Putting the “I” in IMBA: Vincent’s Story
Vincent Xingwen Fu
2016 IMBA Candidate
When I entered this program, I came from a background in accounting, with previous experience at one of the Big Four firms in China. I chose to apply for the IMBA program because I hoped to develop a global mindset while strengthening my finance skills.
One thing stood out to me immediately: We have great diversity in our class. So much so, that I’ve been able to learn about the business environments of different countries around the world nearly every day. When breaking business news is discussed in class, we always have a representative from the continent where the news took place who can provide unique insights into the event for the whole class. That’s an environment in which the learning curve is typically steep, especially in terms of cultural acumen.We’re lucky to have so many perspectives in one classroom.
As an international student, and as part of my IMBA, I interned right here in Ontario, in a mechanical engineering and product design firm in Toronto during the summer. I worked on a management consulting project to advise management on the future strategy of the company. It was a perfect opportunity to apply what I learned in the IMBA classroom to a real Canadian business environment. The communication skills I gained and the professional network I developed in this experience benefited my career development in the Canadian work landscape.
Many of my classmates are currently on exchange in different countries too. When your Facebook is filled with pictures of your colleagues from every corner of the world, you just can’t wait for the next reunion of the IMBA family!
5 IMBA Highlights for Vincent:
- One all-time favourite place visited: New York City
- One lesson learned working abroad:Working in Canada, I realized you really have to speak up in work, even if you are not one hundred percent sure if your opinion will turn out to be right. That’s been my personal experience in Schulich and during my internship. In China, there is a different power dynamic and accountabilities in the workplace. I was encouraged to speak up in a team-based environment many times working and studying in Canada.
- One experience or moment abroad that had a huge impact on me:As a big fan of sports, I always try to learn more about local culture by following the sports teams. After spending several afternoons in Rogers Center during the past summer, I became a Jays fan and tried to learn more about baseball.
- One sentence that summarizes the value of an IMBA:The IMBA program celebrates the diversity of the class and prepares students well for an exciting career in a global business environment.
- One piece of advice to students considering an IMBA: Walk out of your comfort zone and leverage the cultural diversity in Schulich to sharpen your cultural acumen.