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How An Executive MBA Is Helping Me Grow My Consulting Business

Alexandre Kangah’s Executive MBA has empowered him with the knowledge and toolkit to advance his consulting business with confidence

When Alexandre Kangah founded his own consulting venture, he knew it would be an exciting challenge. 

Originally from the Ivory Coast, Alexandre began his career as an engineer, specializing in computer science. The search for a new challenge brought him to Paris, where he studied a Master’s in Business, Management, and Information Systems.

This sparked his interest in IT consulting, and eventually a move to Canada, where he took up a role with a large technology consulting company. Although he enjoyed the work, Alexandre was soon ready to stretch his capabilities.

Eventually, he struck out on his own, founding Xtrategy—an IT and management consulting firm.

To help Xtrategy grow and diversify, he decided to attend business school. An Executive MBA (EMBA) program seemed like the perfect solution, since it would allow him to carry on working with his company full-time as he learned.

“An EMBA would give me the opportunity to develop more business skills, and help me open my consulting firm to new markets,” he says.

After considering programs in the US and Canada, Alexandre chose the EMBA at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business

Now, he is translating the hands-on learning the program has offered to his business.


Building new connections

Alexandre was initially drawn to John Molson's diverse and open student community.

“I got the sense that the EMBA program was very open to diversity, and international students,” he explains. 

In the school’s average EMBA class, industry backgrounds range from fashion to finance, and international students are common.

Along with the diverse connections he made in class, Alexandre was able to leverage the international trips on offer to find new clients and forge new partnerships. 

In his first year of the program, he and members of his cohort traveled to Asia, visiting Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, on the international business trip.

“It was a great opportunity to develop business connections in Asia, both with business owners, and people working with large companies,” he recalls.

“During the trip, I developed a lot of relationships with people who I continue to work with.”


A holistic approach to business education

For Alexandre, another EMBA highlight has been working with a dedicated executive coach, and taking advantage of private health and fitness consultations.

“We had support in handling areas of our private lives, as well as our professional ones,” Alexandre notes. “Our coaches also helped us to handle stress, so we could make the most of the EMBA."

This holistic approach to business education is helping Alexandre practice self-care while steering his business through today’s challenges. 


Getting real-world experience

Accessing practical learning experiences has also been extremely valuable for Alexandre. 

At the end of his first semester, for instance, he got to craft a solution to a business issue presented by a local Canadian company. He and his teams’ recommendations were then presented to a panel of the company’s managers, and John Molson faculty.

“We studied a lot of real-life cases through the EMBA, and heard from speakers who were CEOs or executives,” he adds.

The professors at John Molson have been equally valuable when it comes to imparting real-world business lessons, Alexandre reflects.

“The professors I encountered have a lot of past experience with many different companies,” he says.


Getting ready for the future

The ability to adapt is one of the most important skills that Alexandre has developed at John Molson, he believes.

As coronavirus continues to disrupt business and spur innovation, he feels the EMBA has equipped him with the tools he needs to help his firm work flexibly, and survive.

Like many companies around the world, Xtrategy has experienced a temporary slow down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

However, with the toolkit Alexandre has developed at John Molson, he has been able to quickly adapt, moving operations online in the space of just a few weeks.

“Even in this climate, because I’ve been applying all the lessons I learned in the EMBA, I’ve been able to cope,” he explains.

Courses like Financial Decisions Under Uncertainty and Creativity and Innovation help students like Alexandre to adapt quickly in challenging times.

“Seizing this situation as an opportunity to create something new, and bring value, is something I learned on the EMBA,” he reflects. 

Despite the current disruption, Alexandre is confident that Xtrategy will continue to grow in the coming years. He plans to achieve organic growth, by identifying new business opportunities, and carrying out more work online.

“I now see myself as someone who knows how business works very deeply,” he says. “I see every change as a new opportunity now.”

Student Reviews

Concordia University: John Molson School of Business

Anthony

Verified

25/11/2023

On Campus

Educational advancement

My time at Concordia College has been set apart by huge self-awareness. The steady instructors and staff have assisted me with fostering my abilities and information. The college offers a scope of administrations and extracurricular exercises, giving various open doors to understudies to reach out. In general, my involvement with Concordia has been positive and improving.

Student

Verified

16/11/2023

On Campus

My growth

"My time at Concordia University has been marked by significant personal growth. The supportive teachers and staff have helped me to develop my skills and knowledge. The university offers a range of services and extracurricular activities, providing numerous opportunities for students to get involved. Overall, my experience at Concordia has been positive and enriching.

Ashley

Verified

31/10/2023

On Campus

Communications and Culture Studies

I am currently enrolled in my first year in the Communication and Culture studies program. I have met so many incredible people and have already acquired skills that I will serve me in my professional career. The courses are dynamic, engaging and intellectually stimulating. I am happy to be a student at this university and look forward to the next 2 years here!

Student

Verified

11/09/2023

On Campus

Significant advancements

Having attended Concordia University, I can confidently state that I have seen significant advancements in my skills. The faculty and staff demonstrate great thoughtfulness and provide effective support. Additionally, the university offers an abundance of student clubs and services.

Arman

Verified

11/09/2023

On Campus

Master of Quality Systems Engineering

I completed my Master's in Quality Systems Engineering at Concordia University, where I gained a comprehensive understanding of quality management principles and methodologies. The program provided a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical applications, including coursework in statistical process control, Six Sigma, and Lean principles. I engaged in hands-on projects addressing real-world quality challenges, collaborated with experienced faculty, and conducted independent research. This experience has equipped me with the skills and expertise needed to contribute effectively to organizations seeking to enhance their quality control processes and achieve operational excellence.

Amber Lee

Verified

6/09/2023

On Campus

Awesome

The Communication program at Concordia University will prepare you for the future. The program is divided in two blocks: one more theoretical, from which you learn the concept of communications through the perspective of philosophy, history and social studies; another completely hands-on in which you learn how to produce media choosing from three streams; sound, moving images, intermedia. What I love about the communication program at Concordia is that the teachers are clever, up to date, and exited about putting the future in the hands of students. Not only there is so much to learn in the communication program, but there are also so many opportunities!

Student

Verified

3/09/2023

On Campus

Concordia is best

Concordia university is one of the top listed universities not just in Canada but worldwide. The most amazing thing about this university is it is a standalone English speaking university in Montreal that allows non francophone students to enrol and study efficiently. My program is beautifully designed with access to high quality classrooms and faculty members that are available every time to attend your queries. The huge campus of the University including the library allows students to indulge in group work and research programs. The administration staff is super supportive and polite in their conversations. I have had the most amazing experience studying at Concordia so far.

Student

Verified

5/07/2023

On Campus

Entrepreneurship and Marketing

I had the privilege of being a part of Ryerson University's Entrepreneurship and Marketing program, and it was an outstanding experience. The program's curriculum was well-designed, providing a perfect balance of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical application. The faculty members were highly knowledgeable and supportive, creating an engaging learning environment. The program's emphasis on industry connections and experiential learning opened doors to valuable internships and co-op opportunities. The resources and facilities dedicated to the program were top-notch, allowing me to explore my passion and excel in my studies. I am grateful for the real-world skills and industry connections I gained through the program. Ryerson University's Entrepreneurship and Marketing truly prepared me for a successful career in the business world. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for a transformative educational experience.

Student

Verified

25/06/2023

Blended

Integrated Student Life

Concordia University has done a fantastic job at providing on-campus activities and workshops for students to feel connected and less lonely in stressful times. My program, Human Relations highlights this perfectly as a human relations student to be able to see the effects these workshops have on our beings and our mental and physical health as well. The student Life at Concordia has allowed our school to feel more like a community than a school.

Dami

Verified

6/03/2024

On Campus

Study review

As a graduate student in the doctoral program in chemical engineering at Concordia University, I would rate the program as highly commendable. Although, the academic experience has been rigorous, challenging, and intellectually stimulating, providing a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of chemical engineering principles. However, my ongoing program has been equally rewarding and has equipped me with the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in academia and industry.

Student

Verified

7/03/2024

On Campus

Amazing

In general, I love my university. It's a true representation of diversity, with students from all around the world. The system is incredibly organized, with everything functioning seamlessly, from the structure to the services.

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