On Becoming a Nation Builder: How Tim Xie's Canadian MBA Experience Transformed His Career
Growing up in a family with a long history of farming in Southern China, Tim Xie was called to the breadbasket of Canada to further pursue his education.
The opportunity to join the Edwards MBA Internship Program (EMIP), helped Tim make his decision. “Before I came to Canada I was in school, and I hadn’t had much work experience. I thought the Edwards MBA would be a great way to connect what the professor taught in class to real world work experience.”
His internship was at the Credit Union in Landis, which Tim describes as a fantastic experience in the most agricultural community. “I met lots of farmers and I learned about farming in Canada. It is so different than China and it was a fantastic experience even though I didn’t plan to work in the agriculture industry. It was a good life adventure in a remote community,” he says.
Another benefit that sold Tim on the Edwards MBA program is the balance it offers. Tim said it “covers everything, not like some MBA programs where they focus on one subject like finance or human resources, for example. It’s a great balance of so many different courses.”
Since graduating from the Edwards MBA program in 2015, Tim has worked full time as a Business Service Specialist at the Regina Public Library. “I use the knowledge and skills I learned from the Edwards MBA to help clients every day. We're always here to help people with a business plan, marketing, financial projections spreadsheets, etc. I can support customers on every step of their journey because of the skills I gain during my MBA.”
In addition to business strategy and leadership, Tim said one of the most valuable parts of the Edwards MBA program is the teamwork spirit. “There were a lot of projects and presentations that require students to work together in groups,” Tim said. “I didn't have much experience working in big groups that require a group discussion and coordinating with different people. Understanding how to manage the differences and as a group come together to accomplish a project—that was good experience for me.”
What Tim said next can only be described as a transformational experience. “I used to be a very, very introverted person. I didn’t want to talk to people a lot, I just wanted to work on my own. But it really changed me, the Edwards MBA program. It changed my attitude and my character a lot. I’m willing to reach out to people and develop relationships, gain their trust, and, of course, that's the key part to our business.”
In 2019, Tim began thinking about becoming a real estate agent as a side job and second career, since he was quite involved in the community and had developed a good network of connections. “I realized I love to deal with people, to develop relationships with them using my good connections in the community. I got to work with so many people. Not just clients, but also other realtors, home inspectors, insurance people, mortgage specialists. It's a great variety of people, and I think that the people skills I developed from the group work in the Edwards MBA program, have been so invaluable.”
Tim provided the following advice to up and coming Nation Builders, “get out of your community circle and really interact with more people. When I was just a student at Edwards, I thought I would try to stay within my circle, the Chinese community. I was too shy to get out and talk to people. So, my advice is this -- my knowledge of the outside world was limited. I didn’t know much beyond the classroom until I started doing group work and got to know more classmates. I found there was so much more to learn. The advisors, the students, the Edwards staff, whoever is in your classroom, become friends with them. You’ll have a lot more resources and learn so much more.”
Visit the Edwards MBA program page to learn more. You can chat with a current student, alumni or advisor. The Edwards MBA program is a transformational experience that focuses on team-building, leadership and business strategy. Students learn the people skills of management such as how to manage oneself, communicate effectively and lead. The intensive and highly integrated program format develops students’ management ability in an applied and useful way. Together we will build nations.
Article written in association with the University of Saskatchewan - Edwards School of Business.