In this episode of the Candid Conversations podcast, your co-hosts Dan and Sagan share a little bit about the progress they’ve made on their new business venture, Juxta Communications. We also interview Myles Barr, a business student, who shares the inside scoop of what it’s like attending business school, and how he’s taking his experiences and applying them to real-life work.
0:00 Introduction to the podcast
0:45 Update on Sagan & Dan’s business
“We’ve learned a lot about our business meeting styles. I never thought that being friends before business partners would be a problem… but it changes the dynamic and we have to be careful we don’t polish off a bottle of wine or get distracted by talking about other things that are not business related.” – Sagan
“We had a business meeting where we had giant poster paper and brainstormed ideas, which was great, but we needed to move past that and work on the business plan. That was a good learning experience for us; we were hanging out for 7 or 8 hours and we didn’t really make that much progress on the business plan. We had good ideas, but having business meeting agendas has made such a difference for having structure and focus for every time that we get together to talk about the business.” – Sagan
“Meeting agendas and having that structure has been fantastic. The action items at the end of each meeting has also been great. We’ve been able to step back and look at, are we aligned on everything for the business, and come back and talk about it. It’s been a nice test to play it all out. So far, we’ve gone through Part One of the business plan and we’re pretty aligned, which is nice. In the past few weeks we’ve done a lot of work, getting an idea of what Juxta Communications looks like.” – Dan
“We bring two different skillsets to the table, but our skillsets are vastly different from each other. The word juxtaposition brings to mind two contradicting but very aligning skillsets. So that’s the name of our business.” – Dan
6:15 Introduction to today’s guest, Myles Barr (MBA student at Asper School of Business)
6:55 About Myles and what he does
9:05 Why Myles decided to get into business, as well as go back to get his Masters in Business Administration
“What drew me to business is I like working with people. I like working in team settings; I grew up playing a lot of different sports, and that was one thing I really enjoyed—that community aspect and working in a group to achieve something, was always something that drew me in. That was something I found in my short time in business so far is there’s lot of group projects and you’re constantly collaborating in Asper School of Business.” – Myles
12:30 How the MBA program works at Asper School of Business
13:10 The challenges Myes has faced in his experience at Asper School of Business
“It’s been more work, or maybe different work, than I thought it would be… the group work is condensed into evenings and on weekends. Your nights start getting longer, and if you’re working part-time, you start to run out of time to keep up with your studies and individual assignments. The time management aspect is something that’s been a challenge.” – Myles
14:50 Who is business school right for? Should business owners go back to school and get their MBAs?
“I’m not sure if an MBA would have as much value to people who have that entrepreneurial spirit and are self-starters… For a lot of entrepreneurs who I’ve met, I’m not sure if the courses would have that much value. Entrepreneurs are unique in that they’re going to learn on their own and get to that end point anyways.” – Myles
16:50 Advice for people thinking about getting a degree in business
19:20 Shopify ad: CandidPodcast.ca/shop
20:25 Is there anything you’d do differently, working in an agency, now that you have this business school experience?
“If I’ve taken one thing out of my experience at Asper, it’s being able to juggle a lot on your plate, which is a skill you need at an agency. This would put me in a better position now, compared to when I first joined the agency and I was fresh out of my undergrad and didn’t have experience in the business world. This has been much more of a professional setting, which is driven by harder deadlines and harder projects. Those skills would certainly lend itself well to anyone doing account management at an agency.” – Myles
“I’ve really tried to take a lead in some respects on the marketing components of projects so I can stay up to date in the marketing industry. It’s an industry that changes so quickly, it’s hard to stay on top of even when you’re working in the industry. I’ve tried my best to stay current so I’m able to apply what I’m learning to an environment that I’m still familiar with.” – Myles
“If I’ve taken 1 thing from my @AsperSchool experience, it’s learning to juggle a lot on your plate” #candidpodcast
23:05 About having a mentor
“It gives you access to someone who has done everything already; these people have experience in fields I’m interested in. In 6 to 8 meetings, you begin to form a close relationship to that person. Scott has been so generous with his time. You get to connect with someone on a deeper level, and that could be a door that opens after you graduate. I can’t say enough about the Mentorship Program; the Asper School of Business as well has been fantastic.” – Myles
“You don’t really know until you ask someone. Even if they feel ‘out of your league,’ you just never know.” – Myles
“Everyone wants to help mentor young people, which is amazing.” – Dan
“When it comes to growing a business, you never know until you ask or until you try!” – Sagan
“When it comes to finding a mentor or growing a business, you never know until you ask or until you try” @Saganlives
28:20 What it’s been like making connections in the local business community
“Scott is a guy who opens doors. I didn’t really see that coming, but that’s been a happy accident.” – Myles
“Entrepreneurship is a thing where you have to learn from your mistakes. Oftentimes those can be costly and significant. Getting a mentor who has so many ties to startups in the city has been great. It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off of when you’re looking at potential startups.” – Myles
“Entrepreneurship is where you have to learn from your mistakes – which can be costly & significant” #candidpodcast
33:20 What do you enjoy the most about being a business student?
“I really like the projects. The overall thing I’ve enjoyed the most about the MBA program is the diversity of students. There’s such a wide breadth of skills and experience. To hear the experience of all the new Canadians in the program as well, really puts words like ‘sacrifice’ into perspective. These are individuals who have left young kids at home in Africa or India, they’ve saved up their entire life and leveraging all that they have to come to Asper. To hear those stories puts a lot into perspective; it makes you feel fortunate to even be in the same classroom as those people. It’s been a very rich experience. I really enjoy getting to know people and making new friends, so being able to get to know individuals from such a wide variety of backgrounds has by far been my favorite part.” – Myles
35:35 What are your plans for after you complete your degree?
“You will not find heart and passion, anywhere really, like you do in the nonprofit sector. Business minds generally kind of stay away from that area, but it’s an important thing to have in organizations that are resource-constrained. My interest in that industry combined with what I’ve been learning in school, having a business mindset or a marketing mindset, would be a good pairing. That’s definitely where I want to go.” – Myles
“You will not find heart and passion, anywhere really, like you do in the nonprofit sector.” #candidpodcast
39:35 How to connect with Myles
40:30 Candid Conversations podcast
41:20 Thanks for listening!
If you enjoyed this podcast episode, give it a like and a share. It would mean a lot!
41:50 Outtake 🙂
Awesome Resources + People Mentioned In This Episode:
- Myes Barr
- Asper School of Business
- Sherpa Marketing
- Asper MBA Executive Mentor Program
- Scott MacAulay
- Innovation Alley
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