exchange allowed me to spend a significant amount of time immersed in one of the world’s key economies while gaining a very unique perspective on Chinese culture."
Brenna Donoghue, Queen’s MBA
President, Marketing & Sales
Ethical Ocean, Toronto
When Brenna decided to pursue an MBA degree, she had been working for several years in the not-for-profit sector in a communications and fundraising role. Recognizing that the sector generally lacked strong management capacity and skills, she decided that an MBA degree would provide the leadership and business skills that would enable her to make a larger contribution to the sector. After visiting several large US schools, she decided to visit Queen’s. This proved to be the deciding factor. Having graduated from the program, she is now President of Marketing and Sales at Ethical Ocean. She believes the Queen’s MBA provided the diverse skill set she required to be successful in this new role.
"I had visited a few of the big schools in the US, and then visited Queen’s. The difference was immediately evident. From the moment I walked into the office at Queen’s, I felt valued by the staff. They truly believed in the program and wanted me to meet with current students to get their perspectives. It wasn’t about putting on a show. It was about helping me decide if this was the right fit for me.
The Queen’s MBA exceeded my expectations in every way, but for me, the highlight was working with and learning from a richly diverse and exceptional team – a team that challenged and supported me, and pushed me to learn, test my skills, and re-examine my perspectives more than ever before."
Kalyan Chakravarthy, Queen's MBA
Director of Information Technology
Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto
Before joining the Queen’s MBA program, Kalyan was working as an IT Project Manager for GE Aircraft Engines. He chose to come to Queen’s because of the unique team-based approach and the passion with which alumni spoke about the program. When he graduated, he joined IBM in the Business Development area. He has subsequently joined the Toronto International Film Festival as Director of Information Technology. He was recently named IT Manager of the Year by Computer World.
"While deciding which MBA program to choose, I spoke to alumni from a number of schools. Queen’s alumni were very passionate about the program – something I didn’t find with other programs. The team approach provided a learning platform that was very much like the workplace, and taught me valuable lessons in how to lead or contribute to a high-performance team. As a whole, the experience was wonderful and has provided me with a personal network of peers who guide and help me through my professional career."