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Americas MBA students visit a company in Richmond, B.C.

SFU Beedie’s EMBA gets students out of the classroom and into the field

Extending deadlines in the halls of higher learning is nothing new, but the decision taken by Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business to extend the application deadline for its Executive MBA (EMBA) program to July 15 is noteworthy on several fronts. First and foremost, it gives busy executives in upper levels of management more time to discover what the EMBA is all about and how enrolment in the two-year program can ultimately benefit their professional standing. The extended deadline also recognizes that this is a special program (in fact, it is the oldest of its kind in Canada and the building block of all other Beedie/SFU MBA programs), one that gives students the chance to get out of the classroom to tackle real business problems with real organizations, sometimes even overseas.

Arthur Redillas, director, recruitment and admissions for Beedie School of Business, is excited by the prospect of more recruitment to the EMBA. “In the past, people who enrolled and discovered that this is a unique learning and networking opportunity wonder why they waited so long to take the plunge,” he says.

To augment the extended deadline, Redillas and his colleagues are developing opportunities for prospective applicants to attend classes as guests, “that way they can get a glimpse into the workings of the EMBA,” explains Redillas. In a similar vein, a breakfast program was recently staged “that was the equivalent of a mini-class, a half hour long, with an instructor and alumni, in which the prospective enrolees were encouraged to participate,” says Redillas. “We’ll be staging more of these in the future.”

Beedie’s EMBA is designed for working managers, professionals and emerging business leaders—people already confident in their decision-making and who can operate in a variety of business situations but realize there’s room for improvement. The EMBA’s team-based, small classroom learning environment, featuring simulated leadership teams working together to solve business problems, is face-to-face, intense and said to be frequently transformational.

Although the curriculum moves quickly, the workload is manageable for someone who is also working a full-time job and, beginning in September, classes will take place in downtown Vancouver on alternate weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) for 20 months.

As for the opportunity for enrolees to get out of the classroom, Redillas points out that during the second year the Americas MBA for Executives is an optional elective in which they can study relevant management issues with students from the four largest economies in the Americas: Canada, Brazil, Mexico and the United States. “They can experience four nine-day residencies in these countries, which is a fabulous way to extend the skills they’ve picked up in our Vancouver learning environment,” he says.

As Beedie’s EMBA celebrates its 50th anniversary, Redillas is confident that the extended registration deadline will enable more working professionals to make the right choice about how to improve their game. “With this MBA, alumni find they have vastly improved leadership ability and decision-making confidence,” he says. “It really is a unique program, and we’re excited about the ways we can demonstrate this to prospective enrolees first hand.”

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with SFU Beedie School of Business