Canadian Olympic Athlete, Business Owner, & 2022 MBA Candidate
Many athletes can get lost after their athletic career ends, which is why Canadian curler and Olympian Brad Gushue wanted to make sure he had something to do after his elite-level career. Learn more about his career growth, MBA journey, and inspiration to reach the next level.
How has being an Olympian impacted your professional career? What do you think it says about career growth to know that even Olympians want to go back to school?
Being an Olympian has opened up many doors and a huge network for me, especially as a fitness business owner. I’m a big believer in growth. I always want to improve and get better, both in the way that I live and through the knowledge sector. The pandemic gave me an opportunity to step back and look at what I wanted to do with my life, and to focus on life after curling. The MBA will allow me to level up my career.
Why did you choose an MBA, and what are your goals coming out of it?
I already have a BBA, and as a business owner I think that I can gain more knowledge and expertise in certain leadership areas. I know that the knowledge gained is going to be helpful for me personally, for my business, and for my future as a professional. Many MBAs now offer new flexible opportunities, and mine allows me to work, curl, and go to school.
This MBA is about personal growth and learning. I want to learn new skills that I can take back to my business. I’m also looking forward to the opportunities that the MBA will bring to me down the road.
What advice would you give to those who are looking to advance their career through education?
When I was thinking of upskilling with my MBA, I took time to think through the process. I wanted to figure out where I wanted to go in my career. Some good advice is to identify whether you need a change and to give yourself an opportunity to move forward. I realized that I was in a spot as an athlete where I needed to diversify my life to be ready for when my athletic career came to an end.
Through support from my wife and kids, I realized that this is a great opportunity. Education is an opportunity for growth. You gain knowledge and confidence from it.
You’re a bold leader on the ice. How are you looking to take that into the MBA?
I’ve always been a leader in my life. I want to take a step back and observe the way others interact in different environments. As time goes on, I’m going to be able to have that knowledge come into play and incorporate it into my leadership style. It takes a different type of leadership than an athletic type of leadership.
What steps did you go through to find the right education option for you?
I knew that I wanted an MBA, and it was the right choice. It was a straight-forward decision. I’m a business owner, and I plan to stay in the business field. The hard decision was choosing the right program.
The pandemic granted me extra time. My curling schedule was lighter. The lockdown had my mind racing, and it made me think about improving myself and what my focus was going to be moving forward.
Regardless of my future, the MBA is going to benefit me. It became an easy decision once I got through the initial hesitancy and self-doubt. I never considered myself an academic and was wary about others who were more current with education. I had to not be afraid to jump in and to put myself in a better situation to improve. The best learning comes from trying something new.
I want to make sure that I have something to do after I can no longer curl at an elite level. This window was perfect given the pandemic, and I decided to take advantage of it. Sometimes you just need to do it! I encourage people now to take a new course. You won’t regret it.