The Mentorship Spot
What’s UWO Ivey?
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
“There are people in almost every industry and company that went to Ivey. When people hear Ivey HBA, it adds a lot of credibility…”
The Ivey AEO/HBA program is unique because of the way the program is structured. Students can pursue two years of a program of their choice at Western, and enter into the business program in their third year (HBA 1). At this point, students choose if they want to pursue a dual degree or continue in the business program for fourth year (HBA2). Continuing with just the HBA degree takes four years whereas a dual degree takes five years to complete. This 2+2 concept allows students to bring a diverse perspective into the business environment to tackle problems in various industries.
Meet Raza Khan.
Raza was recognized as one of four out of 1,400 Faculty members for an Excellence in Teaching award presented by Western University’s Student Council. Raza was a full-time business lecturer at Ivey Business School, and taught over 500 students from May 2016 to 2018.
“I knew I loved teaching and always gave it my all whenever I had a class”
Raza is currently a Marketing Specialist at TELUS where he helps increase Average Revenue per User (ARPU) for Koodo, helps manage 5 million in revenue.
Tell us about yourself and your experience as a professor.
It was the best experience of my life. I wanted to work on my communication skills, and because I had a hard time adjusting in first year. I wish I had someone who would share their life lessons would watch out for me. I love teaching. I had to be on my A-game every time to be the best teacher I could be. I really enjoyed it because I got to hang out with students (who I consider as my best friends). I was able to be a support system for people and my students always inspired me. I would feel so overwhelmed when someone told me I was a good professor, and it was the best feeling ever. I loved the culture of all of my classes — they were all different but also had a lot in common. The classes were collaborative, everyone cared about each other, and they were safe environments.
Currently I work at Koodo but for fun I like to weightlift, and I love listening to rap (J Cole and Drake). Last but not least, as a any typical Scarborough guy, I love basketball and anime.
Having been on both sides of the Ivey program (as a student and a professor), what would you say is/are your favorite aspect(s) about it?
The way the classes are taught in the program — the case method is awesome. You undertake 400 cases by the time you complete the program. I personally learn better through discussions as not only are they engaging, but they’re also fun, and they help you learn better. Ivey sells the second most number of cases after Harvard.
Ivey looks for the top 10% from the pool of applicants so the calibre of students they want is high. Everyone is smart in different ways as the students coming in are from a variety of backgrounds. You learn a lot from each other during class discussions. Everyone is at the top of their fields.
You also get the opportunity to meet crazy guest speakers such as the CEO of Google Canada who came in to speak to us. Another feature of Ivey is you get placed into sections so you get to know everyone really well in third year. There are about 70–80 students in each section, and you attend class together with the same group everyday for all the lectures.
What are your thoughts on Internships at Ivey vs. doing a Co-op program?
If you are doing co-op it is part of the curriculum. You will have to find a job in order to refrain from getting kicked out of the program (and possibly doing another year). Co-op might not give you the flexibility to pursue and experience other things, like travel or volunteering, because you have to get a job. However, a great thing about universities that offer co-op programs is that they have good relationships with recruiting companies. It’s definitely an advantage but that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a job.
For internships, on the other hand, you have to figure it out on your own. If you are ambitious you will be able to find an internship regardless. Most major companies only hire in third year to hire students for full-time. Ivey starts in third year, and there isn’t much of a disadvantage if you are willing to network on your own.
If you could go back and change your university experience, what would you want to do differently?
I originally wanted to become an actor, but my parents wanted me go to university first. I really wish I didn’t do BMOS and instead did another program that would give me a more diverse perspective for the first two years. The 2+2 gives a lot of perspective, and I think I would’ve gotten more value since I already had to do business in third year.
I also wish that I got more involved in school early in my undergrad because everytime I went to club meetings they motivated me, and the individuals I would meet were so inspiring. If I took on this experience earlier on, it would’ve definitely been an advantage.
What value does a dual degree add?
In my personal experience, you have an opportunity to recruit twice if you do a dual degree. When you do five years of university, you also become more mature. It might result in an even better full-time. Technical degrees such as actuarial science, computer science, and engineering look great for employers. They’re good for developing soft skills with technical skills which makes you an ideal candidate for jobs.
Can you tell us a bit about Ivey’s Alumni Network?
My VP at Telus did Ivey, and most of my managers went to Western. You could search for any company you want to work at and filter it to Ivey, and chances are a good number of people from Western would have gone there. Because of the tight-knit community it’s easy to reach out, and everyone is willing to help. There are people in almost every industry and company that went to Ivey. When people hear Ivey HBA, it adds a lot of credibility and it is implied that you have certain qualities and know how rigourous the program is.
What would you tell your younger self?
My goal should be progress, not perfection. When I came to Western, my sense of self-worth was based on everyone around me. I felt like everyone was better than me, and I was constantly comparing myself to everyone else. That was a problem. As long as I’m making incremental gains, and becoming a better version of myself, it helps me gain an idea of who I am. I would compete with myself and not with everyone else.
At a young age you have such little exposure and you feel like every small thing is huge. Remember that everything will work out, it always does. The only caveat is you have to keep working. It doesn’t matter what school you go to, what job you get, or if a certain goal is your end goal because if you keep working you will get it. Everything we do is to maximize our chances of success — if you’re really dead set on something then nothing will stop you.
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