From chemistry to business: The lifelong benefits of an MBA

Chemist-turned-MBA-student Cindy Wong tells us about her experience at SFU Beedie School of Business, including why she loves its location in Vancouver, the challenges she faced during the MBA program, and what’s next in her career.

In short

Cindy Wong (Canada)- SFU Beedie School of Business

Why SFU Beedie?

Cindy chose to do an MBA at SFU Beedie School of Business because, ultimately, she had always thought about going there. Its central location downtown in Vancouver and the small class sizes were particularly appealing to her.

“I think Vancouver is one of the best cities,” Cindy says. “I have lived here for over 20 years of my life…A lot of people think that Canada is cold but that’s not really the case here. I would say you get nice beaches in the summer [and] you get great mountains to do any winter sport you desire, so it’s a great place to live.” (04:52)

Getting used to the MBA experience

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and her hands-on, work experience, Cindy realized that being a chemist didn’t give her a lot of experience on the business side of the industry.

That wasn’t the only challenge she faced. While her chemistry background focused on quantitative research, the MBA also utilizes qualitative research. “That is something that I am still learning and I found it challenging in the beginning because that’s not what I was used to,” Cindy explains. (01:42)

In the end, Cindy gained plenty of theoretical business knowledge, as well as personal growth opportunities. “Being in a one-year program, it is pretty intense – you take a lot of classes each semester, a lot of deadlines – so you know how you will handle yourself in situations like that,” she says. (04:25)

“One thing that was a really good surprise was how much support we were given,” she adds. (06:06) With a strong, tight-knit community, SFU Beedie students, alumni, and staff alike are always willing to help out, whether it’s sharing their experiences, offering advice, or simply reaching out to connect.

Life after Beedie: Welcome to the future

Post-MBA, Cindy is looking for the next step in her career. She is currently doing an internship at a non-profit organization in the healthcare sector.

Throughout the program, Cindy met many people outside of her own industry – students from all over the world from industries such as IT and Finance – who also decided to do their MBA at SFU Beedie. Regardless of your background and skillset, an MBA can help you build a wider set of skills, transferable across industries. In fact, joining an MBA program when you have a “non-traditional” business background like Cindy’s can be incredibly valuable because you bring a different perspective and expertise.

For Cindy, SFU Beedie gave her the opportunity to expand her knowledge and awareness of the world around her. “For me, I just feel like the personal growth that I have undertaken this past year is probably the best experience that I can get,” she says. (08:37)

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