Aim for a career that you love and don’t apologize for what you want
After two years of steady advancement at the event management firm WTG Events, Alex Walker Turner (MBA ’17) landed a senior position at the firm’s London office, reporting to the company’s global CEO.
Then, just as she was offered another promotion and substantial raise, she resigned. Instead, Walker Turner decided to pursue a full-time MBA.
“It was the right time for a change. I didn’t want to confine myself to an industry or career path that I liked, but wasn’t in love with,” she explains.
Aware of the Rotman School of Management’s strong reputation, and having met and kept in contact with recruitment staff, coming to the School was a natural choice.
“I felt like a part of the community at Rotman before I was a student there. I knew this would be a perfect environment to learn, grow and contribute.”
-Alex Walker Turner (MBA ’17)
Making an impact
Going after interesting learning opportunities and passion projects are common themes in this full-time MBA student’s academic and professional career.
Having already earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in international relations prior to starting her MBA, Walker Turner knew she’d feel at home in the classroom. Still, she was surprised to find how varied her interests were.
“I uncovered a few different passions at Rotman,” she says. “I found the art of using quantitative tools in decision-making fascinating – and I realized how transformational these tools could be in driving things like sales and operational efficiency.”
She was able to draw on these interest areas as a partner with the Impact Consulting Group, an agency that is managed entirely by four or five full-time MBA students.
Walker Turner and her colleagues oversaw the entire operation — from attracting new clients to developing project plans to managing budgets.
“It was a great learning opportunity for all of us on the team,” she says. “At the start, it was busy and hectic and we had so many questions about where to begin. Then it became natural. When we took on a project, we knew the type of team we need to assemble, how long it would take and how to set and manage expectations with clients.”
Another passion for Walker Turner, who was a Forté fellow while completing her degree, is creating mentorship and networking opportunities for women in business. In her second year of the program, she established the successful and well-attended Canadian Graduate Women in Management Conference. The meeting, which featured speakers from McKinsey, Bain and KPMG, was held at the School.
“It was important to establish this consolidated platform for MBA students, graduates and executives in the business community to get together and discuss initiatives that promote parity and how we could increase the number of women enrolled in graduate business programs,” says Walker Turner, who also won the Forté Foundation’s 2017 Edie Hunt Inspiration Award.
“It was so encouraging to see the number of men who attended and to see how our speakers are truly advocating for more women in business,” she adds. “There are so many students and faculty at the School who are ready to take on this cause.”
Alex Walker Turner speaking at the Forté Foundation’s 2017 Edie Hunt Inspiration Award ceremony
Putting her knowledge to work
After graduation, Walker Turner is headed to McKinsey. As an associate with the firm’s digital practice, she’ll be advising clients on how to incorporate new tools, technologies, systems, and strategies in their businesses.
It’s a role where she’ll be able to put her knowledge in data analysis, change management, and business development to use.
Above all else, the most important lesson she’s taken away from her time at the Rotman School is to be unapologetic in her career.
“I’ve learned not to apologize for my ambitions, motivations or what I want,” she says. “Investing the time and effort into a program where you are surrounded by people with similar aspirations and who understand your passions has been so empowering.”