John Dodd combines professional OHS experience with new business knowledge to advance his career

John Dodd began the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program with over a decade of health and safety experience and a drive to expand his business knowledge. After conversations with his supervisor, who encouraged him to pursue an MBA, he began his search for a suitable program and found the University of Fredericton (UFred). John was drawn to UFred by the unique opportunity to start and grow a career in occupational health and safety, given the breadth of programs UFred provides.

“I was drawn in by the fact that someone can start their career in OHS with UFred education. You offer the certificate program, then the diploma, and then you progress to the MBA eventually with the health and safety focus.”

Applying lessons learned

While pursuing his EMBA, John discussed his ability to apply what he was learning to numerous situations in the workplace. Strong communication is crucial for any employee, but particularly so for those in OHS, and through his studies John found he was able to develop the skills needed to understand a business and break it down into components. This now allows him to communicate the benefits of health and safety from a wholistic perspective rather than solely from a safety perspective.

“You have to be able to sell OHS and present the benefits. It’s most important that employees are going home safe, but from a business perspective, you have to be able to sell it as dollars and cents, and if you can’t articulate that properly it makes your job much more difficult.”

As John was working towards his EMBA, he was approached by his current employer, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance, with an offer for the position of Manager – Accessibility and Workplace Safety. After officially receiving this job, John was informed that his background in health and safety, along with the pursuit of his MBA, set him apart – he believes he received this opportunity in part because he was an MBA candidate.

In his new role, John looks forward to completing his first health and safety program. Completing this project will provide John with a framework as he works to develop future programs, aiding him in streamlining future processes.

Advice to future students

During his MBA, John found it important to manage his time and remain organized to get the most out of the program, but when asked about the highlights of his time at UFred, John pointed to his interactions with professors.

“The professors were really engaged with their fields, and you could tell they really enjoyed talking about it. They also wanted you to have a good understanding. Not just here’s the content learn it, but here’s how you need to understand this, and this is why you need to understand it.”

John’s advice to future students is similarly focused on the knowledge that can be gained from UFred professors.

“Make sure you actively listen to your professors; you can learn a lot just by listening to them. You can do all the readings, and all the papers and assignments to the best of your ability, but the thing you’re going to learn the most from is the professors and discussions in the classes so it’s important to be engaged with those.”