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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

Dual MBA offers Ivy League education

By Sharon Aschaiek
Special to the Toronto Sun

An innovative new MBA program between two premier business schools will enable Canadians to vault their careers into the international business arena.
Associate dean of MBA programs at Queen's University

The 17-month Queen's-Cornell International Executive MBA ( is the first program in the world to offer a simultaneous classroom experience through videoconferencing for students in both countries. A total of 90 students -- half from major cities in Canada, half from the northeastern U.S. -- will be accepted for the June launch, and will graduate with an MBA from each school.

"They will walk out the door with great contacts, practical experience, and the ability to build careers in the United States and in Canada," says Bill Blake, associate dean of MBA programs at Queen's University. "If that's the path you're on, I can't think of a better opportunity."

Following a two-week residential session in June at each campus, students will begin classes three Saturdays a month.

Information sessions

The curriculum covers the essentials of management: management fundamentals, international business, strategic thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and leadership. (To find out more, see sidebar for dates of info sessions.)

Students will work in boardroom-style learning teams of six to eight students that mirror the workplace.

"For this program to work, the teams have to work effectively together. They learn to establish group norms and protocols to resolve issues. It directly prepares them for when they enter corporate management," Blake says.

The videoconferencing technology that Queen's has been using in its other MBA programs for more than a decade will enable students to engage in cross-border discussions with students and professors; exchange ideas with other students offline without disrupting the class; access the Internet; and make presentations to students in both classes.

"With Queen's as a partner, we benefit from their expertise and proven success in using videoconferencing to deliver a quality MBA program," said Robert Swieringa, dean of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, when the program was announced last November.

In July of 2006, all participants will convene at the IBM Executive Learning Facility near New York City, where they will focus on international business trends and issues. Two months later, they will spend five days outside of Canada and the U.S. studying an international business of their choosing.
To find out more about the Queen's-Cornell International Executive MBA, check out one of the following info sessions:

Wednesday, Jan. 19
Sheraton Centre, Toronto
100 Richmond Street West
12:15 p.m. (lunch served) & 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 20
Royal York Hotel
100 Front Street West
12:15 p.m. (lunch served) & 5:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 21
Delta Toronto East
2035 Kennedy Road
12:15 p.m. (lunch served) & 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 22
Delta Meadowvale
6750 Mississauga Road
10:00 a.m.

"They will have the chance to go to a foreign destination, collect data and present their results to their classmates. It's very applied, very real and with a global focus," he says.

Tuition is $89,000 and covers all component of the curriculum.

Students graduate with two MBAs and become alumni at both prestigious schools. Cornell is the largest of the eight Ivy League universities in the U.S. and is consistently ranked among the top 15 business schools in the country.

In October 2004, BusinessWeek magazine ranked Queen's School of Business No. 1 in the world outside of U.S. schools.

A combination of students' management experience, references (one from a colleague, one from a superior), academic background and GMAT score will all be evaluated in the admission process.

Queen's is currently accepting applications for the program, but is awaiting approval from the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies before enrolling students.

Blake says the exposure to American business curriculum and the contacts students will make will be springboards to launching a career south of the border.

"The big advantage is if you're married or you don't want to move now, but you want a career on Wall Street, you can take part in the program here while you continue to work," he says.

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