My CBU Story: Yuan Tian

After five years working as a Human Resource professional in Beijing, China, Yuan Tian, knew she needed to further her education in management if she wanted to advance her career. Following much deliberation, Yuan made the tough decision to move to Cape Breton and away from her family to begin her CBU journey. Though being away from her family for those first two semesters was difficult, she managed to keep things positive by jumping into campus life through Week of Welcome activities, brand photoshoots and more. 

The reason CBU initially caught Yuan’s eye was the unique offering of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. “I was excited when I discovered CBU’s MBA program, which focuses on Community Economic Development. This was particularly appealing to me as it was unlike any other I’d heard of,” she says. “The beautiful natural scenery of Cape Breton Island, which I saw on YouTube, also played a big part in my decision. The combination of CBU’s innovative MBA program and the allure of island life made it the perfect choice for me.”

Yuan describes CBU’s MBA program as tough but fair, which is something she welcomed with open arms. “I thoroughly enjoyed the intensity and the fulfilling challenge of my studies,” she begins. “I relished in the collaborative projects and the vibrant academic environment that encouraged both personal and collective achievements.”

Associate Professor of Community Economic Development, Dr. Catherine Leviten-Reid, taught a Business and Community Development course that was a particular favourite of Yuan’s. “Her meticulous preparation and case studies opened my eyes to the various definitions of community, which are vastly different from those in my country,” Yuan says. “Studying under her guidance has broadened my worldview significantly.”

Currently, Yuan is working as a Marketing Coordinator for All-Lane Immigration in Halifax. It’s a role she loves, as it aligns perfectly with her passions. When she first came to Canada, Yuan made a habit of sharing her experiences at CBU on a Chinese social media platform. This garnered quite a bit of attention from prospective students, something she truly did not expect. “I am very honoured that some students have told me they finally decided to come to CBU after seeing some of my videos,” says Yuan. “This experience inspired me to further my career in helping fellow Chinese nationals navigate studying and immigrating to Canada.”

Yuan emphasizes just how much she will miss the classroom learning experience at CBU, as sitting among her peers deeply immersed in learning was her favourite part of her student journey.. “The unique atmosphere of being physically present in an academic setting, engaging directly with professors and classmates, has been profoundly enriching and something I will always cherish,” she says. “CBU is a remarkable institution that offers dedicated professors, comprehensive student services and a unique local culture.”

With the arrival of the 2024 Spring Convocation, Yuan’s time with CBU has come to an end, but the lessons she has learned will stick with her going forward in her career. “My time at CBU has equipped me with not just academic knowledge, but also practical skills applicable to the real world,” Yuan says. “The emphasis on community engagement and development in the MBA program has prepared me to properly handle complex business environments and foster inclusive growth in my professional endeavours.”

“To my fellow graduates, I encourage you to immerse yourselves in local community activities and expand your social circles beyond your immediate peers,” says Yuan. “Cape Breton Island may be small, but it is rich with opportunities to create unique experiences that enrich your life and broaden your perspectives.” 

Congratulations to Yuan and the entire Spring 2024 graduating class!