Finishing an MBA specialising in Human Resource Management at the end of 2020, Zach left his job of management in front lines sports retail to pursue a position as Director of Human Resources

  • Location: Canada
  • Industry: Retail and Consumer Products
  • Job Function: Human Resources & Recruitment
  • Programme: MBA
  • Motivation: Career Change
  • Challenges: Balance and Time Management
  • Year of Graduation: 2020

If you have ever considered a major career change, Zach’s story is certainly one to find out more about. Finishing an MBA specialising in Human Resource Management at the end of 2020, Zach left his job of Management in front lines sports retail to pursue a career in human resources. Not ever having an official HR role, whilst having plenty of experience managing people, not long after his graduation, Zach accepted a role as Director of Human Resources at Quality Foods BC. An outstanding achievement. We took the opportunity to find out more about Zach’s experience and achievements.

What was your motivation to start an MBA? 

I’d been in retail for a long time. I’d spent 17 years, and a lot of it front-lines management running stores, sporting goods retail and I’d been out of university for about 15 years and just decided, yea, it was time for something different and I’d been doing a similar role, my company was great at letting me put my hands in a lot of different areas but yea, I still just wanted something different and to see if I could do it. And a big challenge, and that was obviously a big challenge after 15 years not having done any schooling.

So, I just decided to start. I started reaching out to Canadian universities first, story. But I saw, I think through Instagram, I saw something pop up, I said, ‘well I’ll reach out to them too, that’s a cool idea, I love the idea of it being all online’. I didn’t really want to go back into a classroom. That worked better and would give me more time with my family, so that was pretty exciting, and the accents were much better with the Australian admissions people, so yea, they won me over.

Did you find the course practical? 

Yea, I think it was very practical. That was probably one of the greatest things about it, it makes it easy and simplifies things. So, yea, I think it was very, very, practical and that worked very well for me and the way I was learning. I found it paired perfectly.

I definitely found a lot of ties with a lot of the HR courses and being in retail for a long time and working on the frontlines, you know, you kind of see everything that comes through, marketing, HR, business planning, change management, everything goes through the management of the store, so it was, I had a lot of different examples of things. I’ve seen what worked for us in marketing and what really didn’t work, you know, at the front lines of the store level. So, you see, you know, where the company maybe where we could have shifted things differently. It really allowed me have a voice to be influential in stuff whether I was being directly to the company or not.

What success have you experienced from studying your MBA? 

I was working in retail management and then my company, I had something a little bit more flexible when I moved to Calgary that allowed me to do this, and then I had never worked directly in a HR role. It 100% helped me get my role now as an HR Director. And so, that was great. I owe a lot to the fact that I got my MBA with my specialisation which was HR management. It was super impactful for and made a huge difference. I don’t think I would have got the role that I am in now if I didn’t have that.