The Next Step for Pro­fes­sion­als

It’s gen­er­ally ac­cepted that a master of busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion ( MBA), or other de­grees associated with ex­ec­u­tive education, pro­vide the tools re­quired in today’s fiercely com­pet­i­tive global busi­ness cli­mate. It’s all about trans­form­ing those with talen

BC Business Magazine - - Mba/executive Education -

While in­sti­tu­tions from the Uni­ver­sity of Vic­to­ria to Athabasca Uni­ver­sity of­fer a di­verse range of pro­grams un­der the head­ing of adult education, they share a vi­tal com­mon­al­ity: the recog­ni­tion that peo­ple seek­ing MBAS and other pro­grams al­ready have de­mand­ing ca­reers and can ill-af­ford to ad­here to the sched­ules of tra­di­tional higher learn­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The Uni­ver­sity of Vic­to­ria’s Week­end MBA is unique: its in-class week­end sched­ule com­bined with flex­i­ble on­line learn­ing pro­vides a bal­anced ap­proach for pro­fes­sion­als.

David Dunne, pro­fes­sor and di­rec­tor, full- and part-time MBA pro­grams for Uvic’s Sar­dul S. Gill Grad­u­ate School and Peter B. Gus­tavson School of Busi­ness, says: “The Week­end MBA, which is of­fered through the Sar­dul S. Gill Grad­u­ate School, is a unique →

model in which stu­dents ob­tain their de­gree one week­end per month over two years, work­ing flex­i­bly with their team and pro­fes­sors be­tween week­ends. Be­cause stu­dents are ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als and work on projects be­tween classes, the pro­gram is both de­mand­ing and re­ward­ing, as much so as any full-time MBA.”

While uni­ver­si­ties that op­er­ate strictly on­line are a pop­u­lar so­lu­tion for many pro­fes­sion­als, a school such as Gus­tavson at Uvic “gives you un­par­al­leled ac­cess to fac­ulty and a men­tor­ship pro­gram that helps you build skills and im­por­tant ca­reer con­nec­tions,” says Dunne. Plus, “in a small school such as Gus­tavson, pro­fes­sors are ac­ces­si­ble and sup­port­ive.”

The Uvic Week­end MBA opens with a one-week in­tro­duc­tory mod­ule in which stu­dents work closely with co­horts, re­flect on their own lead­er­ship style, and be­gin to wres­tle with the com­plex­ity of busi­ness de­ci­sions in B.C. and the world. “Busi­nesses do not op­er­ate in iso­la­tion,” says Dunne. “They need to take ac­count of lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and wider so­ci­ety, in­ter­est groups, gov­ern­ment, com­peti­tors and po­ten­tial al­lies.”

Ev­ery term in the Week­end MBA pro­gram in­cludes an ap­plied pro­ject that is team-based and grounded in real-world prob­lem solv­ing, with stu­dents work­ing with a client or­ga­ni­za­tion that has brought a cur­rent busi­ness prob­lem or is­sue into the class­room. In the se­cond year of the pro­gram, stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in a one-week In­ter­na­tional Ap­plied Pro­ject that takes place over­seas.

Uvic con­stantly strives to adopt on­line learn­ing in ways that al­low for per­sonal in­ter­ac­tion, in or­der not only to pro­vide the fullest pos­si­ble ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence but also avoid what Dunne views as the big­gest pit­fall of pure on­line cour­ses: a dropout rate of close to 90 per cent and no in-per­son in­ter­ac­tion with the pro­fes­sor or fel­low stu­dents.

“For ex­am­ple, we are in­creas­ingly us­ing flipped class­rooms in our cour­ses to max­i­mize the value of in-class time for deeper dis­cus­sion and re­flec­tive learn­ing.” In the flipped-class­room model, pro­fes­sors put all lec­ture ma­te­rial on­line in video or au­dio form and use class time for dis­cus­sion, hands-on work and re­flec­tion.

Of Uvic’s MBA pro­gram over­all, Dunne says it is “very much about re­spon­si­ble man­age­ment: the idea that busi­nesses need to take into ac­count the in­ter­ests of com­mu­ni­ties, First Na­tions, the en­vi­ron­ment and other fac­tors, as well as those of share­hold­ers.”

Si­mon Fraser Uni­ver­sity’s Beedie School of Busi­ness laid claim in 1968 to of­fer the very first ex­ec­u­tive MBA in Canada. Ap­proach­ing its 50th year in MBA education, the school has gen­er­ated more than 1,600 out­stand­ing alumni and earned a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing one of the coun­try’s best pro­grams.

Part of the MBA’S suc­cess is that its ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence is un­usu­ally thor­ough. Be­fore the start of the first se­mes­ter, in­com­ing stu­dents com­plete re­fresher cour­ses in Ex­cel and fi­nan­cial ac­count­ing. To ob­tain their de­gree, they must spend four months do­ing post-grad­u­a­tion work in a per­ma­nent po­si­tion, paid in­tern­ship, or cre­at­ing a new ven­ture, and then write a re­port on their progress.

The school’s co­hort model en­sures MBA can­di­dates study along­side the same class­mates through­out the pro­gram, to en­cour­age net­work­ing and team­work.

Beedie is a strong ad­vo­cate of mix­ing brick-and-mor­tar learn­ing with on­line education and other com­po­nents. “Our call­ing is to de­velop in­no­va­tive stu­dents who are so­cially re­spon­si­ble and glob­ally aware, and to that end we ap­pre­ci­ate that three-hour lec­tures in class­rooms just don’t cut it any­more,” says An­drew Gemino, as­so­ciate dean, grad­u­ate pro­grams. “That’s why our MBA has so many com­po­nents—with a par­tic­u­lar →

fo­cus on get­ting groups of stu­dents out of the class and into the work­ing world to gain knowl­edge.”

Un­sur­pris­ingly, Beedie’s Grad­u­ate Diploma in Busi­ness Education, first un­veiled 18 years ago, is on­line: the diploma is ideal for those want­ing a grad­u­ate qual­i­fi­ca­tion, look­ing for a path­way into the right MBA, or just need­ing a solid ground­ing in busi­ness fun­da­men­tals.

Beedie’s Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Com­mer­cial­iza­tion is an­other ex­am­ple of the in­sti­tu­tion’s keen aware­ness of grow­ing trends in the busi­ness/in­dus­trial sec­tors. This is a 12-month, part-time pro­gram to pro­vide re­search sci­en­tists and engi­neers with the the­ory, frame­works and skills to com­mer­cial­ize their in­ven­tions and con­trib­ute to new-prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion in in­dus­try.

Eli­cia Maine, pro­fes­sor in in­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship and aca­demic di­rec­tor, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy com­mer­cial­iza­tion, points out: “Eighty per cent of PHD stu­dents in sci­ence and engi­neer­ing in Canada won’t go into a ca­reer in academia. How­ever, small and medium-sized en­ter­prises would em­ploy our sci­en­tists but re­quire them to know some­thing about new prod­uct de­vel­op­ment. That’s what we aim to do with this pro­gram.”

De­spite Beedie’s lofty sta­tus in the busi­ness education world, its fac­ulty con­tin­ues to ad­just ex­ist­ing pro­grams and cre­ate new ones, well aware that stu­dents must con­tin­u­ously be en­gaged; oth­er­wise, “they can eas­ily go to their smart phones and learn from the In­ter­net, which may be use­ful but is hardly a com­plete ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Gemino. “The education we pro­vide will al­ways be in­spired by re­search, and grounded in prac­tice.”

Im­mers­ing adult learn­ers in re­al­life in­ter­ac­tion with pro­fes­sors and stu­dents is very much the rai­son d’etre of Ci­tyu­ni­ver­sity of Seat­tle, and that man­date ap­plies to the Ci­tyu­ni­ver­sity of Seat­tle in Canada cam­puses in Ed­mon­ton, Calgary, Vic­to­ria and down­town Van­cou­ver (the lat­ter be­ing just min­utes from the Water­front Sky­train sta­tion).

At Ci­tyu in Canada, all in­struc­tors are prac­ti­tion­ers with teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and schol­arly achieve­ments, con­vey­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of pro­fes­sional prac­tice sup­ported by the lat­est think­ing and re­search. “We bring to the table ex­ten­sive real-life ex­pe­ri­ence, and we com­bine this with a cur­ricu­lum that em­pha­sizes so­cial jus­tice, sus­tain­abil­ity and ethics: el­e­ments that are so im­por­tant in today’s work­ing world,” says Ar­den Hen­ley, vice-pres­i­dent of Canadian pro­grams.

He adds: “Also, com­mu­nity build­ing is a huge part of our ed­u­ca­tional of­fer­ings, given the global busi­ness cli­mate in which ev­ery­one in­creas­ingly works.”

Ear­lier this year, Ci­tyu in Canada launched a two-year pro­gram lead­ing to a Bach­e­lor of Arts in Man­age­ment ( BAM) de­gree, with a spe­cial fo­cus on so­cially and en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble man­age­ment. “This two-year pro­gram is very much in keep­ing with our op­er­at­ing phi­los­o­phy, and it al­lows stu­dents with a two-year diploma or two years of un­der­grad­u­ate cour­ses to fin­ish their de­grees,” says BAM pro­gram di­rec­tor Tom Cul­ham.

As is the case with Uvic, Ci­tyu Canada un­der­stands that many stu­dents have full-time jobs and fam­ily com­mit­ments— which is why the in­sti­tu­tion of­fers classes on week­day evenings. “In that sense, we of­fer the flex­i­bil­ity of on­line but the ad­van­tage of face-to-face learn­ing, in small classes that are peo­ple-friendly—mean­ing, qual­ity time with pro­fes­sors,” says Cul­ham, adding that his in­sti­tu­tion “re­flects our par­tic­i­pa­tion in the larger com­mu­nity of prac­tice by bring­ing in guest lec­tur­ers and lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional prom­i­nent prac­ti­tion­ers.”

Con­sis­tent with the mis­sion and val­ues of City Uni­ver­sity of Seat­tle as a whole, Ci­tyu Canada’s con­vic­tion is that uni­ver­si­ties, and es­pe­cially city uni­ver­si­ties, have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­trib­ute to­ward build­ing com­mu­ni­ties of prac­tice, serv­ing the broader com­mu­nity in which they are lo­cated, and be re­spon­sive to the press­ing is­sues of the times. “Ci­tyu Canada’s stated mis­sion is to trans­form so­ci­ety through rel­e­vant and ac­ces­si­ble post-sec­ondary education,” says Cul­ham.

Al­though BAM is new in the world of busi­ness and man­age­ment learn­ing, it is al­ready earn­ing strong feedback from grad­u­ates, such as Stephanie Yu, who says that in ad­di­tion to learn­ing man­age­ment, re­search, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and con­flic­tres­o­lu­tion skills, she also learned about what “virtue ethics means today in our mod­ern world—not just in busi­ness, but in our lives as hu­man be­ings.”

In­sta­gram­mer Yu goes on to note: “I find it ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to lis­ten to oth­ers and not think about my re­ply or an­a­lyze what they’re say­ing through my lens; so prac­tis­ing lis­ten­ing to oth­ers with­out speak­ing, in­ter­rupt­ing or hav­ing to re­ply [a com­po­nent of BAM learn­ing] was dif­fi­cult but so re­ward­ing: that skill alone has def­i­nitely helped with my busi­ness meet­ings.”

Just as learn­ing flex­i­bil­ity is cru­cial to at­tract­ing pro­fes­sion­als, so too is the →

im­por­tance of an in­sti­tute’s hav­ing the abil­ity to adapt the cur­ricu­lum in or­der to ad­dress lo­cal and re­gional busi­ness dy­nam­ics.

That is one of the great strengths of the Di­rec­tors Education Pro­gram ( DEP), which was de­vel­oped by the In­sti­tute of Cor­po­rate Di­rec­tors and the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment.

Through joint part­ner­ships with a va­ri­ety of top Canadian busi­ness schools, DEP is of­fered at schools in 11 cities across the coun­try. The pro­gram was de­vel­oped specif­i­cally for ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als who want to be­come board di­rec­tors and was in­spired by di­rec­tors’ con­tin­u­ally be­ing chal­lenged by in­for­ma­tion gaps, time con­straints and the be­havioural dy­nam­ics that can be en­coun­tered in the board­room.

In short, DEP helps de­velop ef­fec­tive and re­spon­si­ble di­rec­tors, with good board gov­er­nance de­fined as more than sim­ply ad­her­ing to com­pli­ance but us­ing sound judg­ment and lead­er­ship to cre­ate value for a cor­po­ra­tion.

This highly spe­cial­ized ed­u­ca­tional of­fer­ing is long over­due, given the fre­quent lack of un­der­stand­ing be­tween the role of man­age­ment (which is re­spon­si­ble for the es­tab­lish­ment of an or­ga­ni­za­tion’s op­er­a­tional strat­egy) and board mem­bers (who re­view the strat­egy and re­ject or ac­cept it).

The 12-day course is taught by lead­ing gov­er­nance ex­perts de­liv­ered in four three-day mod­ules, us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of case stud­ies, board­room sim­u­la­tions and class­room learn­ing. It is fo­cused pri­mar­ily on for-profit gov­er­nance, with an em­pha­sis on the gov­er­nance of pub­licly traded cor­po­ra­tions.

As the only pro­gram of its kind that bears the seal of the di­rec­tor com­mu­nity it­self, DEP of­fers ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing through breakouts and board sim­u­la­tions tai­lored to meet the needs of di­rec­tors, from pub­lic and pri­vate com­pa­nies, Crown cor­po­ra­tions, pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions, co-op­er­a­tives and large not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions.

DEP alumni are part of a na­tional net­work of 4,300 di­rec­tors and more than 12,000 ICD mem­bers across Canada, with mem­bers from or­ga­ni­za­tions that in­clude the Bank of Canada, the Uni­ver­sity of Al­berta, HSBC Bank Canada and the Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Bank of Canada.

Athabasca Uni­ver­sity is widely ac­knowl­edged for play­ing a sub­stan­tial role in mak­ing on­line education main­stream: it be­gan in 1994 by of­fer­ing the world’s first in­ter­ac­tive on­line MBA, which today re­mains Canada’s largest MBA pro­gram for ex­ec­u­tives and is among the top in the world.

Chris Mcleod, di­rec­tor, mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Fac­ulty of Busi­ness, for AU, says his in­sti­tu­tion’s MBA is more salient than ever in today’s eco­nomic cli­mate. “The idea that you can get all the education you need in one go is out­dated, given that the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment is chang­ing so rad­i­cally and quickly with ro­bot­ics, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­le­gence, glob­al­iza­tion and other el­e­ments con­verg­ing to fun­da­men­tally change the play­ing field.

“Whether you’re an en­tre­pre­neur, work in gov­ern­ment, or part of a large cor­po­ra­tion, an MBA al­lows you to add value to your or­ga­ni­za­tion. On­go­ing education may not be a guar­an­tee, but the more ed­u­cated and con­nected you are, the bet­ter your odds are for suc­cess.”

Mcleod re­jects the no­tion that on­line learn­ing is in­fe­rior to brick-and-mor­tar in­sti­tu­tions. “If done well, on­line learn­ing not only gives you a way to in­te­grate learn­ing with your daily obli­ga­tions, you get ideas and teach­ings from all over the world, not just from a class­room com­prised of re­gional peo­ple.”

A tes­ta­ment to AU’S suc­cess is its stu­dent body: be­tween 800 and 900 peo­ple are en­rolled in its MBA pro­gram, and the uni­ver­sity has 13,000 un­der­grad­u­ates over­all. Mcleod adds: “We spe­cial­ize in adult learn­ing, even our un­der­grad stu­dents are, on av­er­age, be­tween the ages of 28 and 32.”

Most peo­ple com­plete the AU MBA pro­gram in two-and-a-half to three years, but par­tic­i­pants can take up to five years if re­quired. →

“An­other rea­son for our pop­u­lar­ity is we don’t bring stu­dents to­gether to de­bate a case study model,” says Mcleod. “Rather, we ask each stu­dent to as­sess the in­dus­try he or she works in. Plus, all ma­jor as­sign­ments are con­nected to what they’re do­ing in the work­place.

“We also reg­u­larly change the stu­dent and pro­fes­sor group­ings, in or­der to chal­lenge and broaden the per­cep­tions.”

A fo­cus on link­ing the­ory to real life of­ten re­sults in the stu­dents be­ing pro­moted or re­ceiv­ing salary in­creases while they are study­ing at AU. “On av­er­age, our stu­dents are pro­moted twice while tak­ing our pro­gram and have among the high­est exit salaries upon grad­u­a­tion of any MBA in the world—at $146,426,” says Mcleod. “By do­ing the things they are learn­ing about back in their work­place, stu­dents get a tremen­dous re­turn on their in­vest­ment.”

Stu­dents can also par­tic­i­pate in AU’S elec­tive in-res­i­dence cour­ses of­fered across Canada and around the world. AU stu­dents tak­ing Do­ing Busi­ness in a Re­cov­er­ing Econ­omy are trav­el­ling to Athens, Greece, in mid-oc­to­ber as part of the pro­gram.

Thomp­son Rivers Uni­ver­sity in Kam­loops has al­ways been for­ward think­ing in its de­vel­op­ment and de­liv­ery of adult education: Mike Henry, the dean of the School of Busi­ness, points out that 15 years ago, long be­fore it be­came the norm, the uni­ver­sity had a thriv­ing in­ter­na­tional stu­dent body. “It was by de­sign—be­cause we wanted to in­ter­na­tion­al­ize our pro­gram con­tent and learn from the dif­fer­ent cul­tures and busi­ness prac­tices of other coun­tries.”

Today, 50 per cent of Thomp­son’s busi­ness stu­dents are from coun­tries other than Canada; and with its fin­ger ever-present on the pulse of emerg­ing trends, the in­sti­tu­tion this year is of­fer­ing two new master’s lev­els pro­grams: the Master in En­vi­ron­men­tal Eco­nomics and Man­age­ment ( MEEM), and the Master of Sci­ence in En­vi­ron­men­tal Eco­nomics and Man­age­ment ( MSCEEM), which are de­signed to give grad­u­ates ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties in the sus­tain­abil­ity field.

Henry says: “In­creas­ingly, en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and sus­tain­abil­ity are be­com­ing in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to busi­ness, re­gard­less of what the busi­ness is; and it’s ap­pro­pri­ate that Thomp­son is lead­ing the way in of­fer­ing these two pro­grams, given that we’re based in a re­source-rich part of B.C. where land and stew­ard­ship is vi­tally im­por­tant to its res­i­dents.”

MEEM is a two-year, course-based pro­gram, pro­vid­ing grad­u­ates with a broad knowl­edge of the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, ad­vanced man­age­ment skills and spe­cial­ized knowl­edge in en­vi­ron­men­tal eco­nomics and sus­tain­abil­ity. MSCEEM pro­vides grad­u­ates with an un­der­stand­ing of the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, spe­cial­ized knowl­edge in the emerg­ing area of sus­tain­abil­ity, as well as aca­demic and ap­plied re­search ex­per­tise through the com­ple­tion of a grad­u­ate the­sis or pro­ject.

Those who have al­ready grad­u­ated with a Bach­e­lor of Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion or Bach­e­lor of Com­merce can en­ter di­rectly into the se­cond year of the pro­grams, thus com­plet­ing a grad­u­ate de­gree in 12 months.

Pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor Dr. Laura Lamb, who was in­stru­men­tal in de­vel­op­ing MEEM and MSCEEM, says “the pro­grams are unique in com­bin­ing eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity learn­ing with busi­ness stud­ies. No­body else has done this, and we think it gives our busi­ness stu­dents a def­i­nite edge in forg­ing ca­reers in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors.”

But the new mas­ters pro­grams are only one facet of a uni­ver­sity that is also mind­ful of the rapidly chang­ing face of education. Cur­rently, stu­dents can com­plete the MBA on­line, and over­all TRU stu­dents have the flex­i­bil­ity to take cour­ses on cam­pus, on­line, or com­bine the two. “Plus, our Kam­loops lo­ca­tion has proven to be a huge draw over the decades, partly be­cause of the af­ford­able cost of liv­ing and the fact we’re in the midst of the great out­doors,” says Lamb.

Last but hardly least, Van­cou­ver Is­land Uni­ver­sity’s 14- to 16-month full-time MBA is ac­cred­ited by the Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Coun­cil for Busi­ness Schools and Pro­grams ( ACBSP) and of­fers a dual de­gree: stu­dents can ob­tain an MBA from VIU along­side an MSCIM from the Uni­ver­sity of Hert­ford­shire, which now also in­cludes a se­mes­ter ex­change op­por­tu­nity.

The pro­gram in­cludes a 16-week in­tern­ship as well as an Ap­plied Busi­ness Pro­ject ( ABP), which al­lows stu­dents to fo­cus on a com­plex busi­ness prob­lem or man­age­ment is­sues within their in­tern­ship. “This is the cul­mi­na­tion of an in­ten­sive learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that com­bines the­ory and prac­tice as it ap­plies to real-world sce­nar­ios through­out the pro­gram,” says Joanna Hes­keth, ad­min­is­tra­tive co­or­di­na­tor of VIU’S Grad­u­ate Busi­ness Stud­ies of­fice, Fac­ulty of Man­age­ment.

The VIU MBA was de­vel­oped to cater to a wide a range of stu­dent needs and ed­u­ca­tional lev­els. For ex­am­ple, →

stu­dents can choose a spe­cial­iza­tion in mar­ket­ing or fi­nance if they would like to com­plete ad­di­tional elec­tives and an op­tion-fo­cused in­tern­ship in their area of spe­cial­iza­tion.

“Stu­dents with­out an un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree in busi­ness can en­ter the pro­gram by com­plet­ing a three-month Foun­da­tion pro­gram be­fore the start of the MBA pro­gram,” ac­cord­ing to Hes­keth. “This in­ten­sive pro­gram pro­vides stu­dents with a strong foun­da­tion in the field of busi­ness and sets them up for suc­cess in the MBA pro­gram.”

While Hes­keth says on­line pro­grams will con­tinue to grow in Canada, she strongly ad­vo­cates the class­room-based en­vi­ron­ments pro­vided by tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tions such as VIU: “They pro­vide a dif­fer­ent kind of col­lab­o­ra­tive learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment that con­sis­tently op­er­ates in real time, and this en­vi­ron­ment fa­cil­i­tates peer-based education where fel­low stu­dents be­come col­leagues.”

She goes on to note that “suc­cess in the Canadian busi­ness world is linked to net­work­ing-based en­gage­ment. A class­room based, face-to-face en­vi­ron­ment pro­vides more di­verse as well as more fo­cused op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­gage in net­work­ing. For an in­di­vid­ual seek­ing a ca­reer change or fur­ther ca­reer de­vel­op­ment, this can be in­te­gral to their suc­cess.” VIU stu­dents learn in a dy­namic global set­ting with stu­dents from all over the world, while liv­ing in a com­mu­nity-based, small-city en­vi­ron­ment.

Like the best brick-and-mor­tar en­vi­ron­ments, VIU is con­stantly tweak­ing con­tent and pro­cesses. This year, it un­veiled a pro­gram whereby stu­dents can en­ter Grad­u­ate Busi­ness Stud­ies through a Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Busi­ness. “This new pro­gram al­lows in­di­vid­u­als with Red Seal Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to en­ter di­rectly into grad­u­ate-level busi­ness stud­ies with an op­tion to con­tinue into the MBA pro­gram if they achieve a GPA of a B or higher,” Hes­keth ex­plains. “This is an im­por­tant recog­ni­tion of the rigour that is re­quired to achieve Red Seal Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion here in Canada, and it pro­vides a unique op­por­tu­nity for those in­di­vid­u­als who want to grow their op­por­tu­ni­ties in man­age­ment or pur­sue en­tre­pre­neur­ial op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

As for MBAS over­all, Hes­keth re­it­er­ates the sug­ges­tion of her col­leagues in other in­sti­tu­tions: as we ap­proach the third decade of the new mil­len­nium, they are more valu­able than ever.

She says: “A fast-paced MBA pre­pares a stu­dent for the 24/7 en­vi­ron­ment that many in­dus­tries are op­er­at­ing in. It chal­lenges their think­ing to go be­yond the tra­di­tional struc­tures of busi­ness, pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for in-depth crit­i­cal anal­y­sis and cre­ative think­ing; a way to see and do things dif­fer­ently, and to be com­pet­i­tive in today’s busi­ness cli­mate.”

Flex­i­bile learn­ing op­tions ap­peal to many stu­dents pur­su­ing their MBA or other ex­ec­u­tive education op­tions. Stu­dents are able to fo­cus on pro­grams while main­tain­ing their busy work sched­ules

Thomp­son Rivers Uni­ver­sity has al­ways been for­ward think­ing — and now has 50 per cent of its busi­ness stu­dents com­ing from other coun­tries

The Uni­ver­sity of Vic­to­ria's MBA pro­gram takes its cue from re­spon­si­ble man­age­ment and has earned its rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing among Canada's best

There are nu­mer­ous op­tions for stu­dents want­ing to ad­vance their education, such as at Thomp­son Rivers Uni­ver­sity, pic­tured here

Ci­tyu Canada of­fers a Bach­e­lor of Arts in Man­age­ment (BAM) de­gree with a spe­cial fo­cus on so­cially and en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble man­age­ment

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