AIB MBA Student Jessica Rodrigues

Before even completing her MBA, Taxation Specialist Jessica found that employers took a greater interest in hiring her and landed a career-defining opportunity.

  • Location: Canada
  • Job Function: Finance, Banking & Accounting
  • Programme: MBA
  • Motivation: Develop knowledge and skills
  • Challenges: Long work hours
  • Year of Graduation: 2023

Originally from the UK, Jessica moved to Canada for university, which marked the start of her career. During her time at university, she interned at real estate developer, Go-To Developments. Whilst she started out in accounting and worked in other areas like marketing and sales, by the end of her time at the company she had worked her way up to two roles simultaneously: “Manager Financial Reporting” and “Manager Marketing & Special Projects”. After 6 years, Jess was ready to take her practical experience and grow even further.

Jess is currently 6 subjects into her MBA and her next subject will be Strategic Management. She found earlier this year, the fact that she was studying her MBA has already helped her stand out when putting herself forward for new roles and she has most recently taken on a position at Shopify within the Finance department, specialising in taxation.

With a large network of students and alumni in Canada, we wanted to find out how Jess’s experience as Canadian-based student.

Why did you decide to study an MBA?

“I knew an MBA would allow me to apply knowledge and best practices to my working experience. Not to mention, I also aspire to be the first person in my family to achieve an MBA and inspire further generations to achieve whatever they set out to accomplish.”

Why did you choose AIB’s MBA?

“When I decided to pursue my MBA there were a few crucial components that I considered: accreditation in Canada, price, pace, and reviews. AIB’s MBA was perfect! Through online studying I am able to complete courses at my own pace and take breaks when needed, at a fraction of the cost of in-person MBAs, while gaining a reputable MBA that is accredited in Canada. As a bonus, my peers are international which has broadened my network and allowed me to understand diverse perspectives to every problem.”

Tell us about your new role?

“I officially started working for Shopify on May 16th, 2022, working in finance, specifically within taxation. I get to bounce around the tax teams where needed, which has provided me with wonderful learning opportunities in every corner of tax.

When I was going through AIB’s Corporate Governance course I had to pick a company to dive into, which led me to Shopify’s Sustainability Report, which I fell in love with. It was the first time that I truly felt my values, such as diversity, learning, long-term sustainability, and women in leadership to name a few, were represented through and through by a company. I just knew that I had to work for Shopify.”

How did your MBA studies help you stand out?

The MBA was discussed because the interviewers were looking for candidates with both experience and a drive for higher education, as this shows that a potential candidate can keep up with the ever-changing international tax laws and obtain further tax education to grow within the tax branch. The position at Shopify specifically looked at new and potential graduates. I believe that the MBA program at AIB particularly showcased that I would be great remote worker since I had gained that confidence with AIB’s MBA being remote.

How are you finding the course so far?
At the moment I’m halfway through the MBA and I’m thoroughly enjoying all the highly relevant learning, especially with the emphasis on today’s Pandemic and supply chain issues.

I can say with certainty that with this MBA, and other education, you get what you put into it. Stay curious and ask “why.” Make use of the resources AIB provides you — facilitators, readings, Smart Thinking, and your peers! You’re in this together after all.

Have you noticed any changes in yourself since embarking on your MBA journey?

In the business world I was often second-guessed due to my age. When I started my MBA at age 24 I thought I may expect the same treatment from my peers, but instead it was the opposite. My experience, insights, and knowledge are wholly welcomed and we often use each other as soundboards. The confidence imparted on me from this experience is something I will carry forward in my career and hope to instill in others like me.