Departments Knowledge

Are you ready for an MBA?

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If you’re looking to move up the corporate ladder, boost your salary and start making a bigger difference in your community, it might be time to consider getting an MBA.

It also helps if you’re a natural problem-solver, work well in a team setting and are ready to push yourself like never before, says Rhiannon Leier Blacher, manager of marketing and communications at the I.H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.

“You’ve got to be ready to allocate time in your life to learn,” she says. “A Masters of Business Administration will help you develop your quantitative mind, your qualitative thinking and strategy, it will get you thinking like a leader and about how you can help your organization in all ways.”

Plan accordingly
Before you apply at the U of M, make sure you have the prerequisites covered off first. You must have at least two years of professional work experience, a couple of work-related references, a grade point average in your undergrad degree of at least 3.0 on a 4.5 scale and a minimum score of 550 on the Graduate Management Admission Test, more commonly known as the GMAT.

If your GPA is 3.3 or above, you can opt to forego the GMAT in favour of an interview with school officials. (Not surprisingly, most students in this situation choose the interview.)

Much of the MBA curriculum is taught through case studies and the most interesting one for every student is their own. They all want to know the ROI (return on investment) on an MBA.

Well, for starters, the average salary increase after graduating is 41 per cent. One-third of MBA graduates from the U of M will have moved into a more senior position three to six months after graduating, too.

You can complete the degree in two years if you enroll full-time or in up to six years if you take it part-time. The U of M does not have an executive MBA, although it did have a 12-month program for a number of years.

“Taking it part-time is a differentiator for us. The program is designed to support people who already work full-time and have a family,” Leier Blacher says, noting the average graduate receives their diploma three-and-a-half years after walking into their first class.

Half of the MBA students at the U of M are full-time—many are international students—while the other half are part-time. The average age is 30 years old.

Show me the money
Just like everything else these days, getting an MBA isn’t cheap. Domestic students have tuition expenses of $43,000. The U of M offers $15,000 scholarships to the top 20 students entering the program each year, provided they already have a degree from a Canadian university.

Unlike many other scholastic disciplines, the MBA program at the U of M focuses extensively on teamwork. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single strategic decision in corporate Canada over the last, well, ever that was made by one person without consulting anybody else in their group.

“Teamwork is so important when working in an organization and working collaboratively. You’ll learn how to work with fellow students even if you’re not compatible. Learning how to capitalize on every person’s strengths and perspectives leads to better decisions and a stronger company,” Leier Blacher says.

Is graduate school in your future?
Beyond its MBA program, the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba also offers graduate degrees in finance, supply chain management and logistics, and management. 

The University of Winnipeg, through its Department of Business and Administration, offers a Master of Management degree.

Further afield, Royal Roads University in British Columbia offers a Master of Business Administration in Executive Management that can be completed in Manitoba through online courses and two two-week residencies at its campus in Victoria.

Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Ontario also offers several MBA options, including its Executive MBA national program, which can be taken anywhere in Canada and can be completed in 16 months. The school’s Executive MBA Americas program is offered in partnership with Johnson School of Management at Cornell University in New York, and it’s the only one like it in the world. Offered in major cities across Canada, it can be completed in 18 months.


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