Shortly after graduating from University Canada West’s MBA program, Lindani Mokgweetsi landed her dream job as a Facility Production Assistant at Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver.
“It’s a dream come to true for me,” she said.
Lindani is part of the operations management team in the studio facility, which is only a few blocks from the UCW campus. Sony Pictures Imageworks is a world-leading visual effects and character animation companies and is headquartered in Vancouver.
“Basically, what we do is that we ensure the facility is able to give the artists and employees what they need,” she explained. “It’s things like understanding the distance of how far employees are sitting away from each other and the time they take to walk to talk each other.”
Lindani explained that all those details are important.
“That’s wasted productivity,” she said. “We try to make sure that everyone in the facility becomes as productive as possible."
UCW’s MBA program prepared her for the challenges of finding optimal arrangements for physical space efficiency.
Her MBA also gives her greater insight into day-to-day interactions.
“I can see the business consequences, financial consequences, of smaller actions on the facility,” she said.
“Without an MBA, managers come in and just do the task. It (the MBA) helped me learn the importance of what I’m doing.”
Lindani said you can talk about what you want to do, but then you actually get a start in the industry, it’s a little surreal.
“The first few weeks were like literally walking into a dream,” she said. “For me, personally, this is what I’ve been trying to do since I was 19.”
The Vancouver studio has its own appeal.
“I love the physical space,” she said. “On the walls, you can see movies posters and you remember where you’re at and the legacy of the company.”
Lindani is originally from Botswana, but left home when she was 19.
She spent two years in Johannesburg and almost another year in Capetown before moving to Canada for schooling.
While in South Africa, she worked in marketing and graphic design, but also dabbled in sales.
She combined her creative background with her business sense when she enrolled in school in Vancouver.
“I decided to come to Canada and enrol in Vancouver Film School (VFS),” she explained.
She graduated with an Entertainment Business Management diploma in August 2014. Lindani described it as solving business needs in a creative environment that covered television, film and music.
She knew that she wanted even more schooling and started looking around for options and wanted practical business knowledge to round out her education.
“I had always wanted to do an MBA,” Lindani said. “I had a strong background in creative, but less on the business side.”
She found UCW online and did her research before applying. The university had a January intake, which worked well with her schedule.
Despite her time in Canada, Lindani started in UCW’s MBA Foundation program before proceeding into the degree program.
She fondly recalled professors such as Dr. Ghassem Zarb, Dr. Vincenti and Dr. Demeke, who were supportive and really helped her along the way. She recalled how they’d converse with her and it wasn’t always just about course material.
“It was good to have that dialogue that was outside of academics,” she said.
Her MBA took about 18 months to complete as she took a summer off to work.
Like many students, she juggled the challenges of a full course load and a part-time job, as well as finding time to have a social life.
She learned the required course material but also discovered more about herself and working with other during her time at UCW.
“I learned how to be self-aware and to really understand the people around me,” she explained. “I made a lot of mistakes in teamwork, not in terms of the course material… but understanding what my classmates were going through or being sensitive about someone leaving home for the first time six months ago.”
These lessons have served her well in the business world.
“In business management, you’re managing resources and the most expensive and difficult resource to manage is people,” Lindani said.
Lindani said she loves the challenges associated with her job.
University Canada West is located in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia. The university offers both online and on-campus Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication and MBA programs.The business-oriented university provides students with the experience to succeed in their careers and scholarships to recognize students’ academic excellence.
Written by Bradley Fehr