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Teaching Students to Effect Change Right from the Start

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Published: 26Sep2013

Greg Andrusiak always had a passion for sustainability. In fact, it plays a big part in his role as land negotiator for Encana Corp. in Calgary.

Published on September 23 2013 | Financial Post
Written by Denise Deveau 

"I've been in the energy industry almost 10 years and was aware of a lot of issues around sustainability. It's not only environmental, it's also a social and cultural issue. What we do has a major impact on communities in the areas we work." Mr. Andrusiak was one of a number of MBA students at the University of Calgary to take part in a leadership development program called Rediscovering Leadership: The Haskyane Wilderness Experience. The rigorous program provides a unique opportunity for future and current leaders to reflect on their core values and discover their place in the bigger picture.

Gaining first-hand experience in corporate social responsibility beyond the standard curriculum is becoming an increasing area of focus for a number of MBA programs in Canada. However, not all of those mean packing up and moving to the wilderness. McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management in Montreal, for example, introduced a not-for-profit consulting program in 2008 to respond to growing demand for real-world experience. "It's something students are asking for because they want to be more engaged in the community," says Dr. Omar Toulan, associate professor of strategy.

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