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Bernie Maroney

MBA opens door to a 6th career

June 1, 2007

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By Carol Thorbes

It would be a stunner on any résumé. A cumulative grade point average of 4.242, just shy of a perfect 4.33, is the top mark in all of SFU’s master of business administration (MBA) programs this year. The achievement is a highlighted feature on Bernie Maroney’s latest résumé.

The performance won Maroney (right) the 2007 Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation medal in the Faculty of Business Administration.

But what is really arresting about Maroney’s résumé is his description of the five challenging careers that he has packed into his 45 years of living. The oldest student in his 16-member accelerated (three versus six semesters) cohort of the management of technology MBA program, Maroney blows away myths about careers plateauing after age 45.

Before coming to SFU in 2006, he worked as a civil and architectural engineer, a lighting and stage engineer, a business consultant and a university lecturer. Maroney pursued doctoral studies in business strategy and organizational development at the University of Oklahoma.

He also founded and built Magnolia Composites, a digital-imaging firm based in New Orleans, La., with six offices and multi-million dollar revenues.

The New Westminster resident came to SFU to prepare for a career as a strategic senior executive who helps companies use technology to achieve organizational goals.

"I came specifically for SFU’s Management of Technology program," says Maroney, who for his MBA thesis helped a portable power company analyse market opportunities in the oil and gas industries.

"SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business is one of the top five technology management schools in North America. The program is producing strategists who can help Canada’s technology centres compete on a world scale. Students learn how to use technology to appropriately pursue company goals, rather than adopting technology for its own sake."

Four months after finishing his MBA, Maroney is a senior business analyst at Telus. He is helping the telecommunications giant improve its operational processes to strengthen customer support.

A career changer par excellence, Maroney is also known as an agent of change at SFU. He helped boost the number of scholarships available to students in his program and helped strategically enhance its curriculum to further build the business school’s reputation.

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