Urban Blueprint was recently featured in the Globe and Mail, where Natasha discusses leaving her career in marketing and public relations to pursue her MBA. She talks about founding Urban Blueprint with her brother Luca, and hammering out a new path as the co-owner of a construction and real estate business.
Some key lessons from her MBA include:
Go outside of your comfort zone
“I focused on courses I knew I wouldn’t get straight As in but that would increase my business savvy, subjects like venture capital, private equity and behavioural finance; it was a real learning curve,” Ms. Penzo-McIntosh says. Working in a corporate environment at Hudson’s Bay Company made me realize I needed to get an MBA if I were to one day to start a business. I was missing some valuable skills.”
Expand your network
I took “a multitude of entrepreneurial courses” that exposed me to a diverse group of people from different industries and business backgrounds. I felt like a bit of an anomaly coming from a background in fashion and cosmetics, but this actually provided my classmates with a different perspective when working on case studies and projects.
“It was an almost all-male classroom,” she says, “and many of the students were from overseas, so we didn’t always have a lot in common. On the other hand, being surrounded by guys ended up being helpful for what I do today. Construction is male-dominated and so are the trades I typically deal with, so it prepared me well.”
Build up your confidence level
“I now feel comfortable sitting in on meetings with mortgage brokers and potential investors, with lawyers and buyers. I have an understanding of what they are speaking about. I guess it is possible to teach yourself those things if you are really motivated. But I do think that having an MBA makes you feel more confident. It certainly has made me feel smarter.”