Guadalupe (Lupe) Antillon
London, Ontario, Canada
University of Waterloo (Science)
Associate Manager, Accenture
Class of 2018
DeGroote creates a collaborative culture – and that is really significant for when you transition into the workforce. You get a sense of everyone working as a team, and this is one of the most important lessons that I took away from my DeGroote experience.
Tell us about your journey. What were you doing prior to pursuing an MBA? Why did you choose to pursue your MBA, and why at DeGroote?
Before pursuing my MBA, I was working at TD. I had finished my undergrad in science so I wasn’t really sure where my path would lead me. Before I started working at TD, I wanted to be a pharmacist. Or I thought I did. I did a lot of volunteering with pharmacies and shortly realized that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t see myself long-term really enjoying it or enjoying the field itself, so I was fortunate enough to start working at within the financial services industry.
I realized very quickly that I enjoyed what I was doing. I moved to a few different roles during the time that I was there and I realized that the MBA for me would be the perfect segue way into a more enjoyable business career. It offered, for me, a lot of opportunities that I saw and that I could actually picture myself in.
DeGroote actually stood for me because when I was browsing the website I saw a lot of alum and their profiles, and lot of them came from such different backgrounds. I guess I was a little insecure with my science background – on how would I transition into business – and I saw that a lot of the alum here actually did have different backgrounds and DeGroote seemed very accepting of it.
I did have a chat with a few current students at the time and I read a lot of forums which helped cement my initial impression.
You chose the 20-month full-time program. Why did you choose that program in particular?
When I was looking for the right program for me, ideally, I wanted an internship to compliment my previous work experience and the full-time program aligned well with this.
Tell us a little bit about your experience at DeGroote. What associations or activities were you part of? What did you enjoy at the School?
I’ll start with what I enjoyed the most. I think it was the people. Everything from the professors and the student recruitment team, to the student engagement team – everyone is just so friendly and welcoming and willing to support you throughout. I feel like that really creates a collaborative culture – and that is really significant for when you transition into the workforce. You get a sense of everyone working as a team, and I feel like that’s one of the most important lessons that I learned here.
In terms of my journey and what I was involved in, I was the full-time representative for the MBAA. In addition to that, I was a student ambassador and a DeGroote leader. The DeGroote leader, in particular, was a really good experience as it brought me back to that when I first started, including all the nerves that came with it, I was able to share that experience with the new students and also learn a lot from them as well. My involvement in these areas helped create meaningful relationships and it really made my experience what it was, aside from the academics.
How did your experience at DeGroote prepare you for your current career?
Apart from the academics, which are very important, I feel what was really valuable for me was the networking. I mean that’s essentially how I came across this organization and the role that I’m currently in. Also, that collaborative team culture that I spoke of earlier – I feel like that’s very important nowadays because you don’t get things done as an individual. You get things done as a team.
What is your biggest takeaway from the MBA program?
My biggest takeaway is the people. Aside from the academics, which was great, it was the people and the long-lasting relationships. Many people may go into programs and never talk to their colleagues again. I feel like that is not the case here. I feel like it’s a very tight-knit community. I’ve run into a lot of DeGroote alum and it automatically creates a connection!
What 3 words would you use to describe DeGroote?
Welcoming is number one. Supportive. Challenging.
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