Giustin MacLean, MBA ’23, initially came into Ivey’s MBA program having a good sense of what was in store for him. Challenging case discussions and an intense 12-month program format weren’t an issue – he had chosen Ivey’s program over others specifically for those things. The one thing he hadn’t expected was the strong sense of community.
“Many of us are mid-career and we already have lives and friends and family so it can be easy for an MBA to become just something you’re trying to get done to move on to the next stage of your life,” he said. “But a real sense of community formed where you’re supporting one another and you’re trying to succeed as a cohort rather than succeeding at the expense of somebody else.”
Building an inclusive community
MacLean himself helped to further build a welcoming and inclusive community at Ivey through his work as the Class of 2023 ROMBA Fellow and President of the Ivey MBA Pride Club. Through that work, he aimed to break down barriers by creating opportunities for everyone to participate in activities, even those who are not part of the Ivey LGBTQ+ community.
He also appreciated how the Ivey curriculum included discussions on how business can contribute to the creation of a more sustainable future, which he says is top of mind for many organizations today.
“There’s this concept of sustainable capitalism where you are going beyond profit and considering how to build a sustainable future both for the planet and humanity in general. Ivey did a very good job of weaving those two things throughout the curriculum,” he said. “This is important and not just because sustainability is a topic that ought to be on our minds, but because many of the companies that we’ll go on to join care about this. Having had it be part of the curriculum already helps you to know how to tackle those issues in a collaborative way and you have learnings that will support some of the aims of these companies.”
Embracing change and other perspectives
Going forward, MacLean said he thinks advances in technology, such as artificial intelligence, will change the way we approach business. His advice for future students? Always embrace and seek new perspectives.
“I think there are so many things coming down the pipeline that are going to shift the way we approach business so perspective is going to be really important, and maintaining, ‘What are we here for?’ as a goal in our minds,” he said. “I think we’re in a period of incredible division and everybody that is going into the workforce should try and seek perspective that goes beyond their own. That means listening to things that are uncomfortable or unfamiliar and really internalizing them in your own thought processes to help to inform the way you act and behave as you go forward.”