Dec. 16, 2020Print | PDF
While 2020 has brought many changes, one thing that has remained the same is the value and return on investment of a Master of Business Administration (MBA). In the midst of significant challenges across all industries - the soft skills and business foundations learned through an MBA program are becoming increasingly sought after in the workforce. Starting an MBA degree now may feel like a big commitment, but it could be perfect timing.
According to a recent article by Poets and Quants, “The Class of 2023 will inevitably graduate into a fully recovered economy, better prepared to take full advantage of the upturn.”
Higher education, like all industries, has made significant changes to program delivery as a result of the 2020 global pandemic. The MBA offered by Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics is no exception with in-person programs currently being delivered in an online format. Professors and program teams are working diligently to ensure that students are supported and connected while physically apart.
The Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University offers the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in six different program formats. This article will focus in on the part-time program that has been in downtown Toronto for more than 20 years. The first of its kind to hold classes every other weekend, the program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals – with a class schedule that allows for balance between work, studies, and family life. When classes are held in person, they are location at Vantage Venues, at 150 King St. West, Toronto, offering students the benefit of studying and learning in the heart of the financial district.
The AACSB-accredited, Lazaridis MBA begins with an integrated core curriculum – a holistic delivery model that focuses on the foundational areas of business. From there, you can choose to focus your general MBA in one of nine specialization options to align with your career path: Accounting, Financial Management, International Business Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, Strategic Management or Supply Chain Management.
“In our three-year MBA program offered downtown Toronto, the goal is to empower students with the tools and skills necessary for you to build your career and succeed on your own terms,” says Mitali De*, director of the Lazaridis MBA program and professor of operations and decision sciences. “Our focus is on providing real-time education based on practical experience and applicable academic research, along with immersive in-class learning in the Live Integrated Case Exercise (ICE), Non-Profit Practicum, and Company Project. There are also numerous co-curricular opportunities to take advantage of such as external case competitions or International study opportunities.”
“My version of success is leaving the world better than when I found it. I try to use every day as an opportunity to make a positive difference any way I can – the Lazaridis MBA has opened more doors for me to do just that.”
- Lauren Miele
We sat down with recent graduate of the Toronto MBA program, Lauren Miele (MBA ’18), Director of Marketing, Customer Strategy and Digital Sales at TD Securities, and asked her to share with us, in her own words, what she valued most about the program.
Lazaridis School: Can you share more about the importance of doing your MBA in the downtown core?
Lauren: As someone who was working and living in downtown Toronto, a key element that made me choose the Lazaridis MBA program was the fact that Laurier has a campus in Toronto’s financial district. Being so close to Bay St., which is the centre of excellence for professional services, provided incredible access to alumni, industry events, and other professional opportunities. I was able to get the Lazaridis MBA experience without having to uproot the life I had established in Toronto and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
Lazaridis School: What were some of the key considerations that helped you decide that the Lazaridis MBA was the right fit for you?
Lauren: The alternate-weekend format of the Lazaridis MBA program was a key consideration when making my decision on a school for my post-grad studies. Having alternating weekends off was incredibly helpful, especially when balancing school with a full-time job and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life! As a working professional, student, family member, and friend, it definitely gave me the flexibility to ensure I could continue to focus on excelling in my career while pursuing my educational goals and still being able to make time for the people and personal activities that were important to me.
Lazaridis School: Tell us about your favourite experience or aspect of the MBA.
Lauren: One of my favourite experiences was being selected to compete at the John Molson MBA International Case Competition. I was part of the first all-female team to represent Laurier and it was such an honour and an incredible experience. A lot of work and practice went into preparing for the week-long event in Montreal and the support we received from the Laurier community was amazing. Although we didn’t win the competition, I’m truly grateful for the experience, as it enabled me to put the MBA theory into practice and it was a wonderful networking opportunity to meet fellow MBA students from across the globe. My most valuable takeaway from the experience is the friendship that flourished with my three incredible teammates; it’s been almost two years since the competition and we still stay in touch and love to reminisce about that week!
Lazaridis School: What advice or words of encouragement would you share with someone considering an MBA?
Lauren: It will be one of the best decisions you ever make, if you’re open to the possibilities. My advice is to make the most of the opportunities; the theory and lessons are incredibly important but the Lazaridis MBA program is so much more than that. Get involved, build relationships, and give it your all. Being a full-time working professional and a part-time student isn’t easy but I truly believe that you get out of it what you put in to it, and the hard work and sacrifice will definitely pay off in the long run.
Originally published Dec. 16, 2020; edited Oct. 14, 2021
*Mitali De, quoted in the article served as MBA Director from July 2017 to June 2021.
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