The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria has launched a new master’s program that is an accelerated, 12-month program designed specifically for students with a non-business undergraduate degree who want to build their passion into a career.
Offering intensive, collaborative and experiential learning, students will develop skills to lead teams and keep organizations nimble in today’s rapidly changing world.
“Experiential learning will bring these students together in cross-disciplinary teams to tackle complex problems facing real organizations. They will need to collaborate to diagnose and define the problem they’re facing, to ask insightful questions and learn how to interpret the information they’re gathering, and to recommend thoughtful solutions that take into account the challenges associated with organizational change. Students will learn far more from the process of doing than they would from taking in information more passively, ” says Vivien Corwin, Academic Director of the Master of Management program.
This approach to learning is valuable in that it closely mirrors the kind of learning activity required in organizations today.
“In a turbulent, fast-moving and ambiguous environment, organizations need to draw on diverse ways of thinking and engage multiple perspectives to deal with the problems they’re facing. This is easier said than done, as organizations often bump up against functional silos when trying to look at problems from a diversity of perspectives. You see these silos come into effect when there’s little collaboration or cross-pollination between functional areas like product development, HR and sales, for example,” says Corwin.
The program’s focus is on values-based learning and responsible leadership. Students are invited to challenge the status quo while upskilling to launch careers in a competitive, changing economy. The cross-disciplinary cohort model brings students with diverse perspectives and expertise to the organizational management classroom.
“By bringing the unique skills and interests they have cultivated in a non-business field of study, and adding the management, teamwork and problem-solving skillset from this program, they will have both general and specific knowledge. They can put their passion and interests to work in any industry, through practical management expertise,” adds Corwin.
The World Economic Forum’s recent Future of Jobs Report identified the top ten skills that employers will need in 2025. This list of skills includes analytical thinking and innovation; complex problem solving; critical thinking and analysis; creativity, originality and initiative; leadership and social influence; resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility; and reasoning, problem-solving and ideation. The list also includes active learning and learning strategies, the learning-by-doing-and-reflecting approach to experiential learning.
Collaborations with local organizations like South Island Prosperity Partnership will allow hands-on skill development from the outset of the program, within groups striving to offer meaningful innovation.