Adapt to Succeed: Innovation Leadership MBA Alumna Gains Confidence At UFred
With a career in the pharmaceutical industry spanning two decades, Andree-Michele Daigle was looking for formal business education to complement her undergraduate degree in biochemistry. Since the majority of her professional background is in business and sales, she decided an MBA would give her the most comprehensive education.
Andree-Michele enrolled in UFred’s MBA program with a specialty in Innovation Leadership.
“I chose Innovation Leadership since change is constant and we need to keep adapting in order to keep succeeding. Finding innovative ways to do so is what will distinguish us from our competitors in the future,” she said.
The Innovation Leadership specialty stream is built for those who have the vision to take on bold new ventures. It teaches students how to convince other leaders of the merits of their ideas, with the ultimate goal of helping students foster innovation within their organizations.
Andree-Michele believes the most important thing she got out of the program is increased confidence in her abilities.
“I have the confidence not to be afraid of what I don’t know and the confidence to know I can figure it out, both professionally and personally. I’m now proactively asking to be part of projects that, in the past, I would have felt unqualified for – justifiably so or not,” she said.
According to her, collaborating virtually with people of different backgrounds and working styles was a great learning experience.
“You learn to adapt to each working group, which is a skill most of us can use in our professional lives.”
A highlight for Andree-Michele was learning about the world of business outside of her industry. She learned about topics she wouldn’t usually delve into, like trade relations between Canada and China, giants of industry that are no longer such as Kodak, and the industry disrupters of our time like Travis Kalanick with Uber.
“This program is designed to work for most people as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. It’s an incredible learning experience.”
In addition to required MBA courses, Innovation Leadership includes:
- Leading Effective Global Teams – This course focuses on important conditional topics like the understanding of cultural differences, cross-cultural ethics, business communication in a global context, skills for avoidance/dealing with conflict, and personnel negotiations; topics relevant to the key subject of “global collaborative teams.
- Innovation Best Practice I (Executive) – Here, students examine the theoretical foundations and field-tested best practices for organizing new venture units, evaluating and selecting new ventures, implementing mergers, acquisitions and/or spinouts, managing corporate conflict and change, and rewarding success (or failure).
- Innovation Best Practice II (Intrapreneur) – This course examines the theoretical foundations and field-tested best practices for formulating new venture ideas, developing the business case, gaining senior management and resource commitment, minimizing resistance and ensuring successful execution.
Having worked exclusively on the sales and marketing side of the pharmaceutical industry, Andree-Michele says she would like to get more involved in other areas of the business, such as operations through special projects.
“I feel that, with my work background and education, I have a lot to offer.”
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