Interested in the case method? If you plan to study in Canada, you have one option: Ivey Business School of Western University, the only school in the country that teaches using the lecture-free approach invented at Harvard.
“In the Ivey MBA classroom, we teach you how to think — how to make decisions with too much or too little information, how to influence critical decision-makers, and how to motivate them to buy in to the solution,” says Ivan Langrish, senior communications manager at Ivey, located in Canada’s largest city, Toronto. “The classroom simulates the real challenges faced by business leaders as you’re called on to analyze data, develop alternatives, make and defend your recommendations and execute. You’ll practice business in a risk-free environment every day, learning from your mistakes and building your confidence.”
As with the case method, Ivey also takes pride in three applied learning opportunities quite unlike any others found in similar one-year MBA programs, Langrish says: its Field Project (IFP), its LEADER Project, and its international study trip.
In the IFP, teams of students partner with a company to study a cross-enterprise issue, problem, or opportunity of operational, organizational, or strategic significance. “You apply and integrate the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program to determine the best course of action for the company and present your findings to a group of company representatives,” Langrish says. Students also participate in an entrepreneurial, team-based field project that takes you through the process of developing/refining an idea for a new venture, researching and analyzing that opportunity, writing a detailed business plan, and creating and presenting a business plan pitch to an external review panel.
LEADER is a student-driven, overseas economic development program founded in 1991 by Ivey MBA students. Its mandate? Empowering promising entrepreneurs in frontier markets to envision, launch, and/or scale new ventures. “Through this approach LEADER aims to enable high-potential individuals to develop local business solutions that create opportunities for their communities,” Langrish says. Each year LEADER sends a team of Ivey students to a number of sites, where they teach foundational business administration and entrepreneurial skills. Volunteer instructors from the MBA, HBA, MSc, and Ph.D. programs take part in “a mutually beneficial experience that allows them to build a unique skill set,” Langrish says.
The study trip sends students to China, India, or South America, where they visit local businesses, make connections with business leaders, join in “cultural plunge” team activities, and learn how businesses operate successfully in these economic climates.
Ivey MBAs’ average work experience before starting the program, which lasts 12 months and begins every year in March, is 4.6 years. They’ve scored an average of 670 on the GMAT. The 2016-2017 class numbers 146. Once they graduate, Ivey MBAs enjoy the highest starting salary — $101,479 — and highest job placement rate — 92% for the class of 2015 — of any Canadian business school. Areas of focus include Finance, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Strategy and Leadership, International Management, and Marketing.
In both 2014 and 2015, Ivey was named the top-ranked international MBA program by Bloomberg Businessweek — including first overall in employer satisfaction, the heaviest weighted category in the Bloomberg report. What’s more, 52% of all Ivey alumni hold the title of “Chair,” “President,” “C-Suite,” “Vice-President,” “Managing Director,” or “Partner,” Langrish says.
“Building on the business fundamentals you gain in the core curriculum, Ivey’s career-focused electives have been designed to assist you in selecting the courses that will provide the targeted skills and the expertise to achieve career success in whichever field you choose,” Langrish says. “Whether you are making a career transition or looking to move up in your current industry, choose one of our focused areas to develop your marketability. You may also choose a personalized approach, custom-designing a set of elective courses to prepare you for your own career success and professional development.”
Ivey does not identify top employers, rather lists all companies who engaged with Ivey MBA students and denotes those that hired an Ivey MBA graduate with a “*”.