Students celebrate graduation
Recognizing the completion of studies and building careers
For Applied Business Management grad, Andrea Salas, it’s been a very hectic year. “I’m so ready to graduate,” says the married mother of three from Peru. “It’s been very challenging but very exciting. This is a huge accomplishment. I am very proud of myself and I am so happy my family (parents, husband and children ages 12, 5, 2) are cheering me on… It makes a big impact on my kids. They know their mom has achieved something big.”
A June 12 afternoon celebration, held in University Centre, marked the Spring 2023 graduation of 89 students from the Applied Business Analysis, Applied Human Resource Management, and Applied Business Management intensive program packages offered by Extended Education. An additional 188 students also graduated from Extended Education’s part-time programs including our first micro-credentials.
Salas holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management and an MBA. “Applied Business Management complements the MBA. This program is very Canadian-focused. It’s a very good review of what I learned in my MBA, in English, with a Canadian perspective. It’s the perfect program for me to adapt and make the necessary changes to be successful in the Canadian workplace.”
Her hotel management experience took her to several countries. Then she completed her MBA in Spain and went home to Peru to have her first child and work as a facilities manager. Then she decided to come to Canada. “Life is so different here. I wanted to give my kids a better future.”
Now working as a customer success manager for Manitoba tech-based company, Vexxit, a job that also served as the Industry Placement component of her program package, she says, “I took all my skills and what I learned in my program and it worked out great. I recommend everyone do the placement. It was a great experience. It’s different than being in the classroom. Being in the field, you see how things work.
“An industry placement is an opportunity. You don’t know what will happen next. Put your passion into it. You will see results. It works out. Take advantage of it,” she advises.
Mefua Jemima Lere-Adams
Mefua Jemima Lere-Adams started her intensive program package focused on its practical aspects. “I would say my goal was not to have As. My instructors were amazed and amused. They were vastly experienced. I focused on gaining experience and connections. I would have liked to have done even more teamwork, presentations, practical things,” says the Applied Human Resource Management grad from Nigeria.
As part of the package, Lere-Adams did her Industry Placement with Cisco Canada and says it was “quite an experience” with the Winnipeg and Canadian team, learning with the support of her manager.
“My career goals are to keep growing as a person, to offer value to the community. An HR professional who is well-rounded is more valuable. I think we can leave footprints.”
Lere-Adams hadn’t heard much about Canada before she came to Winnipeg from her native Nigeria. But she was used to finding her way. Her parents had always encouraged her.
“I am very curious as a person. I like to ask questions. I was really hungry to learn what I wanted to do,” she says, noting she had earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, taken human resources courses, explored LinkedIn, conducted informational interviews, and even completed an unpaid internship before a fellow student told her about the UM opportunity that brought her to Canada.
“It was a one-year HR intensive. I didn’t want to go back for a three-year program. I am very excited to have completed it. It’s been a long time coming. I am happy with the support I received. I had great instructors, helpful colleagues (fellow students).”
Her younger brother, Jafe Lere-Adams who is working on his computer science undergraduate degree at UM, and friends will celebrate her graduation with her.
“I recommend the program. It’s good to have some work experience first. That helps so much. It is intensive and you should know the basics.”
For Sekinat Mustapha-Sagaya, the highlight of her Applied Business Analysis intensive program package was her Industry Placement. At Loblaw Companies Limited, she says her manager was a really great person who played a huge role in her finally being hired by the company as a financial analyst. She starts soon.
“That’s connection,” says the married mother of two young boys from Nigeria, noting how excited she was to complete her studies and attend her grad.
“It’s very exciting for me. The courses were packed with lots of information. It was nice to get it done.”
Mustapha-Sangaya discovered Extended Education’s intensive program packages thanks to a Facebook ad. She emailed UM for information and chose Applied Business Analysis to complement her economics and MBA degrees and banking work experience. As branch manager, she had to do many things including managing staff, meeting sales targets, and ensuring quality customer service.
“This was a way for me to specialize in just one thing. I wanted a particular role to grow in, to become a resource person advising how to be more efficient. It was a perfect fit for me.”
She’s recommended her studies to friends, noting “It’s called APPLIED Business Analysis for a reason. My previous experience played a strong role in my understanding the information in context, the ways to get things done more efficiently, and get stakeholder support.”
While she didn’t make it into the program the first time she applied, she says everything has worked out for the best. “I love working in the financial industry. I have worked with figures for all of my career. The Business Analysis path is unlimited. I am preparing to take a certification exam and develop to become a financial business analyst. I believe I am right where I am supposed to be.”