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UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 5 | May 6, 2004

Join the MBA Program and See the Far East

Business grad embraces cultural differences

By April Wilson-Lange

For MBA grad Gregor Irvine-Halliday the business world is a place where you can collaborate with interesting people from different backgrounds.

“I chose to pursue an MBA to equip myself with a set of practical professional skills and for the opportunity to work with people from a broad range of professions and cultures,” says the 32-year-old.

With this in mind, Irvine-Halliday went to Shanghai in the summer of 2003 to do the summer placement required for graduation.

After finishing a placement at the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Irvine-Halliday was supposed to start another job with Shanghai Tunnel Engineering but was delayed because of the SARS crisis. As luck would have it, UBC’s International MBA program at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai needed marketing help and he was able to step into the role.

“I learned a great deal concerning the challenges facing many state-owned enterprises as they attempt to restructure to adapt to the market economy,” he says. “And working with the staff of UBC’s International MBA at Jiao Tong was a great way to meet local business people and develop my network.”

Irvine-Halliday also took advantage of the university’s exchange program. After completing his internship, he went to the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Pudong for his final term.

“I had worked in North China before starting my MBA and CEIBS was a natural choice as an exchange school,” he explains.

True to his adventurous nature, Irvine-Halliday took a position as a business development consultant for CHF International in Mongolia when he completed his courses at CEIBS.

“Working with people from different professions and cultural backgrounds produces far superior results, even though it requires a lot more patience and wisdom than when working with like-minded people,” he says.

Irvine-Halliday plans on continuing his work in business development in either Canada or Asia.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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