Flying high in innovation and entrepreneurship

To develop her passion for innovation and entrepreneurship, Janelle Goulard wanted to study at a business school that matched her impressive international experience. It’s no surprise she chose Sauder.


Janelle has a BCom specializing in international business and development studies from McGill University. Her first job after she graduated was at GE Healthcare in the UK as a consultant, where she lived for three years and got her Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, an international process improvement qualification that was pioneered in Japan.

“The minute I graduated I knew I wanted to work abroad and get some international experience,” she says. “I got a one-year contract at GE and that turned into three years. It was really interesting work, from an organizational, strategic level all the way down to how a nurse might adapt his or her day-to-day work to be more efficient.”

Breadth of experience

Next up, Janelle moved to Seattle to work on a startup project within GE involving data analytics in healthcare. She also worked on a joint venture with GE Healthcare and Microsoft analyzing their customers across the US and China to understand how they were using technology and to identify the next application or strategic opportunity.

“After two years of doing that type of work I saw the UBC MBA as a great opportunity to delve into that entrepreneurial world a little further,” says Janelle. “I liked the fact that the program has an Entrepreneurship & Innovation Track and a culture of experiential, hands-on learning. A lot of the programming is not in a classroom and that was very attractive to me.”

Janelle picks out Entrepreneurial Finance with Paul Cubbon and Thomas Hellmann as one of her favourite courses on the program.
“The breadth of experience they bring from their own backgrounds is incredible,” Janelle adds. “And the networks they have access to means that you come into contact with innovative people every week. It makes for an exciting overall learning environment.”

Leadership role

Given her past international experience, Janelle took the Global Immersion component of the UBC MBA in her stride, travelling to India to work with Aravind Eye Hospital, a not-for-profit organization that is revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare and has performed nearly four million eye surgeries for low-income people. She’s now working on a Sauder Business Clinic project in which UBC, Fraser Health and Aravind are collaborating to share best practice and knowledge between the organizations.

But even though she’s loving life at Sauder, it’s unlikely that Janelle will stick around after graduation, although she hasn’t decided yet what she’ll do next. “I’d like to spend some more time abroad,” she says. “I’d be interested in a leadership role and the chance to manage a team. Basically there are three things that I’m looking for in a position: I want to be able to build my career, give back to the community and get exposure to new cultures.”

Whether you want to drive change within a multinational corporation or start an entirely new venture, the UBC MBA’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship track can help you achieve great things in your career. Find out more.


Name: Janelle Goulard
Title: MBA candidate 2015
Track: Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Nationality: Canadian (Calgary, Alberta)