Prospective students looking to pursue an MBA degree must remember that the culture of the program, and the opportunities it awards them as they study, are almost as important as achieving that highly coveted designation. While having the MBA on their resumes gives graduates a running start, it is their knowledge and training that will prepare them for the demands of the business world, and ultimately prepare them to lead. Attending classes and completing assignments are only a fraction of the MBA experience; there are also internship and co-op opportunities to consider. Furthermore, applicants should research what type of hubs and extra curriculars potential programs that help foster ideas in development, especially if they have entrepreneurial aspirations.
The Lazaridis School of Business & Economics for example, located in Ontario’s innovative region of Kitchener-Waterloo, provides you, the MBA candidate (especially when you specialize in entrepreneurship) with the chance to take your business career further through a multitude of opportunities to connect, form working relationships, and grow initiatives. The region is home to the recently established IBM Innovation Incubator at the Communitech Data Hub; the program’s mission is to help small and medium-sized startups in the region launch new technologies and products. Thanks to IBM’S technical resources, the incubator also helps these businesses distribute their services internationally. Seeing as the program is expected to create over two-thousand jobs within four years, MBA students can take advantage of these positions while studying, and can even apply to participate in the program themselves.
The Communitech Hub where the incubator is housed has also been an important spot for fostering growth and innovation in the region; it has provided students and business owners with resources, as well as valuable working space where they may pursue projects, and have meetings. Furthermore, the hub has brought together many startup initiatives from global brands, to government agencies, to those coming from colleges and universities, to tech incubators, and helped them sow the seeds for long-term collaborations.
When an MBA program is situated in such a bustling environment, students receive more than a strong education and academic foundation; they also become immersed in a culture that encourages them to be ambitious, compete for resources, foster business relationships, test ideas, and redesign ideas that may have needed more work. These are all challenges those holding MBA designations will face upon graduation, especially when they’re in positions of management, and spearheading organizations.
Whether students choose to pursue their masters degrees full time or part time during the evenings, the Kitchener-Waterloo region is an excellent place to study and network. It has been recognized as Canada’s innovation capital, and has been home to countless thriving business ventures. Students will have the opportunity to take their own ideas to the next level by applying for programs such as the IBM incubator, and others offered throughout their time at school. While the work they do in the classroom will prepare them for careers in their respective industries, the other experiences they take advantage of will provide them with a valuable playing and learning space where they can put theory into practice.