To give you insight in to the student experience, over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some student perspectives. Current IMBA and MBA students will let you know a little bit about their background and why they choose Schulich for graduate study.
Krudo Claudio de Jesús Castillo,
Prior studies: B.Eng., MSc.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo
Role prior to the IMBA: Project Manager / Board Member of an engineering/construction company
Current Role: Research Assistant at Schulich
1. Why did you choose to pursue an IMBA?
After studying engineering and starting a company with my family, I got more and more involved in the business side, including the financing of construction projects, and saw how little I knew about running a business. I wanted to learn more about business management and finance. I had always wanted to live and work in a developed country as well. It’s kind of like an aspirational thing in Latin America, those who can send their kids to North America/Europe to study.
What point were you at in your career?
I was on the Board of the family company (120 employees, US$2m in revenue per year) and managing my own small projects already.
What did you think it would help you to achieve?
Move to another country, get a strong brand for my personal brand, learn about business and finance, meet new people, increase salary, aid in retaking the family business or starting my own company.
2. Why did you choose Schulich? What did Schulich offer that was unique or important for you?
Schulich is in Canada, a country that is welcoming to immigrants both personally and legally. I knew that I could get a work permit and work afterwards where it would have been extremely hard in the US and Europe. Schulich also has the Real Estate & Infrastructure specialization which is exactly what I wanted to do. In addition, Schulich costs was significantly lower with similar rankings than other universities so I saw it as a better value for money. Moreover, the IMBA’s focus on international business excited me since it is one of my deep interests. In all, it was the perfect fit for me.
3. What has the Schulich program been like so far? What aspect have you found the most enriching?
I have had a blast so far. So far, I have been able to achieve all that I had hoped for and more. My scholarship was renewed (stil waiting on additional ones), I switched careers into private equity, got 4 months of work experience in Canada, have grown exponentially in my business mindset and have a new outlook for the future.
The most enriching parts have been the internship, by far. Several courses, like Skills for Leadership, really challenged my way of speaking. The Real Estate & Infrastructure program and club have been phenomenal as they are inserted deep in the industry and I have been able to grow my network astronomically. Making new friends from all over the world (who are now in different places all over the world) has been really fun.
4. What advice would you offer to someone who is interested in pursuing the Schulich IMBA?
Investigate the fit of Schulich to yourself. Do you want/need a two year degree? Do you want to specialize? Are you interested in sustainability? Do you love India (hahahaha)? Are you more interested in a more established name than value for money? These and many other questions should be explored. If Schulich is the right fit for you, then don’t hesitate. It can be a life changing experience.