Like many other Canadian students, Kitty Sun lived at home with her parents during her undergrad at the University of British Columbia.
With her whole life in one place – family, friends, school and work – life was comfortable. But upon completing her degree, she felt ready to explore the world.
After doing some research on post-graduate programs, Kitty decided on the one-year MBA option at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. The school and program has been ranked #1 in countless rankings around the world.
“I wanted to get an American education,” she explains. “The one-year condensed program was very attractive to me, along with the ability to travel abroad during my studies.” More on that later.
The school helped her get a student visa and it wasn’t long before she was moving into the on-campus residence, which was even equipped with an outdoor swimming pool. “Everyone in the Phoenix area has one,” Kitty says. Fun fact: Arizona is the state with the most swimming pools per capita in the U.S.
Moving away from her family, friends and boyfriend was a big adjustment, but in the one-year MBA program she was so busy that she barely had time to miss them.
“I missed my friends, but the fast-paced and condensed program made me make new friends really quickly,” she says, adding that she tried to visit home as much as she could and also invested in an expensive North American-wide cell phone plan.
During the one-year MBA program at Thunderbird, she took courses on topics such as international communications and strategic management, and also had the opportunity to travel throughout the U.S. and even around the world. The school has global studies opportunities and campuses across the globe!
“I visited Colorado, Salt Lake City, Paris, Dubai, Egypt, Chile, Argentina and Mexico,” Kitty recalls, citing these trips as her most memorable experiences.
Above all, though, her experience studying in the U.S. provided an important opportunity for her to become more dependent on herself. “Living in residence and fending for myself when it came to food, banking and all the little things was a good experience,” she says. “It’s definitely an eye-opener and makes you grow up!”
After finishing up her MBA in Arizona, Kitty moved back to Vancouver to start her career, where she now works for Metro, Canada’s most read national daily newspaper, in advertising sales.
“My MBA fast-tracked me to my current position,” she says. “I believe that, eventually, I would have ended up here anyways, but it may have taken years longer.”
Thinking about studying abroad? These are Kitty’s top tips:
- Be friendly
- Be open to new ideas
- Listen and talk to people from many different cultures
- Look out for yourself because no one else will put you before themselves