Maintain your integrity – Reputation is everything: Claire Dixon, Director, MBA Programs, University of Calgary

Claire Dixon University Calgary

I am honoured to feature Claire Dixon, Director, MBA Programs, Haskayne School of Business at University of Calgary.

Tell us about yourself and how you got interested in a career in academics after years of industry experience?

I had been considering a switch to a career in academic administration for several years as I wanted to make a difference through education. Education has had a profound impact on my own life as the first person in my family to study past the age of 16; I have benefited from a wonderful array of opportunities to travel, learn and advise clients across different industries.

My initial role at Haskayne was to help establish a new, unique global program focused only energy sector professionals 

– This appealed to me as it was an opportunity to have a very significant impact on the program, Haskayne and the University of Calgary.

Tell us about the experiences you had while holding various positions at University of Calgary?

I have held four positions at the University of Calgary, each with progressively great scope of responsibility in terms of the student body, team and financial resources for which I am responsible. Each MBA program within my remit has a unique set of opportunities to provide me with room to learn and grow. For example the GEeMBA program was relatively new so needed structure to become more established and the EMBA program was ripe for growth – we have doubled the size of the program over the last few years.

What does Global Energy EMBA cover?

At their core, all of our MBA programs cover the broad range of topics within the general management discipline. The GEeMBA program is unique in a number of ways, including:

1) Industry Focus: The Global Energy Executive MBA program has been designed to prepare our students for the specific challenges faced by senior leaders in the energy industry. The case examples used in the program are drawn from across the various fuel types and stages of the value chain across the sector. In addition, we supplement the 14 core courses with a number of specific energy-focused courses such as “Geopolitics of Energy” and “Global Energy Systems”

2) Global Delivery: The Global Energy Executive MBA program is unique in providing an immersive experience in a number of global energy centres. Students benefit from site visits to energy facilities, exposure to local energy industry leaders and introduction to diverse business cultures.

3) Diverse Cohort: The students in the Global Energy Executive MBA program represent top talent from major energy organizations from across the globe. They bring a diverse mix of functional and operational expertise from across energy value chains in gas, coal, oil, nuclear and renewable energy sources. Our modular, blended delivery format enables individuals to keep working in their home countries whilst completing the program in less than 2 years.

To students and Working professionals -Three messages you wish to convey as an inspiring leader?

If I were to offer advice to students and working professionals it might be:

· Maintain your integrity – reputation is everything

· To balance school, work and family life, pay attention to your mental and physical well-being
· If you treat everyone like they’re on the same team, extending trust and taking a vested interest in their success, you will find that they are on your team!

How do you believe Management studies can contribute to one’s career in the Corporate world or as an Entrepreneur?

I believe that the requirements of an outstanding leader – grit, critical / strategic thinking, innovation, drive, etc., – are relevant to any context and any role within an organization. The academic content of an MBA provides individuals with the vocabulary, toolkit and confidence to tackle a variety of business issues. The experiential content and working in teams develops individuals’ interpersonal skills, including, critically, influencing and collaboration. Together, particularly if students are also working and balancing the demands of family life, the experience teaches you how to prioritize and make better decisions on incomplete information.

Thanks a lot for taking time to share your knowledge and wisdom with us Claire.


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