Dan Tzotzis, Accelerated MBA
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, AWAKE Chocolate
Based in: Toronto, ON
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Graduation Year: BBA 2002 / MBA 2010
MBA Specialization: Strategic Management and Organizational Behaviour
“I had a plan in place to leverage my education to gain management knowledge. Much of the education you receive at Schulich is executive level training.”
- Learn more about the MBA program
One lesson Schulich taught me about starting a business in Canada:
Starting your own business is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you’re leaving a steady and rewarding career path with a large organization. I took a corporate entrepreneurship class instructed by Steve Pulver. The first story he told the class was about his leap from the corporate world to entrepreneurship- he did this at the same age I was when I took his class. His story was so inspiring that he was one of the first people I reached out when contemplating the transition, and he is still a very trusted advisor and friend to my business partners and myself.
One thing that attracted me to Schulich:
The Teaching Faculty. I had the pleasure of completing my BBA at Schulich, and had first hand experience with the high-calibre of Profs that instructed my courses. I couldn’t think of investing for my MBA in a better school to round out my post-grad education, given the quality of professors I knew I was getting.
One skill that I admire in a business leader:
Most admired skill- the leader with an impeccable ability to quickly identify the opportunities within the mountain of information that they are constantly presented. Many professionals will spend their entire careers trying to refine this skill. The leaders that I admire most are those than conquered this very difficult-to-acquire skill quickly and effectively.
One skill I learned at Schulich that I still use today:
Prioritization. The Schulich MBA is a program that challenges you to manage an intense workload from your first day of class until graduation. While completing my MBA, I was also working full time in a demanding role, and was starting a family. It was this intense schedule that helped prepare me for the craziness of the entrepreneurial world and ensure that my focus remains on items that will yield the strongest and most positive outcome for my company.
One piece of advice to students considering an AMBA:
You will only complete an MBA once. Take this opportunity to understand your inner career motivations prior to starting your MBA and sign up for classes that will test and/or satisfy those curiosities. I did–and as a result, I have never felt more rewarded for the decision I made to pursue my entrepreneurial dream.
Beyond the classroomLearn more about student life at Schulich
During my MBA at Schulich I …
- Competed in the DECA Case Competition where our team qualified for the National Championships held in Orlando, Florida
- Held a full-time job while completing my accelerated part-time MBA
- Remained very active playing hockey every week which has given me teamwork and competitive skills that I also use in my professional life
“Schulich gave me the confidence to become an entrepreneur. It challenged me to be better and is a ride I would never change or replace.”