Spotlight on sustainability fuels rise of eco-degree

It’s a shift being felt in MBA programs across the country – the need to think green. When York University’s Schulich School of Business launched its environmental management program more than a decade ago, it was among the first of its kind, wrote the Globe and Mail March 28 in a special supplement on MBA programs. "Students are very passionate about how as future business leaders they’re going to have an impact on the world," said Nancy Sutherland, the program’s associate director. "That’s very exciting on our end." About 50 students are enrolled in the core courses this year, she said.

The Schulich program provides an excellent foundation for a career, said Garrick Ng (MBA ’04). Consultancy is a common line of work for green MBA graduates, said Joseph Palumbo, executive director of Schulich’s Career Development Centre. Many also find work as advisers, analysts, not-for-profit managers and brand managers.

Schulich is one of four Canadian schools that cracked the top 30 in a biennial survey by the Aspen Institute and World Resources Institute that rates business schools on how well they foster environmental stewardship among students. The most recent rankings, given in 2005, put Schulich at No. 3 out of 93 participating schools around the globe.

  • The Schulich School of Business at York University regularly promotes its ranking successes in print and radio advertising as well as online, wrote the Globe and Mail March 28. Schulich’s Web site has a section on global rankings that displays the names and logos of every publication that has ranked the school, including titles such as Corporate Knights magazine and Beyond Grey Pinstripes as well as the Economist, the Financial Times and Business Week.
  • While niche MBAs aren’t novel, they’re attracting more attention because of their growing numbers, wrote the Globe and Mail March 28. Toronto’s York University alone has 18 specializations in its Schulich School of Business MBA Program. These specializations run the gamut, from arts and media to property development. “At least six of these programs were developed only in the last eight years,” says Charmaine Courtis, Schulich’s executive director of student services and international relations. “Most recently, we introduced a health industry management program.”
  • Countless readings, all-night study sessions and heated team meetings make up every MBA experience, wrote Richard Bloom in The Globe and Mail March 28. So too is the concept of return on investment, or ROI, a term dropped by B-school professors no matter what the discipline. Bloom, a former Globe and Mail reporter who is in the final weeks of his MBA at York’s Schulich School of Business, sat down over lattes with three soon- to-graduate peers to chat about the ups-and-downs of their MBA education.
    Anson Kendall, Schulich: When you do your undergrad, it’s more structured: midterm, final. And this was more case-based, more group work, and I was never really exposed to much group work prior to this. So that was a shock. As was managing different people and different ideas of what’s right and what’s wrong. In terms of what I’ve gotten out of the program, I’m more business savvy. My acumen has definitely increased.

Osgoode professors pay tribute to a lawyer’s lawyer

The consummate lawyer’s lawyer, alumnus Brian Morgan wore his intelligence, his analytical insights and his achievements lightly, wrote The Globe and Mail in an obituary March 28. "He could do litigation on any issue," said Jamie Cameron, a constitutional expert and law professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. "It didn’t matter that there were six rooms of documents to be read, it didn’t matter how complex the statutory framework was, it didn’t matter that Brian wasn’t an expert in the area, because he could master all of that. He was very effective, but he was never effective at anybody else’s expense and there are very few people like that," she said.

Marilyn Pilkington, professor at Osgoode, recalls that Morgan impressed her as an “intelligent, thoughtful, articulate, and modest individual who listened well, made positive contributions and helped to build consensus. He demonstrated at that early age the same exceptional talents and personal qualities that characterized his success in later life.”

University football player gets two years for pistol in packsack

A York University football player from “a very good family” who hid a lethal semi-automatic pistol in his packsack has been given another 10 weeks in jail – on top of almost a year’s dead time – and a stern warning by a judge, wrote Canadian Press March 27. Because the Superior Court judge credited 24-year-old Samuel Egonu with 21 months for time he has spent in pre-trial custody, he must serve only two more months of Tuesday’s two-year sentence. But the Toronto man is still being held on a March 2006 firearm charge that was laid while he was on bail.

Double cohort grads enter workforce, vie for jobs

Double-cohort grads from across the province are now vying for jobs, wrote The Toronto Sun March 28. But don’t worry if you feel nervous about your next steps, advises Salina Abji, manager of York University‘s Career Centre. "It’s quite normal for students to feel anxious about their next steps following graduation. The trick is to approach potential challenges – perceived or otherwise – as opportunities to problem-solve, innovate and develop new skills."

York University student Ashley Elbourne will graduate this spring. The professional writing major hopes to land an editing job at a magazine. "I do recall feeling pressure to have high grades in my last year at high school," says the Toronto resident. "Now, I feel some pressure to get an internship or to get my foot in the door somehow. I also feel pressure trying to figure out where I should go and what I should be doing."

Allison Proudfoot is a member of synchro skating team

Synchronized skating is all about sticking together and right now, the Canadian champion Nexxice team is one tight-knit crew, wrote the London Free Press March 28. Just ask Londoner Allison Proudfoot, who won’t be bunking at home, sweet home in preparation for the world championships slated for a jam-packed John Labatt Centre this weekend. "It’s a little weird because I’m staying in a hotel 10 minutes from my house," the 19-year-old York theatre student said. "But I’d rather be at the hotel because it’s important to be together with the team this week."

Poverty puts value of money in relief

Living in Kenya puts things into perspective, wrote Jacob Kojfman (LLB/MBA ‘03) in his ongoing column Kenyan Sabbatical in the National Post March 28. My plans, however, are to return to corporate Canada – to my life of suits and ties sitting behind a desk, sipping an overpriced latte. To what job, I as yet don’t know. I really hope to be able to continue the volunteer work I was involved in before coming to Africa. Because being in Kenya has shown me my money is making a difference for the children. So I am returning to corporate Canada, not just for the prestige, expense accounts and nice suits, but to get the most important tool I need to help humanity: money to buy goats for the goatless, build hospitals for the sick, and teach the hungry to feed themselves.

As always, the Post noted that Kojfman has an LLB/MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.

Bell commemorates abolition date

The Buxton Bell rang loud and clear on March 25, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Upper Canada, wrote Chatham This Week March 28. Chatham-Kent historians Bryan and Shannon Prince were part of the commemoration, held at York University. The couple, best known for their work at the North Buxton Museum, concluded the ceremony with a condensed version of their Road to Freedom program.

On air

  • Daniel Drache, political science professor in York’s Atkinson School of Social Sciences and associate director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, spoke about the Quebec election on local radio stations in Moncton and St. John, NB, and Halifax, NS March 27.
  • Richard Leblanc, professor of corporate governance at York’s Atkinson School of Administrative Studies, spoke about the Ontario Lottery Corporation on CBC Radio’s “Ontario Today” program March 27.
  • Moshe Milevsky, finance professor in York’s Schulich School of Business, spoke about risks to retirement savings on Ottawa’s A Channel News March 27.