The Hub Convocation 2020: Poonam Madan, MBA
#AthaU20 Grads

Convocation 2020: Poonam Madan, MBA

By: Poonam Madan

Career and Biography

My career has always been driven by my core values, which is to make the world I live in a better place, while offering the organizations I work for a competitive advantage in the market. I specialize in sustainability and ESG disclosures and sustainability strategies that support initiatives ranging from climate change, sustainable supply chains, ESG investor engagement and equity, diversity and inclusion as a few examples.  My MBA has given me the educational foundation to transform sustainability/ESG into value creation opportunities for the organizations I work for both in terms of financial (attracting capital through strategic ESG disclosures) and non-financial (supporting operational improvement initiatives through energy efficiencies as an example) for the companies I work for.  

I am currently the Director of Sustainability, Strategy & Reporting for Capital Power, which is a power generator headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. After accomplishing my MBA I see no limit to what I can achieve and aspire in the future to be a corporate board director adding my strategic expertise and diverse perspective supporting corporate purpose and helping to navigate increasingly complex global issues.   

I live in Edmonton with my husband Michael (who is also a AU MScIS Grad!!) and my two boys Mathan, who is 15, and Mehul, who is 13. My family offered me so much support and motivation throughout my  MBA journey, together they learned how to cook, or gave me hugs, words of encouragement, and helped with the chores around the house giving me the time I need to complete my assignments. They are so proud of my achievements and I only hope I inspire them to accomplish whatever they put their hearts and minds to!

To celebrate #AthaU20 Convocation, we are profiling some of AU’s grads. The team at AU is so proud of everything they have accomplished and we are excited to celebrate each one of our graduates leading up to convocation and beyond!

Read on to learn more about Poonam Madan’s story and her AU journey through the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

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Why did you choose AU?

I wanted to further my career and open doors in the field of sustainability. I looked at many options and wanted to continue working and apply my learning to my field, balance my family obligations, and ensure that I picked a program that was comprehensive and would allow me to grow and develop in a meaningful way. I reached out to other Athabasca University MBA alumni who shared their experience and felt the program was balanced and would accommodate both my learning, career, and family goals.

Poonam Madan

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Tell us about the people who have supported you throughout your journey at AU?

My family, friends, and mentors were incredibly supportive throughout my AU journey. Firstly, my husband is a fellow AU alumnus and has always supported my aspirations. He really took a prominent role in ensuring I would be successful in completing the program. He took care of our boys activities and school obligations, he learned how to cook, and did way more of the housework, all while working himself. My boys constantly encouraged me and supported me whether that was doing their homework while I was doing mine, asking questions, and/or giving me the space when I had big assignments due. My extended family, friends, and mentors supported my journey whether it was helping to make connections between my schoolwork and work environment, proposing ideas to leverage assignments and add value to the company, or just cheering me on!

Poonam Madan

poonam, michael, and sons
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What is your favorite memory from your time at AU?

There are some amazing memories from my time at AU. As part of the program, I went to Toronto as part of  a supply chain management course. We had some amazing speakers, like Bob Willard, and got to tour to the Toyota manufacturing facility. It was incredible and I have been able to use my learning professionally. My last course was near and dear to me, as it really tied everything together with both my MBA and my leadership journey. I realized who I wanted to be and the impact I wanted to make in this world. It was a very powerful awakening. It also connected me to the amazing network of people I met and got to know over three years over a week in Calgary and was a great way to finish the program.

Poonam Madan

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How will completing your degree at AU transform your life?

Completing this MBA has totally changed my life in so many ways. Some of the more significant achievements occurred in the last half of the three year program. For example, the Mining Association of Canada recognized me as one of the top sustainability professionals across Canada and as a future leader in the sustainability and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) space recognizing both my MBA accomplishments and my professional work. Near the end of the program, the value of my MBA shone through my work and I was able to obtain a leadership role focused on sustainability at Capital Power based in Edmonton, meeting my personal goals and objectives.

Poonam Madan

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My personal journey landed me here, at AU, but it certainly doesn’t stop now. My future is …

I want to make a meaningful contribution to society by having a seat at the table where decisions are made. The door is wide open for me to pursue an executive and/or board position, where I can use my business, ESG, and sustainability skills to make meaningful contributions while addressing complex global challenges like climate change, equity, diversity, and inclusion. I also want to be a mentor to others and have started mentoring young professionals since the completion of the program.

Poonam Madan

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Is there anything else you would like to share?

Completing the MBA has helped me to unleash the value I can provide as a sustainability leader in Canada. My heart has been filled with joy especially when my two boys (who are currently 13 and 15 years old) talk about my MBA and career accomplishments with pride. The MBA has also allowed me to become a more effective role model and coach to other young professionals who are early in their careers and helped me to create intangible and tangible value for Canadian companies. The AU MBA has opened me up in a whole new way. I am confident in competencies and abilities and feel like this program has allowed for doors to open with no limits to what I am able to achieve. I leave this program with friends, mentors, and AU staff who I learned so much from, who believed in me, and supported my journey.

Poonam Madan

Published:
  • October 1, 2020
Guest Blog from:
Poonam Madan