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Leadership Meets Global Acumen

BCBusiness + Royal Roads University Royal Roads University's MBA in Executive Management shines for its breadth of transformational experiences


BCBusiness + Royal Roads University

Credit: Photo courtesy Royal Roads University

Royal Roads University’s MBA in Executive Management shines for its breadth of transformational experiences

By the age of 33, Georgina Maddern had forged a promising career with Vancouver Coastal Health in the mental health and substance abuse field, but wanted to advance further. After careful consideration, she chose Royal Roads University’s (RRU) specialized Master of Business Administration in Executive Management as a means to achieve her professional goals.

“I looked at universities across Canada and Australia but chose Royal Roads University because of its delivery method, a fantastic amalgamation of real-life and academia taught in a way that I could still work full time,” says Maddern.  

The RRU MBA in Executive Management is geared toward mid-career professionals, with a combination of on-campus residencies and online learning that allows them to deeply connect with others in their program, or cohort.  Students come from diverse cultures and industry sectors, such as business, oil and gas, armed forces, health services, HR, and not-for-profit, to name a few. Some are also independent entrepreneurs.  The program’s small class sizes ensure a high degree of guidance from its professors. 

William Holmes, dean of RRU’s Faculty of Management’s School of Business, describes the program as a transformational experience that focuses on teambuilding, leadership and business strategy. 

“Our MBA program has a unique demographic, usually someone a bit older, around 42,” says Holmes.  “Our MBA offers a combination of intensive face-to-face and distance learning, which benefits our students because it doesn’t interrupt their careers and lives.” 

For Royal Roads alumnus Bill Archer, senior consultant, Innovation and Cloud Solutions with Telus, Royal Roads University’s greatest strength was the “sense of family.”  The 55-year-old was awed by the networking, and the great diversity and maturity of his cohort.

“Without the team, I don’t think any of us would be successful,” says Archer. “When we encountered challenges, the team was there to offer support to solve the problem.” 

Real-world interaction comes in the form of a live-case capstone Organizational Management Project conducted independently with a private or not-for-profit company to address a specific business challenge or problem. 

All students choose from either a general or focused specialization in the fields of leadership, management consulting, general management or international business. Students also have the option to choose between two global immersion components—two weeks at France’s Grenoble École de Management, or an eight-day residency in Asia for an International Business Asia Pacific Trade and Investment specialization, giving them what Holmes describes as an understanding of the nuances of operating in a global marketplace, while growing their world network.

“I knew I wanted to do the Grenoble International specialization from Day 1,” says Maddern. “I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to study in France and have the global experience and opportunity. However, I’m very interested in pursuing leadership and entrepreneurship.”

 Alumni of the MBA program now have an opportunity to return to take another specialization through one of the MBA Graduate Certificates paired with the current specialization.  Alumni would receive an additional specialization to add to their credential. 

Like Maddern, Archer also knew he wanted to take part in the international specialization. He says he is already looking at next year’s courses. “I’m really interested in coming back to take part in the human resources and innovation specialization,” he says. 

In order to further best serve their students, RRU also recently introduced a 31-month pilot MBA program to support students who would otherwise not have the capacity to engage in the full-time RRU MBA.

With a broad curriculum, and options to specialize on an ongoing basis, RRU’s MBA in Executive Management is designed to nurture the skills demanded by top companies—leadership, problem solving and global acumen.

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Royal Roads University