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Clio Stararam

Banknotes trump musical notes

May 28, 2009

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From trumpeter to banker—Clio Straram’s education and career path is just as eclectic as that of the other 39 students convocating this June from the full-time MBA program. In fact, an undergraduate degree other than business is a criterion for entry into the new one-year program.

Straram and fellow MBA students will cross the convocation dais with new business skills and acumen that they can add to their backgrounds in engineering, political science, kinesiology, philosophy, biochemistry, even sports management.

For example Straram, who holds an undergraduate degree in music from Brandon University, recently began a job as a financial analyst with the Bank of Montreal in Toronto. The career switch came as a result of physical limitations that ended her dreams of playing the trumpet professionally.

Now she says, "I don’t even know if I’ll be going into the music side of business. I’m really enjoying my job in commercial banking and using my MBA skills 100 percent."

Straram’s first choice for a second career was actuarial science at SFU but a couple of elective economics classes led her into business. She prepped for the MBA program by first taking the online Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.

Straram found that her MBA cohort’s mix of nationalities, cultures and academic backgrounds made the experience all the more interesting. Ditto for her lack of business experience: "Going in with no predetermined ideas and biases made it all the more creative and innovative."

Now Straram just has to adjust to living in Toronto. She misses Vancouver and the views from the Segal Graduate School of Business.

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