UNBC Business School MBA Program and Painting Moving Rocks


There are times when after much searching, final decisions are made solely based on small meaningful gestures, a conversation or simply a smile on someone’s face.

That is how I ended up applying and subsequently being accepted to UNBC Business School and MBA program in Jan 2006.

For a while I had been contemplating taking the MBA step, stretching my career into a realm where leadership was augmented, not just by gut feeling and experience, but also with some sure-fired credentials. Prodded by mentors, their wisdom goading me on, I started getting prepared for, potentially, taking an MBA.

First I had to select a place to go. I searched all the typical MBA programs across Canada; all great; all conventional with slight variations. In fact I found them a little boring, if not intimidating. But I persevered and settled on a few schools.

It was at the end of this search that I came across a small advertisement tucked away in a corner of a general information sheet on Business Schools in Canada. Imagine doing your MBA in an environment that takes the North into account. There was a picture depicting people sitting around a campfire talking and laughing. It was different. There was a contact number listed and I called it.

The phone rang and rang and just as I was preparing to leave a message, a voice came on the line. It was the Director of the Business School. I made my introduction and announced my quest for an MBA program that was interesting, good quality and different. And what I then heard made all the difference. The fact that I could continue working, the fact that I could fly up once a month and be with a small group of people who had amazing aspirations, the fact that the program professors came from top notch Business Schools across North America, flying in like the students, and the fact that this Business School Director laughed on the phone and told jokes! And that is mainly why I chose to go to The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) for my MBA – it felt human, interesting and gave a sense of the important things in life.

All through the two-year program, I was challenged to the extreme. I met and made life long friends – entrepreneurs, bankers, researchers, chiefs of nations, chiefs of forestry, directors of health. I survived and excelled at the same time. It was like moving rocks, rolling them slowly up a mountain, along the ridges and pitfalls, altering my preconceived perspectives. It was great.

Moving Rocks is a painting I donated to the UNBC MBA Business School after my successful defense of my research project. I painted it in between moments of finalizing strategy and accounting assignments, panic attacks, writing essays and conducting survey research. Signifying the starkness, turbulence and yet warmth of succeeding through an MBA, the painting was inspired by the Fraser Canyon and Northern Plateau landscapes of British Columbia; places that capture the essentials of Northern British Columbia and the UNBC MBA program.

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