Revamped UBC MBA built for increasingly complex global marketplace

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The Sauder School of Business at UBC today announced a new MBA for fall 2012. Making a major shift from training based on academic specialization, the new program offered by Sauder's Robert H. Lee Graduate School is structured around the dynamic skill sets demanded by the global marketplace.

It also introduces a mandatory global immersion module that sends students to China, India or Denmark, and dramatically increases hands-on learning with companies and organizations.

“We are transforming the way we conceptualize MBA education,” says Sauder Dean Daniel Muzyka. “By embracing an integrated approach that is academically rigorous and focused on using knowledge in real-world contexts at home and around the globe, we’re equipping students to find success in the hyper-competitive international job market.”  

Sauder has been a pioneer in integrated MBA training since 1995 when it introduced the award-winning Integrated Core to its program. Among the first of its kind in North America, the intensive 13-week interdisciplinary learning experience links critical business functions to give students a 360-degree management perspective.

Over a two-year process, Sauder worked with business leaders, faculty, students and alumni to build on its integrated approach and completely revamp its program. As a result, the new MBA is streamlined from eight specializations and 10 sub-specializations to four Integrated Career Tracks:

  • Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Designed for entrepreneurs who want to bring new products and services to market and “intra-preneurs” seeking to lead innovation within organizations.
  • Consulting and Strategic Management: With curriculum bringing together corporate strategy, information technology and supply chain management, students also learn “soft skills” needed to lead transformational change.
  • Product/Service Management: A blend of marketing, and operations and information management, students are equipped to excel in product, service and brand management.
  • Finance: Examining the industry in the broader business context, the principles of finance are applied to investment banking, corporate finance, portfolio management, trading, and risk management.

Integrated Projects: To reinforce a holistic business perspective, students from across career tracks are pulled together throughout the 16-month program to work on a series of integrated projects for organizations. Ranging from consulting for multinational companies or local entrepreneurs to working with First Nations groups or economically-challenged communities in Vancouver and beyond, projects emphasize live problem solving and real-world connections.

Global Immersion: An international theme runs throughout the new MBA program and finds the most direct application in the project-based course Global Immersion. Students travel to partner schools – Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Copenhagen School of Business or Shanghai Jiao Tong University – where they form teams with MBA counterparts and work for multinational companies, such as IBM and Microsoft. After returning home, the teams continue to collaborate remotely to develop business plans and present reports to their sponsoring organizations.

Business Clinic: Sauder’s Business Clinic is a new forum where businesses, non-profits and other organizations connect with MBA students to get diagnoses on their operations and help with their challenges.  A dynamic place where hands-on projects meet students, the clinic allows MBAs to hone their skills and get experience under their belts, while providing organizations with fresh perspectives on what they do, and how they can do better.

“We will give our students experiences that aren’t as clean and clear cut as typical academic classes and cases,” says Murali Chandrashekaran, Associate Dean of Professional Graduate Programs and Director, Robert H. Lee Graduate School. “We want to cultivate leaders who can embrace ambiguity and dive into the cauldron of complex organizations, assess problems and find creative solutions with limited information and time. To do this we need to push our students to learn by doing and to courageously make changes in communities locally and abroad.”
Internship Innovation: The new MBA offers two alternatives to traditional internships for meaningful applied experience. The Entrepreneurial Project enables students to pursue a new venture of their own creation from prototyping to market launch. The Team Consulting Project will allow a select group of top students to act as strategic consultants for a high-profile organization or social enterprise.

New required thematic experiences: With a broad view on business and social issues, new required experiences provide unifying perspectives for the program. Modules on Creativity, Responsible Business, Global Issues and Macroeconomics, Decision Making for Managers, and Leadership Development emphasize the core values of the MBA as well as the skills necessary for future leaders.

About Sauder’s new approach to MBA education, Dale Griffin, Associate Dean, Strategic Communication says, “Driven by the rapidly changing business world, our integrated model recognizes that managers today need a broader set of skills, a broader perspective on the globalized economy, and the ability and courage to provide strong leadership in the face of uncertainty and even chaos.”

About the Sauder School of Business 
The Sauder School of Business is one of the world’s leading academic business schools, recognized globally for its contributions to the transformation of business practices through innovative research and teaching. With more than 3,000 students, Sauder offers a wide range of bachelors, masters and doctoral programs.  The school has more than 31,000 alumni in 74 countries around the world. The UBC MBA program ranks among the top 100 programs in the world by the Financial Times and the Economist. The QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2012 , designed to compare the employability of MBA graduates, ranked Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School 18th out of 82 schools in North America, recognizing the UBC MBA for its strength as a preferred source of top talent for employers.


Media Contacts:
Andrew Riley, Manager Public and Media Relations 
Sauder School of Business
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Bethan Williams, Communications Specialist 
Sauder School of Business 
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