Learning by doing. There’s nothing new in that. But sometimes old adages stand the test of time, and when it comes to a first-class business education, there’s nothing quite like it.

The UBC MBA program balances award-winning teaching and cutting edge research with a sustained focus on real-world learning experiences. For Emma Livingston, a 2014 MBA candidate, a summer internship at Labatt Breweries of Canada helped her with a career switch she’d been planning for some time.

Summer internship

Having worked in construction project management and retail banking prior to her MBA, Emma’s goal was to move into brand management. Labatt hired her to look at the efficiency of the sports venues that the company sponsors - the BC Lions, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Vancouver Canucks. She was asked to conduct a statistical study of how those investments have affected their business, whether they have benefited the company and whether there is a more efficient way for them to be leveraged.

“Emma’s research gave us a much deeper understanding of our business at sports venues and resulted in changes to the way we execute our brands. Emma also ran a point-of-sale pilot project, which was so successful that we are rolling it out across 400 stores throughout the province. Each of these contributions could potentially result in a significant sales and profit uplift for our business,” says Emma’s supervisor Candy Lee, Customer Marketing Manager (West Canada Region). “Hiring a Sauder MBA intern has been an excellent experience for Labatt and we look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with the school.”

Mastering marketing

“The UBC MBA program, particularly the first year, gave me a sound understanding of marketing fundamentals,” says Emma. “My new market research skills allow me to make much better decisions that benefit an entire company.”

“I learned a lot from the statistics and consumer research professors at Sauder and their support and advice has helped me this summer,” says Emma. “But the biggest thing about the program for me has been how it helped me to really understand the mindset of a successful marketer.”

“You couldn’t ask for better professors,” she says. “The level of help and attention they give you and the research that they do really make the UBC MBA stand out from its competitors.”

An internship is just one of a range of opportunities for MBAs to put their skills into practice as consultants for companies in a wide range of industries. These include short-term projects arranged through Sauder’s Business Clinic, international experience through the Global Immersion program, or the MBA Internship Program, which pairs students with companies for an 8-16 week summer placement in between their first and second year of studies.

Alumni connections

Emma was also part of Sauder’s Brand Management Mentorship Program (BMMP), which is led and delivered by alumni marketing professionals and facilitated by Professor Tim Silk. The program’s strength stems from its team of alumni mentors who have successfully landed some of the most coveted brand management positions in top tier companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Kraft, Mondelez and Procter & Gamble. It was through the BMMP that Emma landed her internship at Labatt, a role that was extended to allow her to complete her project on the company’s sports venues.

“If you know what you want in your career and you put the work in, Sauder will help you get there.”

This is precisely what happened for Emma. Having been successful in the BMMP and with her internship projects at Labatt, she interviewed for permanent positions with several top consumer packaged goods companies and has accepted a coveted role with Labatt. 

Employers looking for talented individuals like Emma can find out about recruiting Sauder students for summer 2014 internships here.