UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 5 | May
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,”
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.