Dalhousie University Master of Business Administration

Adding recognized qualifications to an entrepreneur's experience.

John Gleeson

I'm a VP of Customer Success at Affinio


I've been a serial entrepreneur my entire life. I wanted to frame to my business experience in a more formal capacity. Taking my MBA at Dal made sense, as there was a hands-on component, and when I finished, it put a stamp on the fact that I have entrepreneurial experience, but there's also the technical qualifications that the MBA provided.

I thrived off the teamwork that's built into the program—there's a lot of group projects, and getting to know people while getting to learn diverse thinking and ideas was a big plus. Also, the program focuses a lot on personal development; not only expanding your IQ and becoming smarter in a technical sense, but also developing more around your emotional intelligence. At the time, you don't necessarily think it's that important, but as I go deeper into my career, I'm realizing that a strong EQ is incredibly important.

Two of Affinio's co-founders, Tim Burke and Ardi Iranmanesh, were mentors/teachers for Starting Lean, which was an optional program. I hit it off with them, and learned a lot, and when it was time to graduate that relationship was there and they welcomed me to join their company.

It's another reason I chose an MBA at Dal: I love the Atlantic Canada business community. It's very open-door, and you're able to meet a lot of people who are doing great things, very quickly. Unlike a bigger metropolis, where that degree of separation is a lot bigger, in Atlantic Canada, and Halifax, it's much easier to connect with top-notch people, and that's what led me to land a job with Affinio.

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