MBA striving for national recognition

Graphic by Jessica Dik

Graphic by Jessica Dik

Wilfrid Laurier University’s master of business administration program is looking for its place among the best in Canada.

Ryan Pyear, Laurier’s MBA recruitment and marketing coordinator explained that the department is proud of the MBA faculty and the programs they offer to students. The program is the first in Canada to offer an MBA with co-op for students without work experience.

“We certainly believe that we’ve built it from that first year into the best MBA co-op program in Canada,” he said.

The MBA program is very competitive to get into, according to Pyear, with MBA co-op being the toughest. Applicants need a B+ average in the final year of their undergraduate degree and a graduate management admission test score of 600 or higher.

“It is something you’re going to have to work at. Having said that, if you do apply before the deadline and you have the minimum requirements for your GPA and your GMAT, you could be fairly confident that we’ll make room in the program for you,” said Pyear.

According to Pyear, they are actively trying to inform students about the MBA with co-op program so students are aware they can take it full-time.

The MBA with co-op program has 40 to 50 available seats for each intake. They typically receive around 150 applicants each year for the program, but this year the MBA co-op program didn’t fill 10 seats.

Pyear said he believes this slight decrease is a common trend at universities as many students may look into trades or the workforce rather than post-graduate studies.

However, the full-time MBA program was up in numbers this year, which balanced out the deficit in the co-op program.

When asked about the biggest factor that causes MBA to stand out from other programs at Laurier, Pyear said he believes it is the learning style.

“The first term is in integrated core, so you’re going to learn eight core areas of business in a seamless teaching environment where you’re starting in that first week in one area and then continuing that particular core area of business all the way through,” he explained. “You do that with all eight core areas, so you’re learning everything all at once and at the end it’s difficult, but at the end of it you really are able to look back and see where you’ve gone with the foundation of each core all the way through instead of learning in block styles where once you get to the end of the term you’re not going to remember the first few blocks that you were taught.”

Pyear also said the MBA program has a strong community field with a case-based program that focuses on what students are actually going to see in the business environment.

The focus on teamwork makes their MBA graduates “very hirable and able to contribute right away,” according to Pyear.

According to Macleans , Laurier’s annual tuition for the MBA program for Canadian students ranges from $31,525 to $63,600.

What also makes the MBA program unique is the application process, which Pyear explained is very hands-on.

There are two marketing recruitment coordinators for the Waterloo campus and the Toronto campus, who work with the candidates one-on-one as well as the program leaders. Because Laurier keeps their program smaller, it’s able to have that interaction from the start of the program all the way to graduation from the program.

Pyear said there has been positive feedback from first-year students in the program, as well as the interaction from the application process.

“That’s something we really like to stick with is the personal interaction because it’s what we believe is one of the things that really separates Laurier is having the interaction with the students, students knowing the professor’s names and vice versa and not really seeing the professor as a professor but as a peer and a mentor,” said Pyear.

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