Every year, applicants to our programs are considered for various entrance awards. The Women in Business Excellence Entrance Award is given to an outstanding female candidate in support of her career aspirations. We spoke to Anne Deng, one of this year’s award winners, to learn more about her career path and decision to do an MBA.
Congratulations on receiving the Women in Business Excellence Entrance Award!
Tell us a bit about your professional journey. What is your professional area of work?
I started working at Hydro One immediately after graduating from Engineering Science at the University of Toronto. Currently, I work at Hydro One as a senior engineer; I provide technical solutions to special projects, and offer technical support on new technology or new designs to be rolled out to the field.
While some may think that the utilities industry is stagnant and lacks excitement, I find it to be the opposite; there are diverse areas of interest in my line of work! Today in North America, new technologies are emerging waiting to be incorporated into the relatively dated power grid system. In this environment, there are numerous opportunities to use my knowledge to create something meaningful. Over the years, I’ve been quite lucky to be involved in a few large scale and impactful projects at Hydro One.
I see that you already have a Master of Engineering. Where do you see your MBA taking you in the future?
To be honest, when I obtained my Master of Engineering, I never thought I would be working towards an MBA one day. At the time I just thought “there are two routes – technical expertise or management, you either take one or the other”. Back then, I had my head set on the technical path, and was convinced that technical competency was the only thing I needed in my career.
I’ve become good at solving problems –problems handed to me by other people. As I see and experience more, I realize that having a mind that can pose questions and create solutions is a must for innovation and career advancement. While the Master of Engineering helped me to become a great problem solver, I certainly believe that the Rotman MBA will give me the insights to become a good “problem poser”; that is, to know the right questions to ask in order to facilitate impactful change.
Why do you think there’s a need for an MBA in your profession?
The Rotman MBA will help me to become a good strategic thinker, and THAT I believe is a very valuable skill-set in any profession.
What convinced you that Rotman is for you?
I debated between US business schools and Canadian ones. In the end, I decide to stay in Canada, and more specifically in Toronto, because I realized that the start-up community in Toronto is growing strong. The creative talent in this city cultivates a huge up-and-coming pool of entrepreneurs.
Once I picked the city, Rotman became the automatic choice. The downtown Toronto location is amazing, it’s the number one business school in Canada, and it has one of the greatest professional and alumni network in the country. I have to say though, as a proud U of T alumna, picking Rotman may have been a slightly biased choice! At the end of the day, Rotman is the obvious and right choice for me.