Telling Our Stories: UPEI eMBA

Mary Jane Webster MBA - Broker/Realtor RE/MAX Charlottetown

There are many who would describe Mary Jane Webster as a serial entrepreneur. After all, she was running two family businesses plus working part time at a third job when she decided to pursue her EMBA at UPEI. Despite having so much on her plate Mary Jane decided to pursue her EMBA because she has always loved learning and studying business felt like a good fit. Plus, Mary Jane, who is always up for a new adventure, was interested in what new opportunities it would provide and new directions her studies would lead her.

One of the things that drew Mary Jane to the program at UPEI School of Business was the fact that they took previous work experience into account when reviewing applications. Mary Jane would be the first to admit that during her first foray into academics, which was incredibly fun, there was a much stronger emphasis on playing rugby then there was on studying. The way the curriculum is structured at UPEI it allowed Mary Jane to study while continuing to work full time. This was very important to Mary Jane.

If you talk to anyone who has been through the EMBA program they will tell you that one of the biggest challenges you will face will be the search for balance. The workload can be described as intense, especially if you decide to write your thesis in your second year while still finishing up your courses, which is what Mary Jane did allowing her to finish the program in two years instead of the usual three. “If you are open to the learning process then you will be okay.”

Since graduating with her EMBA in 2013 Mary Jane sold one of her businesses that she ran with her family, the liquor store in Morell, and purchased the brokerage of RE/MAX Charlottetown, where she had been working while in school. Mary Jane is quick to credit the EMBA program for enabling her to make this massive life change, “I was able to take a bigger risk and be okay with it.” Having completed her studies Mary Jane had a new confidence in her skill set. The program taught her what questions to ask instead of trying to finding the answers herself, she learned to trust her gut and what feels right, and she soon discovered that she was better at taking risks both personally and professionally.

Mary Jane has what some would consider a very ‘old school’ approach to business. She still believes in writing everything down in her day planner! Yes, that’s right. Good old fashioned pen to paper planning sessions. Among the things that she plans for? Structured down time. Real Estate, like many other careers, can be all encompassing and if you aren’t careful it can take over your life. For Mary Jane she believes it is important to find some balance and build in time in her schedule for her family, friends and volunteer activities. “Always make sure the people in your life know that they matter.”

For Mary Jane, those people include the RE/MAX agents that she works with every day at RE/MAX Charlottetown and the clients that she has worked with over the last few years. She is immensely proud of RE/MAX and the team she has in place. Her job as a broker is to make sure that her team has an environment where they can be successful. What changes does she need to make in order to make that happen? How can she best support them so that they can best support their families? Real estate is an industry that is constantly changing, the uncertainty of that is sometimes challenging so for Mary Jane treating her team as best she can is her top priority.

“Be prepared for how it is going to change you - you will be challenged in ways that you never thought you would be.”

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