Meet Our Community

At the UAlberta MBA, we connect bright and motivated individuals hailing from different corners of the globe. Our exceptional faculty includes world-renowned researchers that bring their global experience and perspective to the classroom. With the combination of support from the Master's Programs Office, faculty, and students, the UAlberta MBA provides a unique and transformational experience to all.

Current MBA Students

Current Master's Students

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Meet our Faculty


Master's Programs Office Staff

Associate Dean, Master's and Professional Programs: Michael Maier

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Professor Maier teaches our Executive MBA, Master of Accounting, and Master of Financial Management programs. He is also the Associate Dean of the Master's and Professional Programs Office. Professor Maier received his Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Iowa and holds both the CPA and ICD.D designations.

Q: How did you get involved in your field?

My involvement in the accounting field was by accident in many ways. I did not set out to become an accountant. Initially, I was interested in Information Systems and Design, but as I continued my undergraduate degree, I realized that accounting was more about information. So after finishing my degree, I shifted over, did my Ph.D. in accounting and the rest is history.

Q: What resources do you recommend to help your students succeed in class/ MBA program?

Financial media is probably the best and most underappreciated resource. The top three resources I recommend to students are the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Globe and Mail. I believe that students should be reading these resources on a daily basis. I look at them quite frequently as it keeps me in touch with what’s happening in business, highlight current trends, and provide insight into what is happening in the world at large.

Q: What is your favourite thing about being a professor?

My favourite thing about being a professor is being able to interact with students. When you see that light bulb go off in a student's mind, it’s an amazing feeling because you know that you’ve made a difference.

Senior Director, Recruitment, Admissions, and Marketing: Chris Lynch

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Chris Lynch is the Senior Director of our Master's and Professional Programs Office. Read on to learn more about Chris’ role and the advice he would give to both prospective and current students.

Q: How long have you worked for the University of Alberta?

In 2003, I graduated from the Alberta School of Business and started working at the University of Alberta’s Research Services Office. I stayed there for a year and a half and then I went travelling for six months. While abroad, I applied for a job with the Alberta School of Business Masters Programs Office and started working there in 2005.

Q: What sets the Alberta MBA apart from other programs?

I believe our collegial atmosphere sets us apart. We have a large group component to our classes that encourages collaboration among students. Our students are active and engaged, but they also realize that they have the opportunity to learn a lot from their fellow classmates.

Q: What advice would you give to potential applicants?

Put a lot of thought into things before you apply. Look at yourself and determine what you want to do in the future. Be honest, upfront and thoughtful with us in your application. This helps us better assess your fit for the program and we can better connect you to resources while you’re a student to help you achieve your career goals.

Director, Full-Time & Part-Time MBA: Aileen Kaushal

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As an alumna and the Director, Full-Time & Part-Time MBA Programs, Aileen Kaushal promotes the UAlberta MBA experience to prospective students from around the world and works with the Academic Services Team to ensure students are supported on the academic side of their program.

Q: You did your MBA part-time while working at the University of Alberta. What challenges did you experience as a part-time student?

For any MBA student, regardless of their part-time or full-time status, time management is a challenge. As a part-time student, the program teaches you how to balance work, school and your personal life.

Q: What advice would you give to prospective MBA students?

Take extracurriculars and getting involved seriously. Your time is limited, so you have to be selective and see where you can add the most value. Participating in the MBA experience will help you build new relationships with your peers.

Q: How would you describe the culture of the Masters Programs Office in just three words?

Inspiring, fun, hardworking.

Director, Executive Graduate Programs: Charlene Patry

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Charlene Patry, the Director of Executive Graduate Programs, on her experience in the Alberta MBA Program, working in her dream job, and tips for prospective MBA students!

Q: What do you love about working for the University of Alberta?

This is in every sense my dream job! The ability to work in a university setting where there is incredible energy, dedication and hope for the future is the best! I am continually inspired by the students that I meet, the commitment and expertise of our professors and the progress and impact that our business community members are making in the world.

Q: What energizes you and gets you excited in the morning?

I feel fortunate in that generally, I would describe myself as a morning person and wake up feeling fairly chipper (minus the super early morning wake-up calls from my children). What makes me excited and energized is the sun shining, feeling organized for the day, and of course a hearty breakfast!

Q: What is your best piece of advice for current or applying students?

I would recommend those considering an MBA connect with current MBA students and/or alumni to hear about their journeys in the program. If you don’t have such a connection in your network, our office can connect you! It is incredibly impactful to get a sense of one’s lived experience in the program, gain a real feel for what is involved including the challenges and opportunities, and be inspired to maximize your experience and approach to the MBA.

Director, Analysis & International Programs: Xiao Cheng

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Xiao Cheng came to the University of Alberta as a BComm transfer student from China. Now she works as the Director of Analysis and International Programs in the Master's and Professional Programs Office and was a part-time FastTrack MBA student too.

Q: What’s the best part about your job?

I like communicating with different types of people all day – students, vendors, other accounting professionals within the University.

Q: What’s your experience been like as a part-time FastTrack MBA student?

The MBA is totally different from undergrad! You don’t want to just speed through this degree – you want to enrich yourself. I’ve had the opportunity to make new friends and learn a lot from my classmates, professors and industry professionals.

Q: How do you like to start your day?

I like a healthy and refreshing start to my day. The first thing in the morning would always be drinking a glass of warm water to hydrate my body. Then say Good Morning to the biggest motivators in my life – my kids. I like to take the time in the morning to plan and prioritize my daily task list.

Program Coordinator: Taylor Doucette

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Taylor Doucette is the Program Coordinator, Alberta School of Business - MBA Office, and fashionista here at the Master's Programs Office. She graduated from the BComm program in 2018. Outside of work, Taylor creates content for her blog, When I’m Older, where she shows off trendy outfits, reviews beauty and skincare products, and more!

Q: What did you feel that you learned in the MBA program that has helped most with your current role?

I would say the biggest takeaway that I have transitioned from my time as an MBA student to my current role is sharing my love for the MBA program. I wholeheartedly enjoyed all of my experiences in the program, from the various classes, to meeting all of my friends, and to participating in the various networking events and extracurricular clubs. I love sharing all of my experiences with prospective MBA students and letting them know all about the fun and rewarding activities that they can be a part of, in addition to all of the advice that I have accumulated throughout my years in the program! I am always available to chat with any students interested in the program and answer any questions they might have!

Q: If you had a free weekend with no plans, what would you do?

I am quite the foodie lately so I would definitely take the opportunity to try a bunch of new restaurants and coffee shops here in Edmonton. And, if I was feeling quite spontaneous, I would be tempted to catch a quick flight over to Vancouver to continue my exploration of the restaurant scene over there! Other than that, my weekends are always filled with hanging out with friends and my adorable pup, Oakley.

Q: We hear you are a marketing guru. If you could market the School of Business to any organization in the world, which would it be and why?

I think there is such a vast number of organizations in the world that can benefit from hiring MBA grads or encourage their employees to further their education and leadership skills with an MBA degree. However, if I was to pick just one, I would definitely love to see more of our MBA grads working in executive-level roles at retail companies like Lululemon or Aritzia. With companies consistently facing more and more competition and fast fashion becoming even more prevalent, MBA grads are going to be the ones at the forefront of making sure these organizations take the more sustainable routes and do good for their people, planet, and bottom line.

Academic Services Coordinator: Gil Anderson

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Gil Anderson is an Academic Services Coordinator with the Master's and Professional Programs Office. Learn more about the role he plays in ensuring student success.

Q: What did you do before you moved into this role? What was your favourite part about it?

I was in Parking Services before coming to the MBA office. My favourite part of it was meeting people from all parts of the University of Alberta and learning what they do.

Q: What's your greatest passion?

I've been playing Tabletop RPGs (Role Playing Games) since the summer of 1980, starting with Dungeons and Dragons. From there I've played multiple genres of games including Cyberpunk, comic book superheroes, and Cold War Spies. I enjoy them because I can immerse myself in another world along with some good friends and enjoy the shared experience.

Q: What would be your best piece of advice for students coming into the Master's and Professional Programs?

If you're a full-time student treat the program like a full-time job: devote 40 hours a week minimum to it. If you're not in class you're studying or reading. If you're part-time, you can divide the 40 hr week by class. For instance, if you're taking 2 courses, devote 16 hours to your studies (40 hours divided by 5 courses for a full-time load = 8; 8x2=16).

Executive Assistant: Angie Thomas

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Angie Thomas came to the University of Alberta on a temporary contract and now is staying with the office in a permanent role. She has over 15 years of administrative experience in many different industries and specializes in taking care of people who take care of business. She supports the Associate Dean, Dr. Maier, and his team in the running of the Master's and Professional Programs Office.

Q: What’s the most exciting thing you’ve done recently?

I recently bought an electric vehicle. I put a deposit on it about a year before I bought it and never saw one in person until about four months before I took delivery of my vehicle. It has been a very different experience driving everywhere and not worry about fuel costs. Now I just worry that I have enough energy to get to the next charging station. It also has a lot more torque than an internal combustion engine. So it is very easy to speed if I am not careful but it is a lot of fun to learn about this advancing technology.

Q: Do you love being an EA? Why?

Yes, I love being an Executive Assistant. My mantra is “How can I make your life easier?” My goal is to assist the Associate Dean and the rest of the team so that they can get on with the business of running the Master's and Professional Programs Office. Being an EA allows me to solve issues as they arise or bring problems to the Associate Dean's attention before they can escalate into bigger issues.

Q: What’s your best advice for current and incoming students?

Prospective and current students need to remember that there are many moving parts in the admissions process and the running of the Master's and Professional Programs Office. While you may not have heard about your application or the classes you want may be full, there are many students with a lot of the same concerns and issues. Trust that there is a process to ensure that everyone's questions and concerns will get answered as quickly as we're able to. We’re happy to give follow-up if we have any updates but sometimes we’re still waiting on other steps to be completed first.

Financial & Data Analysis: Vivian Hu

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Vivian Hu came to the University of Alberta with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from China. Now she works as a Financial and Data Analyst in the Master's and Professional Programs Office.

Q: Have you always been a numbers guru?

I have liked numbers since I was a child. Math has always been my favourite subject since there are always better ways to achieve the correct result.

Q: What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is that I have new challenges almost every day. I am excited to explore new ways to solve problems and also enjoy learning new things during the process.

Q: Are you more of a morning person or a night owl?

I can wake up early in the morning to go to work. However, I enjoy the quiet nighttime to myself.

Admissions Coordinator: Rachelle Durocher

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Rachelle Durocher completed her diploma in Business Administration, with a specialization in Marketing, from NAIT in April 2018. She joined the University of Alberta later that summer and has worked in a few areas within the University, including administrative roles in both Medicine and Sports Medicine, before settling into her role with the wonderful team here in the Master's and Professional Programs Office. Rachelle is one of the first points of contact for many inquiries about our programs and provides answers to common questions that prospective students may have. She has spoken to all of our applicants at some point along their application journey!

Q: What’s the last thing you did that made you smile?

While I may not be able to pinpoint something specific, the things that I do regularly that make me smile are taking walks with my dog, hiking and camping in the mountains, snowboarding, gardening, and crafting. These hobbies and activities help me to relax, have fun, and are an important part of my self-care routine. I truly believe it is essential to do things that make you happy on a regular basis so that you can live life to the fullest.

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for students applying to the MBA program?

My advice for those looking to apply to the MBA program is to take the time to really make your application stand out. Make sure that you put a lot of thought and detail into your Resume and Statement of Intent. Make sure to be clear about what sets you apart from other applicants and why you want to study at the University of Alberta. Also, ensure that you properly prepare for your GMAT/GRE so that you get the best scores possible.

Q: Who inspires you?

I would say that my mom is my biggest inspiration. This may sound like a fairly typical answer for many people, but my mom has taught me perseverance, dedication, and strength, things that I believe to be truly invaluable.

Program Coordinator: Michelle Berg

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Michelle Berg manages the executive and professional programs for the Master's and Professional Programs Office. She works with industry to meet the training needs they have for themselves, their teams, and their organization. Michelle has a combined educational history of over 6 years, and her last degree was a Bachelor of Technology. She is a true believer in life-long learning. Having been with the University of Alberta for well over a decade now, she is very grateful for the experiences

Q: Apparently you're an amateur chef! What is your favourite thing to bake or cook?

Muffins, as my family demands them regularly, but I also enjoy baking in general. Feeding people is a loving act of service for me.

Q: What inspires you about your role?

Seeing a need and filling it (stolen from the animated movie Robots but totally true).

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for organizations utilizing the services of executive education?

Be curious about what IS working well and what is NOT, that way we can find solutions together. It's not about blame, it's about problem-solving.

Program Coordinator: Yan (Jane) Ji

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Jane Ji came to the University of Alberta as a Program Coordinator in the International Exchange Office. Now she works as the Program Coordinator for the China Programs. She is responsible for the MBA and Master of Financial Management programs in both Shenzhen and Shanghai, China. These programs have grown considerably over the past number of years. The MFM Shenzhen program began in 2013, and the MFM Shanghai program started in 2018. In addition, the MBA Shanghai program started in 2020.

Q: How do you manage the international programs when there’s such a significant difference in time zones?

It is essential to learn about different cultures when working with students and partners from different time zones. Standing from others' perspectives helps me better understand their needs and support them effectively. Lots of communication is involved in my work which is another crucial tool for me to manage the international programs.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your position?

I enjoy helping students from other parts of the world improve their knowledge, enrich their experience, and learn more about Canadian culture.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your position?

I would be excited to travel to the countries to meet students in our international programs and learn more about their thoughts on our programs.