Featuring: Melissa Hughes, VP Internal 2020-2021
My name is Melissa Hughes! I am currently in my second year of the daytime MBA program! I was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario and am currently back living there because of COVID-19!
I definitely have many interests and passions – typically my summer is full of summer concerts, music festivals and travel, but things have looked a bit different this year! I love baking (definitely a pass time I undertake when I am stressed), running (hoping to complete a marathon in the next year), hiking ( which is what drew me to Calgary), jigsaw puzzles (thank you Quarantine for giving me all the excuses to complete these) and learning new things!
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I decided to pursue an MBA because I had hit a point in my career where I wanted to do be doing more but didn’t feel well enough equipped to be doing so! I loved the company I was working for and my colleagues, but I had plateaued (one of my last favourite words, the other being stagnant). By getting my MBA I was hoping to gain the confidence and knowledge to be a more impactful team member, to be able to fight my way into “the room where it happens” (if you haven’t seen Hamilton yet, please do so ASAP).
What has been the best part of being at Haskayne?
The best part of being at Haskayne has been the different opportunities I had the be a part of – MBA Games, East Meets West, virtual wilderness retreat and honestly a big thing for me was the opportunity to live somewhere new. In coming to Haskayne I moved the farthest I have even been away from my family and friends and I really realized how strong and independent I am.
I’ve also loved meeting so many new people, sure a lot of people work in Oil and Gas (a topic I am not overly knowledgeable on), but most people are keen to share a beer and chat life goals, which is also pretty cool.
How do you feel about the transition to online learning?
The transition to online learning has definitely been an interesting one! I would say my experience in March and April was challenging as it was a very new experience for all of us, the world changed drastically over night and we all had to adapt! Writing an exam at home is hard, not having social interactions was hard, being far away from everyone I loved was hard.
Things have definitely gotten easier and I am so grateful for all the professors who have taken so much time and care into redesigning their courses to make the appropriate for online learning. Shoutouts to Dr. Lertzman and Professor Peschel for making online learning engaging, and accessible!
What are your dreams and aspirations, both for your life and career?
Dream aspirations for my career is to one day head Head of Product for technology company, which is a huge departure from what I was doing before, but am studying hard to get the knowledge to kick some ass as a product manager in the near future! I think technology is a place where my voice can be of value and I can make a big impact, so I am looking forward to that!
For life, it’s hard to plan, I feel like things change rapidly and I just want to enjoy the ride and adapt with what comes at us!
Tell us something about yourself that is unique.
Unique facts are hard, I think almost anything can make us unique! I am wildly passionate about live events and have been to well over 200 concerts, broadway shows and music festivals! I think the connection of live events is truly remarkable and is just something that gives me soo much life and renews me and excites me! I can NOT wait to be at a concert venue again soon!
What have you been up to lately, and how have you taken advantage of your time at Haskayne?
Lately, I have been grateful for the opportunity to slow down a little and just enjoy the little things in life – trying new recipes for dinner, baking, hikes, local road trips, catching up on TV shows and movies that I have missed.
I am also throwing myself into getting up to speed as possible on the tech landscape (SQL – I am coming for you) through online classes, coffee chats and reading as much as possible! I am also just educating myself as much as possible about my white privilege and how can I be a better ally and advocate. I am at a unique place in my life where I get to decide that next step and that next company I work for, so I am putting in the work to make me the best version of me!
School related – I just wrapped up taking part in the Innovation Olympics, where our team placed 2nd and just executed my 1st event as VP Internal for the MBA Society (hope you guys enjoyed the Arkells).