MBA Student Spotlight: Getting to know Lawrence Ives

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Lawrence Ives, 44, grew up across the pond, in West Devon, United Kingdom (right near where the movie Warhorse was filmed). A former soldier, Ives spent over 20 years in uniform in different countries around the world. Ives believes that your horizons widen with travel, so when deciding to pursue his MBA, he knew he had to go somewhere new.

We had a chance to sit down with Ives and find out what inspired him to do his MBA at SFU and what he learned from his experience.

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Tell us a bit about yourself

My family are military back to at least 1910 – my grandfather fought on the Somme so I was honoured to serve in the military as well. Trying new things and travelling to new places excites me. When I was in the military, I had spent so much time away anyway there was no reason not to go somewhere new.

What attracted you to the MBA program at SFU’s Beedie School of Business?

I wanted to live in Canada and I needed to retrain for a career in business. Attending SFU allowed me to combine both into one package. After quite a bit of research, SFU Beedie School of Business’ MBA program was the best fit for me. I also wanted to come to British Columbia- especially to Vancouver.

What do you love best about your MBA experience at SFU?

I have met some amazing people through the program. I now know a classical musician from Newfoundland, an HR guru, a guy who’s an expert on 18th Century pirates and a production engineer from Mumbai who can talk for 10 minutes straight without breathing.

The cohort was really diverse with people from all sorts of backgrounds. One of the best things about a course like this is that in future, if you are given a problem you can’t solve, you are almost certain to know someone who can.

What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received in this program so far?

Do the numbers. That sounds obvious but it’s astonishing, and depressing, how many large decisions are based on intuition rather than solid data.

Tell us your favourite part about Vancouver.

I live smack on top of Stanley Park. For a Brit, the downtown core is what we think of when people talk about Vancouver (I had no idea how large the city actually was). I absolutely love Stanley Park. My favourite spot is on the eastern side of Beaver Lake.

It has kept me sane having all that greenery on the doorstep with the sea and the mountains behind.

Do you have any advice for other students who might be interested in pursuing their MBA?

Think about where you want to be and research the course that will get you there. Also, I’d recommend to get some time in the world of work first, as an MBA is what the military calls a Force Multiplier. The more experience you can bring to it, the more you will get out of it.


Learn more about the MBA Program at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.

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Celeena Sayani Celeena is an Account Manager at Vancity Buzz with a passion for writing, fitness and red wine. She recently moved from Toronto and now calls the West Coast home.
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