Graduate Perspectives is a series of blogposts about the John Molson School of Business graduate programs experience from the perspective of current students and alumni.
This week, we interview Paola Braga Sunye, last year’s President of the Concordia International Community Outreach Program (ICOP). She tells us how she learned about ICOP and what she has learned from her involvement with the program.
What were you doing prior to the MBA and why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I have a Bachelor of Civil Law and Bachelor of Laws (B.C.L./LL.B.) from McGill University and a Master’s in Diplomacy and International Public Service from the Centro de Estudios Internacionales de Barcelona. Between 2014 and 2017, I was interning and working for a few international and regional organizations in Spain, The Netherlands, France and Belgium, mostly dealing with human rights and international development and, more recently, EU policy.
I returned to Canada in 2017 for family reasons and decided to pursue an MBA because I believed it would prepare me for a managerial role within an international organization. I wanted a different perspective on management than that provided by some of my superiors and their colleagues, who were unquestionably experts on certain human rights or development issues, but not necessarily trained on how to manage a project, lead a team or prepare a budget.
I chose the John Molson School of Business for its strong reputation, its location in the great city of Montreal, and for its case-based method of teaching as well as its emphasis on case competitions (which I have incidentally become highly involved in as well!)
How did you find out about ICOP and what made you decide to get involved with it?
I first heard about ICOP at the John Molson MBA orientation and was interested to learn more when the call for a new president was announced. After speaking to the previous ICOP President, Magalie Han, about the initiative, its values and the potential impact I could have on fellow students, I knew right away that I wanted to get involved.
Deciding to do an MBA was something I felt I had to explain to myself and others; I have long been dedicated to making the world a better place and going to business school felt like a contradiction. It isn’t. There are skills to develop through an MBA and ways to do business that can have a positive impact on the community you are working in. That is what attracted me to ICOP; the opportunity to get involved in something that would showcase a different side of business, one that doesn’t have to be all about profit.
What is ICOP?