"I am extremely proud to be part of the SFU Beedie community, the growth and impact that it continues to build on, and the potential to be the topmost business school in Canada."

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Anto Amboson

January 02, 2024

MBA - FT master's student in the Beedie School of Business

Tell us a little about yourself, including what inspires you to learn and continue in your chosen field

My name is Anto Amboson, I am a full-time MBA student at SFU Beedie School of Business. I trained as a geoscientist but worked in a business role for the past 9 years. I had become overly comfortable in my past role and needed a higher challenge to conquer. Consequently, I decided to pursue an MBA to consolidate my skills/knowledge and build an international network.

I am naturally motivated to succeed, possibly because I needed to lay a good foundation for my siblings at an early age. Also, the current global trajectory concerning climate change and sustainability requires a re-think of business approach, this is why I chose to pursue an MBA.

Why did you choose to come to SFU?

I chose SFU first because it’s a top university ranking number 1 in entrepreneurial spirit (WURI 2022 rankings). I also looked up its accreditation and compared it with other top universities and found that SFU Beedie School of Business has the desired AACSB and EQUIS accreditations among others. It adopts an experiential learning approach with case studies, presentations, and group discussions from a diverse cohort.

Secondly, as I was approaching my mid-career level, I needed a unique program like SFU's, where I could acquire a high-quality MBA in the shortest timeframe and return to the industry. SFU also offers a 4-month Co-op program, and the school has a vibrant Career Management Centre that assists with placement. Thirdly, I chose SFU because it is located in “Beautiful British Columbia”, which has a temperate climate and is one of the warmest cities in Canada.

How would you describe your research or your program to a family member?

I would tell my family members that my program is aimed at preparing true global business leaders. In my role as a Business Development Manager, I worked with various persons from multicultural backgrounds but struggled to understand why they did what they did at the time. The MBA program has taught me how to break barriers and manage across cultures.

I will also explain to my family members how the current way of doing business has affected the globe in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and climate change, how businesses need to change the way they do things, and how we need courageous/innovative business leaders, which I am striving to become, to influence and lead the change.

What three (3) keywords would you use to describe your research?

If I were to choose 3 words to describe my MBA program at SFU Beedie, they would be: Experiential: Through case studies and dynamic group presentations, we develop a passion for problem-solving and gain unforgettable experiences.

Innovative: The MBA at SFU encompasses courses like Business Analytics, an International Applied (consulting) Project, and a leadership retreat. These are unique offerings that are not commonplace.

Sustainable: The focus on sustainability is inspiring. The school through its global research project – The Embedding Project helps companies embed sustainability across their value chain.

How have your courses, RA-ships, TA-ships, or non-academic school experiences contributed to your academic and/or professional development?

I earlier alluded to the value I derived from the courses – managing a globalized workforce and sustainability. On sustainability, analyzing the life cycle of a product/service opened my eyes to the impacts I could never have imagined a common product could have on the environment and society. It helped me to adopt/apply a systems (wholistic) view/approach to all issues.

I have just been appointed as a Teaching Assistant for the Spring 2024 Semester, I look forward to contributing to the development of other students and also learning in the process.

Have you been the recipient of any major or donor-funded awards? If so, please tell us which ones and a little about how the awards have impacted your studies and/or research

Yes, I was privileged to receive the John Ellis Graduate Entrance Scholarship and the SFU Beedie Graduate Entrance Scholarship. The amount (approximately a third of my tuition) made pursuing my MBA at SFU Beedie a reality, especially because my country’s currency was devalued a few months before the program commenced.

In addition, I was honoured to meet Ryan Beedie – the school’s generous benefactor. Listening to his business insights and plans inspired me to think big and plan for the future.

What have been the most valuable lessons you've learned along your graduate student journey (or in becoming a graduate student)?

I would say the most valuable lessons I have learned so far are based on resilience and collaboration. The FT MBA program is very intensive, therefore, I have learned to be more efficient and organized to be able to juggle several coursework, readings, and group assignments. The key is not to get left behind. Also, learning from diverse perspectives, while disagreeing respectfully and building effective partnerships is another highlight. The case that comes to mind is the Equity Research group project in Financial Management, where we analyzed 6 companies using (10 ratios, the sub-index, and the composite index for) trend analysis, company comparative analysis, and industry/market analysis.

How do you approach networking and building connections in and outside of your academic community?

In the academic community, there’s a high level of contact/interaction with other cohorts in the school (MSc Finance, MOT MBA, and Part-time MBA). Also, the Career Management Centre (CMC) organizes events where industry experts visit to talk to students about working in their organizations. We freely interact with them, ask questions, and get to know them. Last month, some of us with an interest in entrepreneurship and/or consulting visited the Business Development Bank of Canada in Downtown, Vancouver where we met with representatives of various departments. After that, we exchanged contacts and connected on LinkedIn. Talking about LinkedIn, the CMC thoroughly enlightened us on how to use it to network and position ourselves for potential recruiters and//or our business interests.

What are some tips for balancing your academic and personal life?

As a dedicated person striving for excellence, it is easy to get caught up/immersed in study/work. I had a similar problem in the past, where I took my work home/worked over the weekends, which affected my family time.

I believe we can balance academic and personal life by creating boundaries and effectively managing our time. Planning and sticking to a weekly schedule for classes, study, assignments, exercise, and leisure activities, and also prioritizing what to take on. For example, several activities (case competitions, etc.) are going on, and one can easily get carried away. It is better to pick what aligns with your career objectives. Finally, get at least 6 hours of sleep each nigh

If you could dedicate your research to anyone (past, present and/or future), who would that be and why?

I would like to dedicate my MBA to my spouse - Amina Usman-Amboson, and my sons – Edward (5 years old) and Eliakim (3 years old). I am family-oriented and have never been separated from them for more than 3 days. Being apart has been very difficult but the goal keeps me focused. I hope this inspires my children in the future to pursue their dreams. I look forward to being reunited with them as soon as possible.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I am extremely proud to be part of the SFU Beedie community, the growth and impact that it continues to build on, and the potential to be the topmost business school in Canada. I want to thank my incredible cohort for their unique perspectives, intellectual contributions, and collaborative spirit. It is clear why we are graded on the curve.

The faculty has been exceptional, and I'm particularly grateful to Susan Doig for her passion for Sustainability. Finally, I want to acknowledge the invaluable support of the Academic Director – Dr. Lieke ten Brummelhuis, for her constant check-ins, and intervention in the course of the program. My admonition to someone is to follow your dreams, it is never too late to dream.


Contact Anto:anto_amboson@sfu.ca

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