Business experience required


When Paul King completed an undergraduate degree in honours Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario 32 years ago, he probably thought he'd seen the last of his alma mater for good. But at the ripe old age of 40 and after 18 years helping run the family business, King decided to return to Western for an Executive MBA (EMBA) in the Ivey School of Business.

It was a decision that King doesn't regret making. The two-year program was a pioneer endeavour at the time -a kind of cross-Canada MBA -with the bulk of instruction teleconferenced from Western to participants in six Canadian cities.

Not that there weren't some travel and real-time classroom experiences. King's classmates, 50 in all, attended two weeks of orientation in London during the first year of the EMBA program, with side trips to Calgary, Vancouver and two international outings to China and Mexico.

"Almost every Friday, Saturday and Sunday the six students who were from Montreal met at Windsor Station to attend teleconferenced sessions," explained King. "At first I was skeptical of the technology, but my concerns disappeared quickly. It was seamless."

King, like many of his EMBA confederates, had logged considerable time in the business world. This is a prerequisite for all EMBA programs offered across Canada. The McGill University Executive MBA 16-month-long course, which is a joint Desautels Faculty of Management and HEC Montreal project, suggests candidates have a minimum of 10 years in business, five of that in a managerial position.

"We're not teaching Marketing or Accounting 101 to these students," said Tamer Boyaci, associate dean of master's programs at the Desautels Faculty of Management.

"The Executive MBA students bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the program. We emphasize learning from each other, where people draw from their own business experience and share it with others."

Boyaci describes the program as "issue-oriented."

"The program is about how to make better business leaders who make better business decisions"...

Read full article: The Gazette, February 9, 2012