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25 Years
of Impact

Alumni and Faculty Stories
from Smith's MSc Program

2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the Master of Science in Management (MSc) program at Smith. To celebrate, we have curated 25 impact stories from the Smith MSc community.

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Kam Moud

MSc'04 (Analytics)

Director, ALM and Investment Strategy
New York Life Insurance Company New York, N.Y.

“After meeting my future supervisor, and being introduced to so many wonderful people, I knew Queen’s was a top contender for my graduate studies. My experience in the program 18 years ago was a bit different in that I pitched the idea of doing an applied master’s thesis in industry, rather than a traditional research project on campus. I was fully supported by my supervisor, Professor Jeff McGill, and spent the summer semester in industry at Algorithmics in Toronto, being co-supervised by my manager; it was great experience.

The Queen’s brand has had a positive impact on my career, which has taken me across the U.S. in financial services. In 2015, three years before his passing, I decided I wanted to honour the positive impact Jeff and the business school had on my educational journey and give back. The alumni office helped me surprise Jeff with a fellowship set up in his name. Today, I am still heavily involved in the Smith community and sit on the advisory board for Smith’s Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence.”

Alysha Kropf

MSc’02 (Organizational Behaviour), Artsci’01

Program and Marketing Director
Ecole Chocolat Toronto, Ont.

“I credit the warm, supportive environment of the MSc program for helping me to understand research – how to think critically, look at original papers, sample sizes, and methodologies. It is so valuable in today's day in age as we are bombarded with information. Originally, I thought I would continue into the PhD program, but I thought it would be a good idea to gain some industry experience before heading back into academia. I worked in research at the Institute for Work and Health, and program development and knowledge translation for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. While I realized along the way that research wasn’t really my passion, I really value the understanding I gained in the MSc program around what motivates people. Now, I’m a marketing director at Ecole Chocolat, a culinary school educating people about the world of chocolate. I look back on my time at Queen’s as some of the best times of my life.”

Jason Lockhart

BCom‘01, MSc’04 (Business Economics)

Vice President
Innovative Research Group
Toronto, Ont.

“The year I completed my undergrad degree, the ‘dot-com’ bubble had burst and Canada’s economy was in a bit of a slump. Many job offers my peers and I received were rescinded. I took some time to travel in Europe and began working at the Queen’s Centre for Enterprise Development (now the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Social Impact) upon my return. This experience sparked my interest in academia and research consulting, so I pursued the MSc program as part of the first cohort of the business economics stream. The program gave me the research methodology skills I needed to enter the consulting industry, as well as the confidence and the voice I needed to succeed.”

Onur İnegöl

MSc'19 (Marketing)

Data Scientist
London, England

“I became fascinated with marketing analytics after attending a class taught by Professor Ceren Kolsarici, who was a visiting scholar at my institution, Koc University. I decided to change my focus from industrial engineering to marketing and left the PhD program at Koc for the MSc program at Smith. I had the opportunity to work on many different research projects while pursuing my MSc. The program taught me how to really tell a story by looking at data and using it to share the future of what you are investigating. Everything I learned is what was needed when I started my career as a data scientist at Fast forward to today, and I am enjoying working as a data scientist in London, England for Meta.”

Aaron Black

MSc’21 (Finance)

Quantitative Analyst, Methodology and Product Architecture
Morningstar Sustainalytics Toronto, Ont.

“I studied abroad during my finance undergrad and wanted to come back to Canada. I liked that it was a small program and heard from alumni that it would be very hands-on, engaging with research. I was also intrigued by Queen’s research centres, such as the Institute for Sustainable Finance, and its overall focus on and support of research. Today, I am enjoying applying the skills I learned in the MSc program in a research-based role in industry, working with a team to create the methodologies for financial products. In the future, I plan return to academia and complete a PhD abroad.”

Mike Haslett

MSc'08 (Marketing)

Director, Bain Futures
Bain & CompanyAustralia

“The skills I learned in the program were instrumental in my post-graduation journey. After working as a consultant for a number of years with global professional services firms, I was asked to join the internal management team at Bain and Company where I now manage the global think tank with Bain Futures. The balance of remote work has enabled me and my family to move from the mountains of Canada’s west to Australia. I remember my time in the program fondly. The staff and faculty made it feel like home and I am still friends with many of my classmates today.”

Vivien Wong

MSc’10 (Organizational Behaviour)

Assistant Vice President, Strategy
Global Data Technology, Manulife Toronto, Ont.

“Even though I was in the organizational behavior stream, I was able to transfer the statistical analysis skills I learned in the program to very data heavy roles in industry. It was through an alumnus of the program, whom I connected with though the Career Advancement Centre, that I landed my first job as a project analyst at Cancer Care Ontario. Being able to integrate my qualitative skills into a quantitative environment is a unique skillset that enabled me to thrive in the marketplace, leading to jobs with Accenture, TD, and now Manulife. My professional success comes from the skills I developed in this research program, such as statistical analysis, critical thinking and writing. It’s very academic but with real-world application.”

Alex Henderson

MSc’16 (Organizational Behaviour)

Director, Behavioral Insights Practice Lead
PwC Toronto, Ont.

“The MSc at Smith provides a core skillset that's well suited for applied research in industry. The skills I learned in the program, and the support I received from my professors and the Smith Career Advancement Centre, were critical in helping me start my career in consulting.

Today, I lead PwC's Behavioural Insights Practice, which focuses on applying social science research methods to help our clients create more compelling products, services and experiences. 

I feel very fortunate to have been able to find this career path. In just a few short years, I've led research that has helped physicians diagnose patients more effectively, made it easier for newcomers to Canada to onboard into the Canadian financial system, and helped a Tier 1 North American city redesign the way they provision hundreds of services to their residents.

I still try to stay in touch with the program office to keep an eye out for emerging talent. It's a great program, and I can't say enough positive things about it.”

Jocelyn Trokenheim

MSc’98 (Analytics)

Global Head, Strategic Insights
Abbott DiagnosticsChicago, Ill.

“I was part of the first intake for the management science area group. My supervisor encouraged me to combine my quantitative background with market research and qualitative skills. After graduating and entering the management consulting industry, I realized how powerful this combination was. My strengths in both areas lead to increasingly senior roles within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. I believe that when analytics is done right, it should drive company strategy. In my current role at Abbott Diagnostics, I am at the forefront of changing company culture as it relates to data and strategy. My mission is to expand the horizon of how people think and use analytics to improve business results and to elevate the importance of analytics and where it needs to be in the organization. The MSc program gave me the skills and the right mindset to drive that change. Numbers don't mean anything without the proper context - the story is what people understand and can relate to. If you can’t explain your analysis on a napkin, then it’s too complicated for most people.”

Sarim Jamal

MSc’21 (Strategy)

Research Analyst
LegerToronto, Ont.

“Queen’s global reputation was a huge part of my decision to enroll at Smith. After working in the international development sector in Pakistan, I wanted to get more education in the field of research. I joined the program during the pandemic as an international student and found a great sense of community among my classmates and professors. I was convinced I was going to go for a PhD, but a few months in, I realized I might be interested in industry. I had lots of opportunities to build my degree towards a career in industry, including an experiential learning component which ultimately led to my current role as a research analyst at Leger. Having that kind of exposure to the labour market was life changing. It helped me understand the Canadian working culture and was pivotal in training me for my next career adventure .”

Kathryn MacLean (Papke)

MSc’13 (Organizational Behaviour), Artsci’12

Human Resources Advisor
General Dynamics Mission Systems Ottawa, Ont.

“Volunteering in a research lab during my time at Queen’s ignited my passion for HR and research. The MSc in Management was the perfect next step for me. The learning was great, but the people were outstanding. After I graduated, I remained in higher education on the recruitment and program delivery side. I missed the research side of things, so I changed gears and took a position working as a HR research associate at The Conference Board of Canada. It couldn’t have been a better fit for a recent MSc grad who wanted to know everything they could about HR. While I loved research, I wanted to start applying it, so I moved into an HR generalist role and later a HR business partner position. Today, I am working as an HR advisor at General Dynamics Mission Systems, where I still use research to help leaders across the organization make the best decisions.”

Meena Andiappan

MSc’03 (Finance)

Assistant Professor of Management, Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ont.

“I knew after visiting Queen’s while my sister was looking at engineering programs that it was where I wanted to be. I entered the MSc program with my sights set on a PhD and a career in academia. I took a year off after completing my MSc and took a few courses in organizational behaviour and developed a passion for the subject area. I decided to get a second MSc in OB at Penn State University and went on to get my PhD at Boston College. I spent seven years as faculty at Montpellier Business School in France before moving back to Canada. I’m now loving my time researching, teaching, and supervising graduate students in my role at the University of Toronto.”

Alyssa Grocutt

MSc’21 (Organizational Behaviour)

PhD Candidate, Organizational Behavior
Smith School of Business Kingston, Ont.

“I knew at age 15 that I wanted to pursue a PhD and focus my research on workplace safety. My father was killed in a workplace incident, which has driven my passion for educating others on the importance of workplace safety. I found my way to Smith through alumnus Nick Turner (MSc’98). He introduced me to Julian Barling, who would become the welcoming force greeting me at Smith. When I opened the syllabus for Foundations in Organizational Behaviour and saw the amount of readings, I knew I was in the right place. I’m now completing my PhD. The faculty have really helped me narrow my scope of research and to be the best researcher I can be. The future is unknown and I’m considering both academia and industry as my path, but for now, I’m focused on my dissertation research on the consequences of workplace injuries and fatalities for the indirect victims such as family, coworkers, and leaders.”

Catherine Connelly

MSc’00 (Organizational Behaviour), PhD’04

Professor and Canada Research Chair of Organizational Behavior
McMaster University Hamilton, Ont.

“I came to the MSc program with a degree in Commerce from McMaster University and was excited to do a business master’s that wasn’t an MBA. My supervisor Kevin Kelloway and I conducted a research project over the summer looking at employee perceptions of knowledge sharing. I learned so much – how to collect data, and how to write it up. We submitted and had it published in the Leadership & Organizational Development Journal, and it is still my most highly cited research paper, with well over 1,000 citations. I continued on and got my PhD at Queen’s and then landed back at McMaster as a professor. I continue to research many topics that interested me during my time in the MSc program.”

Diego Soares

MSc’14 (Strategy), PhD’20 (Organizational Behaviour)

Postdoctoral Researcher, Faculty of Economics and Business
University of Groningen Groningen, Netherlands

“I moved to Canada from Brazil and enrolling at Smith aligned with my goal of developing my research skills and desire to teach. I completed both my MSc in strategy and PhD in organizational behavior and I am now a postdoctoral researcher examining the scaling of social innovation in food, microfinance, and green hydrogen. I built a strong connection with Kingston through this research, studying farmers’ markets in the area. The MSc program made a real difference in my life and now I have the honour of supervising students on their academic journeys. I enjoy teaching. It’s very intense, but I love it.”

Colette Hoption

MSc’03 (Organizational Behaviour), PhD’09 (Organizational Behaviour)

Associate Professor, Department of Management
Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University Seattle, Wash.

“I became interested in organizational behaviour during my undergraduate studies. After a course on work psychology was cancelled in the Department of Psychology, I contacted Julian Barling in the business school because I was told he was an expert in the field. I ended up complaining to him about the cancelled course and, in response, he asked me to be an RA in his lab! That marked the beginning of my journey to the MSc. The program was challenging, in a way that motivated me to delve deeper into what I was learning. I enjoyed wrestling with questions that came up in seminars, and I was grateful for stumbling upon a group of people that matched my inquisitive nature. While I didn’t plan for a career as a professor, I loved writing, designing experiments, and tinkering with online surveys, so I figured why not get my PhD at Queen’s? Upon graduation, I landed my dream job at Seattle University. To date, one of my most memorable experiences has been receiving the faculty-student research collaboration award presented by the Dean of the Albers School of Business and Economics in 2020. Being honored for a successful partnership with undergrad business school alum made me feel that in some small way I was able to spread the kindness, consideration, and training that Queen’s faculty had shown me throughout my education.”

Niro Sivanathan

MSc’02 (Organizational Behaviour), Artsci’01

Professor of Organizational Behaviour; Chair
PhD Program, London Business School London, England

“I was interested in organizational psychology in my final years at Queen’s. I knocked on Julian Barling’s door to inquire about the program and the possibility of him supervising my research, if accepted. I don’t recall the content of the first conversation with Julian, but I recall coming out of that meeting confident as ever in my desire to pursue academia. Of the innumerable and transformational benefits I derived from this great program, I am most grateful to Julian & Bill Cooper: Julian for instilling the early research values central to be a critical consumer (and creator) of research and the importance having unwavering confidence in your student’s research; and Bill for constantly pushing me to appreciate the importance of the philosophy of science and encouraging me to spread my wings beyond what I thought was possible.”

Tandy Thomas

MSc’04 (Marketing)

Associate Professor and Distinguished Faculty Fellow of Marketing
Smith School of Business, Queen's University Kingston, Ont.

“At industry recruitment time during my final year of the Queen’s Commerce program, I wasn’t totally sure I was ready to be done with school. I had more questions, so I decided to enrol in the MSc in marketing. I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know what an academic-based master’s program was, and had never even read a marketing journal article. The program helped me realize my passion for research. My mentor, Jay Handelman, was an incredible teacher and the research I did under his supervision was pivotal to the success I later had in the University of Arizona's PhD program. With research already underway, I was able to hit the ground running; it set the stage for everything that has come since in my career. I knew I wanted to work at Smith one day, but never envisioned it would be my first job after graduating the PhD program. The school, the work, the colleagues, have all turned out to be a fantastic fit for me and my family.”

Alex Oettl

BCom'02, MSc’04 (Business Economics)

Associate Professor
Georgia Institute of Technology
Co-Site Lead
CDL-Atlanta Atlanta, Ga.

“During my third year of the Commerce program, I came across a job posting in Dunning Hall for a position as part of a research collaboration with MIT. It wasn't very common then for BCom students to work as research assistants, but that role opened my eyes to the world of research. I applied to the MSc to reduce my uncertainty in pursuing a PhD. It did just that. I got my PhD at the University of Toronto and now I am head of the PhD program at Georgia Tech in the strategy and innovation group and co-site lead at the Creative Destruction Lab in Atlanta. I’m also still actively writing papers with my MSc supervisor, John McHale.”

Nick Turner

BCom’96, MSc’98 (Organizational Behaviour)

Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources, Distinguished Research Chair in Advanced Business Leadership
Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary Calgary, Alta.

“After completing an undergraduate degree in Commerce, I decided I wanted to take a different route than my peers. At the suggestion of the late Professor Bill Miklas, I applied to the MSc program in the organizational behaviour area group in the hopes of having Julian Barling as my supervisor. The neat thing about the program was the small environment compared to Commerce; it was an interesting group of people I got to spent time with. After graduating, I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield in England and then returned to Queen’s to teach from 2002-3006. Julian and I also published our first paper together in 2002 and continue to conduct research together to this day. In my current role, I’m enjoying conducting research within the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business and working with graduate students.”

Erin Webster

MSc’03 (Accounting)

Adjunct Lecturer
Smith School of Business, Queen's University Kingston, Ont.

“I joined the accounting group in the MSc program in 2002 with an auditing background. Thinking back to my studies 20 years ago, I am extremely grateful to Mike Welker, Teri Shearer and, most especially, my mentor and thesis co-author Dan Thornton for teaching me about accounting research and sharing critical theories and perspectives beyond those seen as a practitioner alone. After the program, I went on to work in various roles, including as the financial officer for the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s. My passion for the education of accountants then led me to contract work for various professional accounting organizations and, eventually, to teaching at Smith where I am a continuing adjunct lecturer in accounting. I enjoy teaching in the Commerce program, the Graduate Diploma in Accounting program and the Accelerated and Executive MBA programs.”

Lynnette Purda

Professor and RBC Fellow of Finance, Associate Dean, PhD/MSC Programs
Smith School of Business

“I began my career at Smith in 2002 in the finance area. I still recall the first graduate student I supervised in 2005 who went on to a successful career with the Bank of Canada. I’m proud to have supervised more than 15 MSc and PhD students to completion, all of whom secured employment in industry and academia across Canada and the U.S. In 2022, twenty years after arriving at Smith, I took on a leadership position as Associate Dean, Graduate Programs with the MSc and PhD programs. I’m working with the team to make our programs the best they can possibly be to ensure we continue to deliver a high-quality graduate student experience. We’ve recently added on-campus internship opportunities and experiential learning for our students.”

Jay Handelman

Professor, Marketing
Smith School of Business

“I started as a faculty member at Smith in 2003, and have been involved with teaching courses in the MSc program and supervising MSc students since that time. Students in the MSc program are at the beginning stages of exploring a research-based career. It is always so rewarding to see how far they progress with their research skills in just one year of the program. What makes me most proud is looking at the success of so many of our MSc graduates as they pursue research-based careers in academia and industry. Playing a part in the early stages of one’s research career is an incredibly rewarding part of being a faculty member at Smith.”

Laurence Ashworth

Professor, Distinguished Faculty Fellow of Marketing and Associate Dean of Research
Smith School of Business

“I joined Smith as an assistant professor in 2003 shortly after completing my doctoral studies at Sauder, UBC. Coming to Smith and growing as a faculty member here has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Fast forward nearly 20 years and I am now the Associate Dean of Research at Smith. In this new role, I’m working to elevate Smith’s research impact on the global stage. In addition to establishing one of the best research institutions in Canada, the highlight of my career would be being able to teach, supervise, research, and produce academic literature with my MSc and PhD students. Mentoring students allows me to gain momentum in all facets of my research and research duties, it keeps me going and striving for the best.”

Julian Barling

Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Borden Chair of Leadership
Smith School of Business

“I came to Queen’s for an interview in the Psychology department in 1983, while I was on sabbatical at Stony Brook University on Long Island. I was offered the position, and our family emigrated from South Africa and I joined the Queen’s Psychology department in September 1984. A decade later, I became a full professor in the School of Business, teaching in the Commerce, MBA, and PhD programs. Fast forward a few years, and I assumed the position of the academic director of the EMBA program. After a year, I was asked by the Dean at the time to chair the PhD program. Soon thereafter, the MSc program was developed with the intention that it would provide a one-year, research-based master’s degree, and provide a pathway to the PhD. The first cohort of more than 20 students entered the MSc program in September 1997. Looking back, what I find most fulfilling is seeing how our grads have flourished – in their personal lives and working lives, in banks, small companies, charitable organizations, and as faculty members in universities across the world.”

Anton Ovchinnikov

Professor & Distinguished Professor of Management Analytics
Smith School of Business

“Prior to joining Queen’s in 2014, I was at the University of Virginia where we did not have MSc or PhD programs. I had no experience supervising students and started in the MSc program before moving on to supervise in the PhD program. It has been a great experience. MSc students have contributed greatly to my scholarly output; for example, my very first student, Gaganpreet Singh, helped with the teaching note for a case that ended up being one of the top 10 global bestsellers a few years later. Two of my MSc students, Xianfeng Meng and Kiarash Hassani, continued on to get their PhDs. And another, Melanie Adler, is now in consulting. We stay in touch and discuss how to best prepare the next generation of students.”