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Father of two becomes father of three while completing MBA, touts program’s flexibility

Tristan Johnson knew he wanted to go back to pursue an MBA, but needed to choose a program that would allow him to maximize his time in both his professional and personal capacities.
Given his specific needs, an online MBA seemed like the obvious choice. Tristan decided on the University of Fredericton’s (UFred) fully online Sandermoen School of Business, which he says has some of the most “interesting specialty options.”
Tristan completed the Professional Selling and Leadership stream of the MBA program just one week before his third child was born, which he says was the “perfect crescendo” to his academic experience.
“It also provided me with an opportunity for some reflection; I realized that I likely could not have completed the MBA in the time that I did and start a family without being a part of an online program.”
He says his experiences at UFred were positive and challenging, adding that the instructors are professional and accessible, while workloads are reasonable and well thought out. As for his peer group, Tristan says some of his interactions were overwhelmingly positive, and he found himself learning new strategies for coordinating complex tasks.
“Likewise, some of my peer interactions proved quite challenging. In managing these interactions, I feel as though I became better equipped to deal with difficult situations in a way that has real-world applications, especially in a professional setting,” he said.
The most important thing he learned is that proper execution of a good plan requires meaningful leadership.
To Tristan, meaningful leadership means:

  • speaking to those with whom you share responsibilities with or are responsible for;
  • listening with intent;
  • being aware of your project trajectory;
  • being willing and able to change or alter course if needed; and
  • engaging in daily tasks that promote instead of undermining your objectives.

He added that just as every impactful group he worked with at UFred shared these qualities, every accomplished team he has been a part of in the private sector did as well.
Tristan believes his UFred education enhanced his career by opening the door to new opportunities, developing new skills while amplifying others and teaching him the complexities of corporate operations.
“I have an appreciation for what it takes to make companies be more effective and properly orient themselves towards a goal, and achieve it,” he said.
Tristan currently leads a team of sales professionals as the Manager of Employee Benefits Sales at Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions. He intends to use the knowledge and skills earned from his MBA to surpass the “baseline” expectations of his team.
“I want to see the people I work with achieving unparalleled success. Moving into the future, I’m hopeful my education will open up new opportunities throughout my career.”
Alumni Advice:

“An online program provides a greater degree of flexibility, so use it to your advantage. Before you can effectively lead other people, you need to be good at leading yourself. That starts with being organized in every course you take.”

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