Each week, JWMI profiles students and alumni in its new featured series “Winning Voices.” Learn about our diverse community and what sets our program apart from those who have experienced it. For more great “Winning Voices” content, click here.
Manager, Business Intelligence
Regional Municipality of Peel
Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES AT THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF PEEL.
I work for a Municipal Government in Southern Ontario, Canada, as an Enterprise Business Intelligence and Analytics Leader. I lead a team of Data Scientists and Business Intelligence professionals whose mandate is to deliver business insights that inform decision-making in the organization by transforming data into actionable business information, leveraging technology and analytical expertise.
WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET AN MBA?:
My enrollment in the JWMI program is one of the best decisions I made three years ago. I was at a point in my career journey where I felt I needed to take on a new challenge. I wasn’t sure what that challenge would look like, but I knew I needed a new set of tools for the adventure. Upon reviewing the JWMI prospectus, I was excited about the program. Overall, this has been a very enriching experience.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
There are several takeaways from the JWMI program, including Jack Welch’s eight rules of leadership, which are genuinely core business principles every professional should study. A quote of Jack’s is, “before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” This quote made a significant impact on me and has motivated me each day to learn more about how best to grow others.
As a high-functioning team leader, colleagues have sought after me to share my leadership approach and practices. This has undoubtedly raised my profile as an effective leader in the organization, and I have been given the opportunity to lead some strategic projects.
Also, I have had the opportunity to serve as a chair of a non-profit board. This role has afforded me another opportunity to hone my leadership skills further. I have also had several speaking engagements where I have had the opportunity to share some of the leadership principles I have learned through my JWMI program.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE? PLEASE EXPLAIN.:
I have been able to apply Jack’s leadership practices in my job, notably, rule #1: leaders relentlessly upgrade their team using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach, and build self-confidence. For example, I initiated quarterly performance reviews and bi-weekly check-ins with my team to guide, critique, and help the team to improve their performance in every way. I also take the time to pour out encouragement, caring, and recognition to the team. The result has been remarkable. The team has received recognition as a high-functioning team twice in a row in the past two years.
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE YOUR JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?:
The JWMI MBA program has been a very enriching experience for me. Like everything else in life, I realized that what I would gain from the program would be commensurate with what I was willing to invest in the program in terms of time and effort. I had to suspend most of my weekend engagements and devoted my weekends instead to my reading and assignments. I also leveraged the assistance of a writing coach at the early stages of my program, which helped me tremendously. There are many free resources to utilize at JWMI. The most helpful strategy I implemented was to set aside adequate time to get through the materials each week. And, while it’s important to aspire for high grades, that should not be the main focus. I realized that when I applied myself to the program as recommended, inadvertently, good grades followed.
WAS THERE A PARTICULAR PROFESSOR OR MEMBER OF THE STAFF WHO YOU FELT HELPED YOU TO EXCEL? PLEASE ELABORATE.:
The bench strength of the JWMI faculty is second to none in terms of their subject matter expertise, support to students, and going the extra mile to ensure that students’ expectations are met. Professor Chesler laid a solid foundation for me during my first two semesters in the program, which carried me successfully through the rest of the journey.
PLEASE SHARE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS EMBARKING ON THE MBA JOURNEY.:
Make it your goal to learn as much as you can from the faculty and your colleagues. When you apply yourself to the program as recommended, inadvertently, good grades will follow. Enjoy the ride.
Connect with Chine Nkado on Linkedin
For more information on the Jack Welch Management Institute, visit us.