MBA and Marriage: Taking Commitment to the Next Level
As they ran from MBA classes and 601 meetings to book caterers and send out invitations, things could not have been more hectic for classmates (and engaged couple) Dan and Nicole Simunac (MBAs ’06) while they were students at Schulich. “We really challenged ourselves, planning a wedding while pursuing our MBAs at the same time,” said Dan.
Dan started his MBA program in January 2003 on a part-time basis while working full-time. Nicole started her MBA in January 2004 as a full-time student. The couple graduated in June 2006, one year after they got married.
Fast forward to 2017, and Dan and Nicole are both enjoying successful careers and an active family life.
Dan currently serves as Country Head at Raymond James Bank, Canada, one of North America’s leading independent full- service investment dealers. “My MBA years were very formative for my career and for who I am as a person – that period taught me about discipline, perseverance and time management.” Dan was honoured with the Executive of the Year Award by the Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce in 2014. Next spring, Dan will serve as Organizing Chair of the Tournament of Stars NBA Celebrity Basketball Event in support of rebuilding West Park Hospital.
While Dan continues to expand his portfolio of corporate positions, Nicole is carving her niche in event management. After founding her own boutique agency Events & Co. in 2014, Nicole now produces events for a diverse clientele that includes Microsoft, Cidel Wealth Management and the Sundance Film Festival. “Prior to doing an MBA, I worked in pharmaceuticals, and the MBA gave me practical teachings to pivot towards a totally new career path. Aside from giving me the confidence to start my own business, many of my MBA classmates are part of my business network and have become lifelong friends,” said Nicole.
Grateful for their Schulich education and experience, Dan and Nicole joined the Dean’s Society and established the Daniel & Nicole Simunac “Most Well-Rounded” MBA/IMBA Award to support Schulich students. “Our motivation for giving back lies in our working-class upbringing and seeing that education is the great equalizer in our society – if you work hard and are knowledgeable, you become valuable and will ascend in your career,” said Dan.
Giving back to a place where they shared memories and overcame challenges together – from their first class to their engagement, from saying “I do” to graduating with MBAs – Dan and Nicole’s Schulich journey has come full circle.