How Anna Migicovsky Embraces Change
Born and raised Vancouverite with an analytical mind and love for technical knowledge, Anna Migicovsky never considered that an MBA would be in the cards for her future. She had chosen to get her Bachelor of Science in environmental sciences from Queen’s University. It wasn’t until she studied anthropology on an exchange term in Holland that she realized she had another passion. “I realized in my final year that I was actually passionate about how people were affected by change,” Anna recalls. “I researched resource development and climate change and how communities were being affected, as well as factory farms and how people’s diets were affected.”
Upon graduation, Anna began her search for a career that would help her fulfill her newfound passion and combine it with her existing ones. “I didn’t love research because it was not as hands on with people, so I ended up working in an educational museum about the Holocaust,” she shares. “I came in as a tactical operations specialist who did a software transition and a massive audit on their financials… I was able to come in with a different set of skills and ultimately learned from that experience that I really like wearing many hats in a job.”
After gaining additional experience, including working in hospitality and with a Silicon Valley startup creating wearable technology, Anna still felt that she hadn’t found her true calling yet. One of her mentors brought up the idea of getting an MBA due to its applicability and suitability for her skill set.
When considering which schools to apply to, Anna was drawn to the SFU Beedie MBA due to her previous experience with Radius, SFU’s social innovation lab and venture incubator. “Radius really proved that you can mix the idea of social good and business, and use it as a force of good. Exposure to the tech world also showed that there’s a different way of doing business now. There can be a lot of value added to society from companies like that.” After spending six months taking economics and finance courses at BCIT to gauge her interest, she dove into the full-time MBA program and began a new step in her journey.
Anna didn’t let her new environment deter her from getting involved. Determined to take advantage of all the opportunities available to her, she immersed herself in both classes and extracurriculars. “During my MBA, I participated in both competing in a case competition and also as part of Net Impact, an environmental sustainability student association. We held an annual case competition and brought schools from the US and Canada together,” she explains. “My colleague and I also coordinated a First Nations business tour of BC. We spoke to communities who were partnering with private companies to do different economic development activities. This gave me a different perspective of public private partnerships in business.”
Anna also credits networking opportunities provided by Beedie for helping her gain exposure to different industries. “I attended as many networking events as I possibly could. I’m pretty extroverted and outgoing, but I also recognize the importance of practicing!” she laughs. “Being able to talk to leaders from different industries and my fellow peers was really good practice for not only letting me express myself, but also to learn about other areas that I had no exposure to. I would recommend that to any other student, even if it’s not a direct focus.”
During her job search, Anna sought help from her Career Advisor Doug Leong, and worked with him to determine her next steps. “[He] was always there to help brainstorm and provide suggestions [regarding the job search]. It was really useful to reach out. I recommend building that kind of relationship that lasts even after the MBA.”
In fact, her network led her to discover a new opportunity at Bellrock, a management consulting firm that offers benchmarking, strategic planning, implementation, and advisory services. “I was connected to Bellrock because one of the colleagues went through the MBA program. Eventually, a job came up and I had a bit of a foot in the door. It’s really about cultivating that network, knowing what you’re going for and who to speak to regarding your interest.”
When asked to share her best advice with current students, Anna stresses the importance of making the most of your time as a student:
“[My MBA] gave me this confidence that I was able to use to go and get more experiential learning through being a student. When you’re a student, use that opportunity… You’re able to go and have informational interviews with all types of people from different industries before you get siloed into one area. Go out and ask for a coffee chat!”
In her role as a consultant, Anna helps other organizations embrace change just like she did. “I’m working in an environment where I’m sitting at the table with the leader of those organizations [and] helping them with sales, strategy, operations, finance, everything! For me, that’s really satisfying - that I get to wear different hats and understand and provide value in all those areas.”
In particular, change management following systems implementation is a specific focus of hers. “It’s really helping the company go through some sort of foundational change,” Anna describes. “We are then embedded in the organization [for about four to six months]. I’m constantly meeting new people, getting immersed in someone else’s team culture. You’re always getting exposed to different companies, different ways of doing things, different personalities. The most satisfying part of my work is seeing people gain skills… we’re enabling them to make changes and understand them themselves so that they can do it again when they need to.”
Having worked in many different organizations and learned the constant need for change along with technology, Anna understands that change management is critical.
“I think that my job is amazing because I’m helping to make people’s lives better. I really feel like I’m improving inefficiencies and helping to get clear communication and transparency between senior management and the rest of the organization. I’m glad I can have such an impact on their lives.”
When asked how she continues to find inspiration in her job, Anna mentions her constant drive for discovery as a key area. “I’m a continual learner, and I love to be exposed to different areas. That keeps me excited. I like change! I can apply my knowledge and skills to change management and still feel like I’m getting varied exposure.”
Thank you to Anna for reflecting on her MBA and career journey with us! We’re inspired to continue embracing change and staying adaptable just as she does. We wish her the best in all her future endeavors!