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Former hockey writer Kyle Palantzas went back to school after discovering the business side of the game interested him just as much as what was on the ice.

Kyle Palantzas is a business professional pursuing an MBA at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He's a Carleton University journalism graduate, a former sports writer and competitive athlete (hockey and rugby), and a recipient of a community leadership award in his hometown of Pickering, Ont. He is an avid sports fan and fitness enthusiast, fascinated by media, advertising, consumer behaviour, branding, sales and first impressions. This is the first entry in his blog about his MBA experience.

The wrath of midterms has come and gone and a bittersweet feeling has come over me.

On one hand, I'm able to catch up on sleep, get back to the gym and resurface from all the commotion. On the other hand, this is one of the last times I'll ever enter the uncompromising mindset and lifestyle that stems from exam season.

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My name is Kyle Palantzas and I'm an MBA candidate, knee deep in my final year at Dalhousie's Rowe School of Business. This May I'm planning to walk across the graduation stage with more opportunities, a deeper network and the knowledge and experience that will catapult my career to the next level.

But before I get too far ahead of myself, let's hit the rewind button and give you some context.

Hailing from the suburbs of Toronto, I moved away from the nest to get a journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa. Upon graduation I lived my childhood dream and became a sports reporter, travelling from rink to rink covering some of our country's most highly-touted hockey prospects.

I was there for the buzzer beaters, the capacity crowds, the playoff upsets and the overtime winners. I snapped front-page pictures, survived the overnight shift, interviewed local heroes and inked a few bylines that got national coverage.

I was living the dream, right?

At that moment in time, absolutely. However, as my journalism career started to blossom, my dream surprisingly reshaped itself. I continually found my curiosity and interests focused on the business side of the game. How were these teams making money? What kind of role does management play? How did teams monetize their ideas? What were their plans for sustainable growth and risk mitigation?

I quickly noticed there was so much more to the game than three periods. I needed to find the answer to these questions and develop a lasting approach to analyze these types of situations.

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Essentially, I needed business acumen.

I replaced my tape recorder with a calculator and dove back into the books, studying for the GMAT and polishing applications to business schools across the country.

After several interviews, recruiting events and campus visits, my decision was a no-brainer. I wanted to find a program that would give me an innovative approach to these answers, provide me with real-world experience and develop my management skills in an intimate class setting.

I bought a one-way ticket to Halifax and joined Dalhousie's Corporate Residency MBA community. I can honestly say, it's the best decision I've made in my life so far.

Kyle can be reached at kyle.palantzas@dal.ca

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