Queen’s MBA Blog Series – Transitioning Into The Program

Being a part of a professional sports environment allows for athletes to develop tremendous skill sets that help them perform at the highest level of competition. Luckily, these skills translate beyond a sports career into their studies and professional career.

This was shown to be true in our talks with Matt Reesor, Director of the Queen’s MBA program at Smith School of Business.

Transitioning is common across all entrants into the Queen’s MBA program. “Athletes are not alone coming into the program. 80% are looking to transition their careers in some way”, said Matt. “Technical engineers in oil and gas might transition into banking. Or business background looking for management.”

“Many athletes have trouble understanding what skills they bring to the table, but their background is the skill itself”, said Matt. Professional athletes are incredibly detail-oriented and their competitive backgrounds put them in a spot where they strive for the best results in what they do.

Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny, a former Olympic Canoe athlete, is midway through his MBA at Smith. On top of his experience working in a team, he was able to apply his keen attention to detail to the work in the course.

“I attribute my athletic success to digging into every sequence of my movement, analyzing it deeply”, said Gabriel. “This program is designed to dig one inch then dive deeper.”

Ben Russell, a national team canoe athlete who is also in the process of completing his MBA at Smith, echoed both Gabriel and Matt’s comments. “As athletes, we hear about how transferable our skills are to other endeavours,” he said. “My experience in the first couple weeks is that it’s very true. Goal setting, hard work and leadership skills shine through. It helped me gained confidence early.”

All that said, both Gabriel and Ben were able to experience a smooth transition into their graduate programs because of their background in sport. If you are unsure about how to apply the skills you’ve learned as an athlete, then perhaps a program at the Smith School of Business is for you!

The interviews above were conducted in the summer of 2017 with Matt Reesor, Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny and Ben Russell as a three part blog series about their experiences at the Smith School of Business. Through its partnership with Game Plan, the Smith School of Business has scholarships available to athletes who are interested in their programs. To find out more, visit the Education section of the Game Plan website here!

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