I’ve introduced you to her before, but I’m excited to have the Beauty Nerd herself be a guest blogger to share her experiences as an entrepreneur in the part-time MBA program. She has helped me out before with great advice and now she is sharing her own advice on starting her own business and the decision to be a Rotman Morning MBA student! It has truly been a pleasure to see Connie’s business grow throughout the program (and she just celebrated her one year blogaversary!) She has really taken advantage of what she has learned and applied it to her company.
Since I’m not an entrepreneur, I am really glad to have Connie join us and give us her perspective. And for those of you interested in entrepreneurship, Rotman offers several courses, clubs and resources in this area. I also highly recommend the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit from Mars Discovery District and The Next 36 program, both closely linked to Rotman. I hope that you find Connie’s sharing helpful and don’t forget to check out her site!
Why hello there! I’m so honoured that Karina has asked me to write a guest post on her blog. I thought it would be nice to share with you today, my experiences in the part-time MBA program thus far.
Just to give you a little background about myself, I have a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, which was a deliberate and strategic choice to get myself into the cosmetics industry. Then, I made more drastic moves to pursue my dreams by moving to New York, attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, and eventually working for Bliss Spa where I developed skincare and bath & body products. When my husband found a job in Toronto, we had to move back to Canada and I began thinking more seriously about pursuing my next dream – starting my own skincare company. I must admit, doing an MBA was never part of my master plan. I was eager to start my company right away, and I didn’t want to wait for another two years to begin. Also, I couldn’t ignore all the critiques I heard about MBA programs (not Rotman’s specifically, but just MBAs in general) and questioned whether there was true value in doing an MBA. I thought to myself, so many entrepreneurs do not have those 3 letters behind their name, so was it really necessary? Was the hefty tuition, which could have been used to fund my startup (yes, I know – quite the opportunity cost), worth it?
After months of tormenting myself, I finally decided that I would pursue my MBA after all. Because my training was predominantly in science, I knew I had much more to learn about business. And boy, did I ever turn out to be right. Like Karina, I decided to enroll in the part-time program. Doing so, gave me the best of both worlds. I was able to start working on my company right away while learning all the basic tools I would need to succeed in business. It has been two years now, and I have enjoyed my journey tremendously. Not only have I been able to apply what I have learned in class directly to my business, but also I have met wonderful, wonderful people who have helped me along the way. My classmates have always been there for me in times of crisis – either giving me great advice from their own experiences or introducing me to their contacts that could help me out. I have met amazing professors, who are genuinely passionate about what they teach. I cannot stress how valuable it is to have access to brilliant business minds at your fingertips for advice and mentorship. Now, I like to view my MBA tuition as one big consulting fee. 🙂
I know I am a bit of an anomaly – doing my MBA while starting a business at the same time. But I hope that this will inspire some of you entrepreneur-hopefuls to follow the same path. Building a business is hard. Really hard. But I believe it has been less hard because I have been granted access to some of the best professors, and talented classmates, many of who have also become great friends. I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
UPDATED: Check out my own beauty essentials for busy MBA students over at Connie’s blog.