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VOL. 2 ISSUE 1 FALL 2010

MacEwan’s annual magazine for those who aspire to business success



World Class Faculty 37

Global views inspire new blueprints for business success

Grads give back to the community

12 EASTWARD BOUND A taste of international business


New Accounting major meets industry demand

The 25th Anniversary of Grant MacEwan University’s Mad Hatter’s Gala presented by Synergy Projects Ltd. was a huge success thanks to the generous support of our community partners, guests and sponsors.

For more about the event, visit

This year’s gala raised over $1.1 million in proceeds in support of MacEwan student scholarships, bursaries and awards! With the help of our community partners, Grant MacEwan University has raised over $4 million in support of our students over the past three years!

On behalf of MacEwan students, thank you for your generous support!







Major Impact New Accounting major meets growing demand for fi nancial professionals


Mapping Their Future Students travel to India and China for a fi rst-hand international business experience


A NEW MODEL OF International SUCCESS conference emphasizes “management by values” as the key to business success


Scholar From Afar Visiting academic provides international partnership opportunities


MacEwan grads are applying what they’ve learned to inspire and educate others



Learning for Life MacEwan Corporate Learning and Continuing Education partners with local businesses


Winning Formula MacEwan students score top spots in this year’s


student business competitions


Faculty Profiles

Message From the Dean

Message From the Editor


From a lieutenant colonel who became an HR master to a couple of professors who brought an industry designation to the supply chain major,


MacEwan faculty members are at the top of their game

Around MacEwan



International. Intimate. Communityfocused. These are the hallmarks of Grant MacEwan University


The Great Debate

Allard Chair Profile

Students sharpen their skills

Recipient Liz O’Neill inspires the community

at Model United Nations

with her exemplary leadership



Graduate Profiles

Exit Interview

Recent MacEwan grads Jarret Miller and Anthea

What I Learned at MacEwan

Kolitsas apply their leadership skills and international experience to launch promising

On the cover: Evandro Bocatto and Eloisa Perez, MacEwan School of Business faculty members

business careers

3 aspire MacEwan School of Business




from the dean

Elsie Elford

Aristotle once said, “We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly.” Behind all our actions, personal or professional, lie our guides: our values. Our values systems are often inherited from our life experiences and the role models in our lives. At MacEwan School of Business, we strive to instill the values of ethics and social responsibility to all our students. MacEwan faculty integrate values system principles into our business curriculum, facilitating classroom discourse on ethics and corporate social responsibility. So, when our students step into the business world, they leave us with knowledge of how a values-driven approach will maintain and improve the integrity and quality of life of individuals, communities and industries. Take, for instance this year’s Dr. Charles Allard Chair in Business recipient Liz O’Neill, whose passionate work for non-profit Big Brothers Big Sisters Edmonton sets a tremendous example to students. She clearly demonstrates the fusion of values and career, earning a living while achieving personal fulfillment. This second edition of Aspire showcases a sampling of how MacEwan faculty and students successfully support values-driven business, here at home, and around the world.

Elsie Elford, BA, LL.B Dean, School of Business



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from the editor VOLUME 2

Fall 2010 Issue 1

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Laura England CONSULTING EDITOR Kim Tannas EDITORIAL ADVISORS Kimberley Howard, Gordon Lucyk, William Wei ART DIRECTOR Charles Burke ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Rodrigo López Orozco CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jana Clarke, Chrystal Coleman, Laura England, Angela Hall, Rachel (Mei Qin) Kok, Erin McCarty, Lindsey Norris, Scott Parker, Mifi Purvis, Lisa Ricciotti CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ILLUSTRATORS Stevo Basara, Robert Bray Photography, Jana Clarke, Buffy Goodman, Zhihong Han, Darren Jacknisky, Heff O’Reilly, Kelly Redinger, Rose Marie Tremblay

Aspire is published by MacEwan School of Business to celebrate student, faculty and staff successes.

Values. How do they factor into the business world? Could a more values-based economic system have prevented the recent world financial crises? Can you operate an ethical, socially responsible business and still generate profit? For some, the concept of a governing set of values in a business environment seems unrealistic and unworkable. But those in MacEwan’s School of Business know different. Our faculty and staff have been proponents of values-based business since day one and we’re fanning out that philosophy with every graduate of this institution. In our values issue of Aspire, you’ll see how great minds came together from all over the world to discuss this topic at the Managing by Values – Beyond Culture and Generations Conference. The article entitled “Mapping Their Future” follows two groups of business students on study tours through India and China and highlights their philanthropic deeds along the way. And on the local front, “Grads Give Back” outlines the actions taken by grads to help those in our own backyard. At MacEwan School of Business, we ask our students to determine what they value most and apply it to their business practices. Ultimately, they go on to prove that you can do everything the right way – ethically, environmentally and morally – and still profit. Which brings us closer to the world envisioned by our namesake.

Aspire is published by Grant MacEwan University in conjunction with Venture Publishing Inc. Grant MacEwan University 10700 - 104 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 4S2 780.633.3785

Laura England Editor of Aspire, Communications Advisor, MacEwan School of Business

Contents copyright 2010 by Grant MacEwan University. No part of this publication should be reproduced without written permission. MacEwan School of Business

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By Laura England


Mix and Mingle

Photos by Jana Clarke

The MacEwan Commerce Club is a student-run organization geared towards providing an opportunity to network and collaborate with various institutions in the business world. Members practised these soft skills by attending their year-end celebration – the Commerce Club Gala. Held at the prestigious Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, members and guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal, met the incoming executive members and then danced the night away.

great gala: (Clockwise from above) Business students and their guests at the Commerce Club Gala

on March 27, 2010; Laura and Boyd England tear up the dance floor; Joe Di Fabio, co-founder of the Commerce Club

Festive Welcome for Year of the Tiger For MacEwan students of Chinese origin, the Chinese Spring Festival Celebration was like a care package from home. Two student groups came together, those from the Asia Pacific Management program and the MacEwan Chinese Students and Scholars Club, to coorganize this event based on the traditional Chinese festival. Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays and a day to bring families together. It is commonly called “Lunar New Year,” as it is based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The festival traditionally begins on p.6


the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day. Chinese New Year’s Eve is known as chú xī which literally means “Year-pass Eve.” MacEwan’s Chinese Spring Festival consisted of traditional dances and musical performances from students in several programs. It was intended to showcase Chinese culture and to perhaps make students feel a little less homesick. celebrating spring: Zhi Chen playing sax and

Zinpei Tang dancing

Developing a Global Mindset Global Awareness Week is a five-day campuswide event in February featuring keynote speakers, movie marathons, photo displays and international dining. MacEwan school of Business’s contribution to this event was Dr. Mary teagarden’s thoughtprovoking presentation on what it takes to develop a global mindset. Citing research from the thunderbird school of Global Management in Glendale, arizona, teagarden illustrated her points with examples from personal experience. she explained that individuals with a global mindset have the “ability to influence individuals, groups, organizations and systems that are unlike you and your own.” those students who develop a global mindset through studies, school and community experiences will be in great demand by employers here in Canada and abroad, she added.

Be Your Own Brand Who’s LinkedIn, tweeting like crazy and well on their way to harnessing the power of social media? Everyone who attended the School of Business CN Lecture with Walter Schwabe this past fall. Schwabe, the chief evolution officer of Fusedlogic, is on a mission to educate as many as possible about the huge payoffs available through social media. His theme of “brand you” focused on paying attention to your online image and what message you’re sending to potential employers. By simply starting up a LinkedIn account, students have a group of contacts ready to tap into after graduation – a huge benefit in today’s economy. But you might want to think twice before posting that passed out picture on your Facebook page, he said. Future employers are looking and they might not be as impressed as your drinking buddies. Schwabe also discussed social media from a business perspective. There are shining examples of companies that have used social media to provide superior customer service and interaction, but examples of others whose colossal gaffes and shortsightedness cost their businesses millions. Schwabe will continue to share his insights when he joins MacEwan as an instructor in Continuing Education in fall 2010.

sOcial MeDia strategist:

At a fall lecture, Walter Schwabe of Fusedlogic helped students understand how to successfully manage their online image

MacEwan School of Business

Monumental Achievement To celebrate the unveiling of the “Women are inspiring eVening: Persons” maquette, “an Evening of Famous L to R: Maggie Chan, Kristen Sugimaya, Five Inspiration” was held on september 9, Barbara Paterson, Elsie 2009, at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. robert Elford, Lalitha Srinirosen, president and CEo of City Lumber and vasan, Jeanine Sears Millwood, generously donated the bronze sculp- and Candyss Benson at the unveiling of the ture to MacEwan school of Business, in honour maquette of his mother, Zeta rosen. Dr. Paul Byrne, president of Grant MacEwan University said it best: “Zeta rosen’s pioneering spirit and generous compassion was a source of inspiration for everyone who knew her. she was a woman who loved life, and persisted in ensuring that all women have the right to choose their own destiny. Her legacy endures through the charitable work of City Lumber as a strong supporter of the arts, education and health care.” over 100 guests attended the reception, which celebrated the achievements of all women, and explored how women continue to be a source of inspiration. Five outstanding female business students – Maggie Chan, kristen sugimaya, Lalitha srinivasan, Jeanine sears, and Candyss Benson – shared their stories of how women continue to inspire them today. Barbara Paterson, world-renowned artist from Edmonton, officially unveiled her sculpture as the Guest of Honour along with President Byrne, robert rosen and Elsie Elford, Dean of MacEwan school of Business. the maquette is a scaled replica of the larger-thanlife national monument found in Parliament Hill and Calgary’s olympic Park. Paterson created the monument in honour of five women, known as the “Famous Five,” who campaigned for Canadian women to be given the constitutional status of persons. struggling for years, they were victorious, and on october 18, 1929, the Privy Council of England ruled that women are indeed “persons” and thus eligible to sit in the senate of Canada. “although the Famous Five changed the course of women’s rights in Canada,” says Paterson, “I chose to depict a moment out of their day to indicate their humanity as well as their importance.” – Scott Parker




New Accounting major will help future grads make their mark at any organization


hen a new Accounting major was announced in the Bachelor of Commerce program this past spring, it generated excitement and high hopes amongst those at MacEwan School of Business (see sidebar). But we wanted to get an outsider’s opinion on this new development, so we went straight to MacEwan Supply Chain Management grad Brent Willett. OK, maybe we should back up a little and explain how someone in the supply chain industry came to be an accounting professional. Willett’s first foray into post-secondary education came in the form of a chemistry scholarship, but he soon realized science was not his thing and made the jump into business. He was intrigued by the international business angle of the Supply Chain Management program and made his way to MacEwan. Willett flourished there and describes the supply chain system as “everything from raw production to distribution to logistics, to get your product from wherever it’s coming from to the end user. Everything has a cost, everything has a logistical



component, and we learned that at MacEwan. It’s still a constant learning experience, but I got the basics there.” During his practicum, Willett was able to apply his classroom knowledge immediately. “I was able to take what I learned and directly plug it into what I had to do on a daily basis,”he says. He also saw how supply chain management and accounting skills went hand in hand in contributing towards a successful organization. “I developed the reasoning that I can go into a company and make decisions in terms of how to reduce inventory, how to reduce overall supply chain costs, or purchase better, but if I understood the accounting aspect I could also see how it would affect their bottom line,” says Willett. After graduating in 2006, he continued on to become an extremely valuable member of Edmonton’s workforce and is currently an operational/financial controller with Bri-Chem Steel Corp. Willett learned that the Certified Management Accountants recognized some of his MacEwan courses and he decided to obtain his designation as a CMA. With both supply chain


By Laura England and Jana Clarke

MacEwan grad Brent Willett says companies need accounting professionals now more than ever.

MacEwan School of Business



Major Impact

and accounting skill sets to draw from, Willett now feels “leaps and bounds ahead of others.” When asked about the impact this new major will have on future graduates, Willett replies: “This will give grads the tools they need to have an immediate impact at any organization. This program will develop the fundamentals and allow them to further pursue their interests in strategic planning, high level analysis and financial reporting as well as working towards an accounting designation.” Willett sees a real need for this major. “With the current shift to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in public corporations, and the increased pressure of accountability on all organizations, be it from shareholders or government, the market is demanding more qualified individuals to take on these pressures.” Now that Willett has been in the workforce a few years, he can offer an industry professional’s perspective on how this major will be received. “I know it will be very well-received. All organizations from startups to Fortune 500 companies need accountants – now more than ever. I know MacEwan’s commitment to their students and the industry will provide the professionals that everyone requires.” In true MacEwan fashion, Willett continues to give back to the community by speaking to students at events such as the Student Business Conference and serving as a member of the Valley Zoo Development Society. He describes his time at MacEwan as such: “MacEwan has definitely got me to where I am today. I’ve been talking with the bursary development people about trying to put together a scholarship for supply chain students. So it obviously means something to me. It’s an important organization.”



MAKING IT COUNT MacEwan’s new major will position tomorrow’s financial professionals as key strategists in the boardroom


n the business world, the term “bean strategic direction of the organization. An in-depth study of financial informacounter” no longer exists. Accounting tion systems, corporate taxation and an professionals have moved from the back room into the boardroom, providing independent studies component round out the major. vital financial analysis and strategy that These courses provide a balance of can make or break an organization. Highly skilled accounting professionals theory, strategic thinking, management and accounting skills – all to move stuare in demand and, in a year filled with dents into the executive accounting office. significant announcements, MacEwan “MacEwan has a history of deliverSchool of Business held one more celebration. On March 31, MacEwan’s Bachelor of ing quality business and management education,” says Peter Sorrell, president Commerce degree program announced a and CEO of Sorrell Financial. “This will new major in Accounting. ensure that graduates of the Accounting This major gives MacEwan students an major will have strong financial and anaadditional avenue for a career in finance, with a focus on financial strategy to move lytical skills – and a clear understanding business into the future. Bachelor of Com- of the role of integrity in business.” merce students will start the Accounting major in fall 2011. The Accounting major has been developed in This new major is response to student, economic and employer intended for students demand in Alberta and beyond. aspiring to an executive-level career in the accounting field. The This major rounds out MacEwan’s curriculum is in line with accounting professional designations including Char- current accounting program offerings. tered Accountant (CA), Certified Manage- MacEwan students have the option of an Accounting Technology certificate (also ment Accountant (CMA) and Certified offered online), continuing into a second General Accountant (CGA). year to complete the Accounting and Stra“The Accounting major has been detegic Measurement diploma (also offered veloped in response to student, economic in a Cooperative Education format), then and employer demand in Alberta and beyond,” says Elsie Elford, dean of MacEwan completing an additional two years to the Bachelor of Applied Business AdministraSchool of Business. “Key factors for its tion – Accounting. development include increased demand These programs will remain at Macby businesses for graduates with strategic Ewan, and provide transferability options accounting knowledge and a high level of student interest for a baccalaureate degree directly to the third year of the Commerce degree, majoring in Accounting or Manin accounting.” agement. This major’s program of study provides MacEwan School of Business will intermediate financial, management and implement the Accounting major in Sept. international accounting practice, with 2011. For more information, check www. a focus on analysis – the alignment of or call 780-497-5162. business performance measures to the

MacEwan School of Business



By Laura England

MAPPING THEIR FUTURE Students explore careers in international business through study tours to India and China


ow many students get the opportunity to test-drive a career in international business? A fortunate few MacEwan School of Business students enrolled in the INTB 251 or 252 Doing Business Internationally Study Tour and travelled to either India or China to see fi rst-hand what it’s like to do business internationally – and to discover if it’s their true career path. Building on the success of the 2008 INTB 250 Study Tour to China and Japan, organizers looked to the biggest and fastest-growing markets when choosing a destination for 2010. As two of the much-touted BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, MacEwan faculty and staff believed students would gain enormous insights from visiting India and China. The INTB Study Tour was open to all School of Business students who met the prerequisite requirements – completing a course in BUSN 201 (Introduction to Canadian Business) or MGMT 121 (Principles of Management) with a GPA of 2.0 or greater. Students travelling to India or China had very clear objectives, which included: identifying key trends in globalization; identifying business strategies for Canadian companies doing business in India or China; discussing how social and cultural factors in India or China affect the way business is conducted; preparing a briefing on doing business in India or China based on a specific scenario; comparing and contrasting business practices in Canada with those in India or China; and identifying intercultural competencies necessary for a career in international business.



Their final grade was based on three different components, which included preparing a strategy on doing business in India and China, a pre- and post-essay on their perceptions of the countries, and their contribution and professionalism while abroad. During their tour, students examined international business from a specific cultural context. Students attended business lectures and presentations at partner institutions, toured local businesses, met with business leaders and students, and visited cultural sites. But before they boarded a plane, these MacEwan business students were required to attend a series of sessions on intercultural awareness. Associate Dean Mike Henry personally conducted a session with the students based on his own experiences in India and China.

Organizers put a lot of thought into the itineraries and included visits to organizations that would be of interest to the students from MacEwan’s Bachelor of Commerce, Asia Pacific Management, Human Resources and Management Studies programs. PASSAGE TO INDIA India’s huge, influential economy drew the attention of MacEwan staff and faculty, but there was another connection as well. Dr. Makarand Gulawani, an instructor in the Bachelor of Commerce program, hails from Maharashtra State, the third largest in India. Together with MacEwan project coordinator Kimberley Howard and faculty members Tom Carter and Victor Bilodeau, Gulawani accompanied 20 students on an academic, business and cultural tour of his homeland.

Sunday, May 9

Monday, May 10

Tuesday, May 11

Wednesday, May 12

Thursday, May 13

Friday, May 14

After two days of travel, students and escorts arrived in Mumbai. The group enjoyed a day of exploring local markets and historic sea caves.

Students visited Survival Systems India. This safety education and applied research company had its beginnings in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research is one of the leading management institutions in India. Students had the opportunity to explore the campus and speak with students.

The group observed Tiffin carriers who pick up and deliver over 200,000 hot lunches a day in Mumbai within a three-hour window. This supply chain is centuries old and has an error rate of only one mistake per 600,000 deliveries. The day’s itinerary also included a stop at the Observer Research Foundation, a private, not-for-profit think-tank established to influence public policy formulation.

Students and staff reunited with Dr. Saroj Hiremath at Sir Parashurambhau College. Dr. Hiremath visited MacEwan in September of 2009 and she welcomed the visiting students to her country. The group participated in a session entitled “The Challenges and Opportunities of Doing Business in India” and then continued on with a tour of the city of Pune.

Students toured Tata Motors Limited, India’s largest automobile company and manufacturer of the Tata Nano. That afternoon, the group stopped at Twilight Litaka Pharma Ltd. for a tour and presentation. Litaka is an Indian pharmaceutical company that exports to over 40 countries. Rounding out the day was a trip down Mahatma Gandhi Road.

MacEwan School of Business




The group travelled to Kolhapur to visit the Warana co-operatives. Warana is a major success story in rural development in India. The co-operatives involve hundreds of thousands of individuals and include a dairy operation, sugar factory, fruit processing plant and retail operation.

The day began with a tour of historical Panhala Fort, then the group continued on to Panhala High School, which serves approximately 650 students mainly from farming families. This was an especially rewarding stop on the tour as the group donated money raised by MacEwan faculty and staff back in Canada. These funds went towards purchasing school supplies.

After a rare morning of free time, the tour group travelled to Goa, an area known for its stunning beaches and European architecture.

The group travelled to Delhi, the eighth largest metropolis in the world and home to more than 12.25 million people.

Saturday, May 15

Sunday, May 16

Monday, May 17

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Friday, May 21

Thursday, May 20

Wednesday, May 19

The group travelled to Agra for a day of touring the city which included a stop at the Taj Mahal.

After exploring the Delhi Haat market, students visited the Asia Pacific Institute of Management for a tour and lecture. This institute recently signed a memorandum of understanding with MacEwan which covers a broad range of activities including study opportunities for visiting and international students, exchange programs for faculty, students and staff, articulated student transfers and joint research activities.

The group spent their final day in India exploring Delhi.



HIGH ROAD TO CHINA As one of MacEwan’s many international faculty members, Dr. William Wei returned to his hometown of Beijing as part of this year’s study tour to China. Joining him were Dean Elsie Elford, faculty members Gordon Lucyk and Odette Pinto, plus 19 School of Business students. As with the India tour, each stop on the China Study Tour was carefully thought out to give students the greatest educational advantage possible. On their first full day in Beijing, China, MacEwan students and faculty members visited Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Next stop was the Forbidden City, the largest and most intact conglomeration of ancient structures with more than 800 buildings containing 9,999 rooms. The group ended the day with a visit to the Temple of Heaven which was used by emperors to offer sacrifices and to pray for good harvests.

The group started its day with a trip to the Great Wall. More than 12,000 kilometres in total, this is by far the most famous image of China. They continued on to the Ming Tombs, the Changling Exhibition Hall and a cloisonné factory. The day ended with dinner and a superb performance of a Chinese acrobatic show.

Students toured the exquisite Summer Palace (Imperial Garden), the largest ancient preserved garden in China and a former summer resort for emperors. Next up were shopping trips to a silk shop and the Hutong and Hou Hai areas.

Students visited the site of the 2008 Olympics, otherwise known as the Bird’s Nest. Then they travelled on to the Beijing Union University Business College and the China Petroleum University for a tour and exchange with local students.

The day started with a visit to the Canadian Embassy, followed by a stop at the Alberta China Office. After lunch, the group was treated to an exclusive tour of Microsoft.

First stop on the day’s itinerary – the Beijing University of Technology. The group then headed to the 798 Art District and the Silk Market for some shopping.

Sunday, May 9

Monday, May 10

Tuesday, May 11

Wednesday, May 12

Thursday, May 13

Friday, May 14

MacEwan School of Business




After a short flight to Shanghai, the group travelled to China East Normal University for a tour of the campus and a chance to speak with students.

The group started its day at the Shanghai Administration Institute where they were fortunate enough to meet with Premier Ed Stelmach. The premier was in Shanghai for the opening of a new western Canadian trade office. Next stop was the famous Bund which is an area along the Huangpu River known for its colonial architecture of European design. After lunch, the group toured the Yuyuan Garden, considered to be one of the four greatest Chinese gardens. Later that

day, students and faculty took a night cruise along the Huangpu River. The group spent this day at the Shanghai Expo exploring the Canadian Pavilion and others.

It was an early day as the group made its way by bus to Wuxi, a unique water village in the centre of China’s Yangtze Delta. While there, they visited the beautiful Turtle Head Peninsular Park and the Liyuan Garden. Before breaking for dinner, the group stopped at Konica Minolta Wuxi for a tour of its facilities.

Saturday, May 15

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Wednesday, May 19

The group’s last full day in China was spent shopping and preparing for the journey home.

The group travelled to Huaxi Village, said to be a model of common prosperity, and then to Jiangsu University of Science and Technology.

Another early day and another destination – Suzhou. Known as the “Venice of the East,” Suzhou is built around the Grand Canal and is home to many classical gardens. The group’s first stop was Tiger Hill, and after lunch at a local restaurant, students continued on to the Garden of the Master of the Nets. Rounding out the day was a stop at XJ-Liverpool University and Suzhou Industrial Park.



Upon their return to Canada, students were required to write an essay on their general impressions of India and China including their cultural influences, technology, political system and economy. Some comments included: “I highly recommend study tours as some of the things learned just can’t be taught in class; they just have to be experienced first-hand!” “No amount of pre-departure orientation would have prepared me for India.” “My impression and perspective on China and the rest of the world has been forever altered.” Organizers are already thinking ahead to the next INTB study tour and have their sights set on Brazil. No doubt they will put together another highly beneficial tour that will start another cohort of students on the path to their new international business careers.

By Erin McCarty


DRIVEN BY VALUES Allard Chair recipient Liz O’Neill inspires the community with her exemplary leadership in the not-for-profit sector

D Liz O’Neill with former Allard Chair Art Meyer, senior vice-president, Oil Sands Projects, Enbridge

MacEwan School of Business

uring her term at Grant MacEwan University, Liz O’Neill, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Society of Edmonton & Area, inspired future business leaders to apply themselves with a generous heart. O’Neill is the recipient of the 2010 Allard Chair in Business, an honorary title handed out annually by the MacEwan School of Business. Established in 1984 by Alberta businessman Dr. Charles Allard, recipients are successful Alberta business leaders who are invited to share their knowledge and experience with students throughout the year. aspire






1. Liz O’Neill and Janet PatersonWeir, executive VP, MacEwan 2. Liz O’Neill with Mayor Stephen Mandel 3. Liz O’Neill with her son Braeden and husband Gerard 4. From left: Elsie Elford, Liz O’Neill and Janet PatersonWeir

4. O’Neill’s interest in giving back to the community and helping others is rooted in her childhood, surrounded by nine brothers and sisters. “I was always interested in the role that citizens play in a community,” says O’Neill. Becoming the executive director of the Big Sisters Society of Edmonton in 1979 fulfilled that interest, and she remained there until 1990, when she took over as executive

“Looking at Liz’s contributions locally, she’s a great role model for students,” says Mike Henry. director at Big Brothers Big Sisters Society of Edmonton & Area. BBBS of Edmonton is a non-profit, charitable organization that matches adults with youth in need, providing and fostering positive mentor relationships. O’Neill’s career has also included work with the federal government, the Muttart Foundation and various board positions at local, provincial and national levels. p.18


Through her work at BBBS, the organization has seen exponential growth over the past 20 years. “When I started, there were 24 children. Last year, there were 3,200,” she says of the youngsters that have been paired with adult mentors. Staff numbers have also grown – from one and a half staff when she started to 60 today. “I’ve had the privilege of… not only helping to shape, but also actually being part of that evolution. There’s no question that my heart is here.” Mike Henry, associate dean of MacEwan School of Business, has known O’Neill for almost 30 years. She was an obvious choice for the Allard Chair because everything she does has to be grounded in personal values, he says. “In the School of Business, we feel like we’re educating students about business by engaging with leaders both locally and internationally,” he adds. “Looking at Liz’s contributions locally, she’s a great role model for students.” In preparing his speech to introduce her at the sold-out honorary lunch on February 9, he called the first 10 people on the attendance list to ask how they’d describe her.

From left: Sheila LeBlanc (director, Corporate Learning), Janet Paterson-Weir, Liz O’Neill, Elsie Elford (dean, The biggest concern for the future of MacEwan School of Business) and Mike Henry the voluntary sector is attracting people (associate dean) into the field. Young business leaders are ing Inc., was the 2005/06 recipient of the in particular demand. It was a topic O’Neill Allard Chair of Business and has known addressed on February 10 when she travO’Neill since 1983. “I found it particularly elled to MacEwan South Campus to speak interesting for MacEwan to reach outside the with students about the benefits of a career usual circumference of the business sector in the not-for-profit sector. into the non-profit sector,” says Kelly. “RecThe response from students thus far ognizing a leader in the non-profit sector is has been uplifting. Several students have quite a visionary comment.” Kelly has seen O’Neill engage and inspire students at MacEwan. “She was truly inter“Recognizing a leader in the non-profit sector is quite a ested in students’ opinions. Many visiting visionary comment,” says Ruth Kelly. speakers can talk at students; she spoke with them. She’s helping them understand values within the non-profit sector, and engaging students to get involved within the sector.” to spark the life in people; it’s not calculated already approached her to complete their Kelly considers what O’Neill has accompracticum with or volunteer for BBBS. or manipulative but completely intuitive.” “I, perhaps, was short-sighted in thinking plished with BBBS as a testament to her She exemplifies a leadership model that is sound business principles and her suitability driven not by the bottom line, but by values. that they would be interested on a periphfor the Allard Chair position. eral basis, but that was not the case. They “I believe there is so much of the non-for“She’s diversified revenue systems, and are genuinely interested in ‘Why a not-forprofit sector that is value-driven. It’s about recruited, trained and motivated employees profit sector? What does it provide, how is doing the right thing, in the right way, for and teams. She exemplifies leadership every it structured and governed, what are the the right reasons. It’s part of the culture of day through her personal conduct, integrity our organization – if we’re living our values, challenges?’” says O’Neill. and focus on correct priorities.” Ruth Kelly, president of Venture Publishhow do we know it?” says O’Neill.

“I read the list of descriptors out, and you could see everyone understood,” he says. “Everyone was there not because of business ties but out of personal admiration and support for her.” Henry says O’Neill is leading a whole movement of engaging businesses to invest in non-profits with their understanding, not their wallets. “She explains that money is good, but not good enough. She knows how

MacEwan School of Business





International conference emphasizes “management by values” as a key leadership strategy in today’s business environment



Bestselling author Dr. Simon Dolan presented the opening keynote address

“The only thing that works is management by values. Find people who are competent and really bright, but more importantly, people who care about exactly the same things you care about.” – Steve Jobs, co-founder, Apple



f a keynote speaker’s role is to set the tone for what follows at a conference, Dr. Simon Dolan succeeded brilliantly. By the end of his breakfast presentation, the bestselling author of Managing by Values had a mixed crowd of academics, business people, presenters and students on their feet – jumping, clapping and chanting “one, two, three” with a partner – in a rousing game designed to simulate the two biggest challenges facing international businesses today: chaos and complexity. Engaged and invigorated, the 90-plus participants were primed to delve deeper into “Managing by Values – Beyond Cultures and Generations,” the important theme of MacEwan University’s 2nd Annual International Business Conference, held May 3 and 4 in Edmonton. Dolan is known for shaking things up, and the charismatic professor from Spain’s ESADE Business School lived up to his reputation. “If businesses don’t do things differently, we’re dinosaurs,” was his blunt opening message. In the wake of corporate scandals, environmental crises and global economic turmoil, it’s obvious the old ways of doing business no longer work, Dolan emphasized. Instead, it’s time for major organizational change, a new paradigm that’s only possible with what he describes as “transformational leadership,” using a new model of managing by values, or MBV.

MacEwan School of Business




Before describing MBV’s advantages, Dolan delivered an overview of two traditional management practices, explaining why these no longer work. The first half of the 20th century was dominated by Management by Instruction, or MBI, a hierarchical model based on top-down control of employees. Built on a military-like structure where workers blindly followed dictates from the executive rank, MBI dates back to the 1920s. However, as social values shifted during the 1960s, the focus switched to employee autonomy and empowerment. Soon teamwork and flattened organizational charts replaced rigid management-by-command, and from 1960 to 2000, many businesses embraced the new philosophy of Management by Objectives, or MBO. While a quantum improvement over MBI, it’s now obvious that MBO wasn’t the ideal model either. Dolan put his finger on its basic flaw – a disconnect between executive goals and employee actions, caused by a lack of shared values. Although managing by objectives rather than instruction professes to be an improved technique, Dolan concluded that MBO remains a non-inclusive model that clings to remnants of a control-fromabove system. “For successful performance, an organization’s culture must be built on shared values from the top down and the bottom up,” Dolan explained. “Objectives can’t just be those of the administration or CEO.” Enter MBV: management that aims to integrate values throughout all levels of a business by aligning individual and organizational values. It’s a profound shift, Dolan noted, since traditionally corporations and their employees have conflicting goals. Businesses exist solely to maximize profits; employees seek the personal profit of self-fulfilment through meaningful work. MBV, however, requires senior management to recognize that decisions based on profit alone do not create a sustainable company. Instead, they must embrace the values of their employees and customers, in new operational approaches that include ethics, social responsibility and environmental practices. In other words, the values written into a company’s mission statements must be lived, p.22


not merely given lip service. “Values like honesty and fairness are only words unless they’re linked to action,” Dolan told his audience. “Unless all levels of an organization really walk the talk, they don’t translate into action.” As a blueprint for creating a corporate culture based on values management, Dolan

Dolan concluded by challenging the audience to take up the challenge of creating a new kind of successful organization – using values that are equally good for business, employees and society. Reviewing the papers presented at the conference over the two days shows that process is well underway. Caroline Gauthier spoke of overcoming

“For successful performance, an organization’s culture must be built on shared values from the top down and the bottom up.” explained his triaxial model and its three pillars: economics, ethics and emotions. A company should first define its values in each area, then managers must become coaches for developing and reinforcing those values. Operational changes flowing from this new approach will differ for each organization, but Dolan promises a common reward: increased performance from passionate employees. “Skilled employees deliver good results, but you don’t get to excellence without passion,” he notes.

obstacles to create a handbook of sustainability education for use at the Grenoble École de Management in France. “It is not easy to ask the French to change,” she wryly noted, but the institution is growing greener. Mary-Liz Grisé from Dalhousie University outlined the process she’s implemented to measure how values are put into action in an academic setting, while Eileen Brownell and Chrys Ingraham described their work in developing an undergraduate program in management and social responsibility in the U.S.

And the Winner Is…



1. 1. Provost and executive VP of Grant MacEwan University Janet Paterson-Weir at a welcome reception at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel 2. Conference attendees benefited from a jampacked agenda and networking opportunities 3. Dr. Paul Byrne, president and CEO of Grant MacEwan University, provides a warm welcome to delegates

In research, André Durivage from the University du Québec en Outaouais described the statistical analysis that he and Normand Petterson undertook to measure the degree of correlation between a company’s professed external values, as stated on company websites for instance, and actual internal values as described by employees. (The good news: companies with the best “Fit Index” – those where what they say most closely matches what they do – are generally more profitable.) Sareed Jafaie, a MacEwan B.Com. student, presented his interesting study of struggling ethnic small businesses in Edmonton. Jafaie included recommendations for using a managing-by-values approach, aimed at helping mom-and-pop independent retailers increase their profitability while emphasizing their MacEwan School of Business

unique status as independent alternatives to big-box stores. Since any discussion of values in a global market must look beyond North America, participants also heard papers with a cultural focus. Siddhartha Herdegen from the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, a former fighter-jet flyer, outlined six key reasons today’s business leaders must understand Islamic finance. And Mark Loo, from Concordia University, discussed implications for marketers when selling to multicultural consumers. The conference, which also included workshops and a panel of industry and academic notables, attracted participants from across Canada and the U.S., and as far afield as Indonesia, France and Spain. The jam-packed agenda left attendees feeling satisfied they’d received good value for their travels. As Laura England, a MacEwan communications advisor who helped organize the conference, explains: “We wanted to bring people together to discuss a relevant and timely topic, to springboard ideas and build relationships.” Mission accomplished, judging by lively Q-and-A sessions that could have gone much longer, the thought-provoking panel discussions and the flurry of business cards exchanged during breaks. As a bonus, the conference was also a learning experience for MacEwan faculty. “We’re a young business school that’s just received its university accreditation,” says chair Dr. Davar Rezania. “We want to build a forward-looking curriculum that will serve our graduates well in a changing business environment. Inviting keynote speakers such as Simon Dolan from Spain and his co-author Mario Raich from Switzerland, and hearing quality papers from a range of experts, helps us identify the key issues our instruction should address. You can’t create the best business leaders for tomorrow unless you’re looking to the future.” Or as Mario Raich concluded in his presentation: “The future will be very different, so we must find different ways to run and manage businesses. Let’s use the power of MBV for people, the planet and profit, and create a better world.”

The backbone of MacEwan’s 2nd International Business Conference was the presentation of papers relevant to its “Managing by Values” theme. After an international call for contributions, the School of Business reviewed many high-calibre submissions, then invited the most noteworthy authors to present at the conference. From the best of the best, the panel also selected a Best Paper Award, won this year by Dina Bell-Laroche and Joanne MacLean of Brock University. Bell-Laroche presented the duo’s paper at the conference. A self-confessed sports fanatic who’s also a mother of three, Dina Bell-Laroche is a big believer in managing by values (MBV) – although she admits she sometimes resorts to management by instruction with her young children. Since sport is a value-filled pursuit, Bell-Laroche was curious about whether Canada’s not-for-profit national sports organizations utilize MBV principles. The paper, titled “Moving from values inaction to values-in-action: An exploration of how values can be managed intentionally by national sports organizations,” reviewed 10 national sports organizations and found that most operate on a Management by Objectives (MBO) approach rather than MBV. However, it did find that values defined by national sports organization leaders are set for the entire sport, including volunteers and regional offices, not just athletes or the national executive. As well, values are considered “foundational,” or intrinsic to sports organizations. The authors also discovered a “splash ’n’ ripple” effect, with values increasing or decreasing in importance depending on their proximity to the source. The research led to the development of a model of intentionality called the “Five-I Framework,” which describes the spectrum of how values are experienced within national sports organizations. The paper concludes that since the philosophy of sports organizations is complementary to MBV, a more intentional use of MBV principles would benefit their operations and fundraising activities. Not surprisingly, CEOs interviewed expressed interest in learning more about managing by values. aspire



GRADS Today’s MacEwan students are benefiting from the fine examples, hard work and mentorship of graduates. And here’s the neat part: they’re learning to pay it forward By Mifi Purvis Portraits by Kelly Redinger





t’s right there in the mission statement: “Grant MacEwan University… fosters student success and student contributions within local, national and international communities. MacEwan strives to exemplify the values of respect, integrity, citizenship and environmental stewardship.” As a guiding principle, MacEwan attracts and fosters its staff, faculty and students to give back to their communities, whether “community” means on campus, in town, abroad or in the business realm. MacEwan grads, in turn, are encouraging up-and-comers. Meet a trio of young business grads who, in recessionary times, gave back by working as volunteer editors on a newsletter to advise fellow grads on the best ways to attract notice in a tough economic environment. Also meet an entrepreneur who accelerated his business with MacEwan’s help as well as becoming a mentor and business leader for the next crop of students. These stories show that MacEwan business grads are equipped with the know-how to direct their volunteer efforts to the best effect.

SHARED EFFORT: L to R: Verity Higgins, Nicole Paradis and Carmen Palamarchuk worked as volunteer editors

MacEwan School of Business





TRIO OF KEENERS It started with a contest. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) challenged its student members, who come from schools around the world, to work in groups and put forward a pitch to edit an issue of the IABC student newsletter. The pitch had to be coherent and comprehensive and include a series of articles that would target a matter of importance to readers. Three of curriculum coordinator Colin Babiuk’s students at MacEwan’s Public Relations diploma program decided to enter as a team: Nicole Paradis, Carmen Palamarchuk and Verity Higgins. For the trio, the subject of their pitch was a no-brainer. “It was 2009 and we were about to graduate with a recession in full-swing,” says Paradis. “Many government practicums and student internships were simply not available anymore.” They decided to speak to their fellow students and new grads about the difficulty people in their position had finding work and advise them on how to meet the challenges head-on. If their bid was successful, it would look great on their resumés, but it meant months of hard work on top of their other school duties. “And there was no money at the end,” says Paradis, “no prize.” It might, however, help other students make the most of their school and extracurricular activities to increase the chances for employment post-graduation. They got to work with Babiuk’s support. Then came the good news: their pitch was successful. As a team, they had prop.26


Carmen Palamarchuk interviewed Jay Averill, communications manager at Stantec, for her contribution to the project – a Q&A excerpted below. She found that industry pros such as Averill advocated giving back to get more out of a working life. Q: What are good ways for communications students to continue their professional development if they can’t find a job after graduation? A: Volunteering is a great way. Even though a volunteer position may not turn into a job, it will still give students relevant job experience that will build their portfolios. Volunteering will also give students references they can use when they apply for jobs. Non-profit organizations provide a great opportunity for volunteer work. A good way to decide which non-profit to volunteer with is to find out what really interests you, what has touched your life and how you would like to give back.

posed to each write one article and source, assign and edit a second, for a total of six. Ultimately, the IABC chose three of the finished articles for publication on a website read worldwide by other industry professionals. And the takeaways? “We learned how to write a proposal,” says Carmen Palamarchuk, “how to work in a team and how to talk with professionals in our industry. We gained some experience and got our names out there.” And the team provided an invaluable teaching tool to other students in the position of graduating in a down economy with limited prospects. Chief among the team’s conclusions was to actively seek out volunteer opportunities that really meant something to them and also to volunteer at industry-specific organizations, such as the IABC. “It’s extremely important for students to get involved,” agrees Verity Higgins. The project allowed the three to make a real

contribution and also to put their MacEwan learning into practice. “And the newsletter is a great resource for other students and grads,” Higgins says. “It’s all about community.” Babiuk, who also contributed to the project, says it was even more beneficial than the team might realize. “It helps students share their knowledge and abilities. There are so many others in the same economic situation around the world. And it shows initiative,” Babiak says. “But more than that, it shows that the more you put in, the more you get out.” ACCELERATING LEADERSHIP Landon Croome was already a busy entrepreneur when he started Grant MacEwan University’s Management Studies program in 2004. He had wanted to go back to school for some time but, running his own business, he found it hard to carve out the time. That’s where MacEwan’s accelerated program came in. “I was able to work around my schedule,” Croome says. “It was the best thing I could have done.” The course gives grads such as Croome a well-rounded toolbox of business management skills that include marketing, sales, accounting, business communication skills, finance, human resources and business software applications. Croome has owned Solaris, the exclusive dealer of Phantom Screens in northern Alberta, which sells high-end awnings, screen and umbrellas, since 2000. Four years into the venture, he was ready to take his business to the next level. “The things I learned in the course, I could apply straight away in my business,” he says. “I came away with a better sense of what was possible and impossible.” The first step was learning how to work with a group of people who have disparate opinions and competing priorities. “

Advisory Council, a move that serves the broader MacEwan community as much as it does the student leaders who advise it. “MacEwan takes input from many different stakeholders,” Croome says. “The council makes sure that students have a voice.” During his studies, Croome found a valuable mentor in instructor Lynne Fisher. “She took stock of what I was doing,” says Croome, “and she kept me accountable, making me think ahead.” This kind of

Landon Croome took away more than practical, applied business skills. He was also steeped in MacEwan’s commitment that the best way to ensure a vital business environment is to give back to the community.

work was important,” Croome says. He says that in a team environment, members had to learn from – and lead – each other. Leadership is arguably the most difficult aspect of teamwork to master, but Croome’s coursework put him in situations where he had to learn how to lead effectively. Leadership skills came in handy when Solaris MacEwan School of Business

merged with Phantom Screens: Croome now has 10 employees across Alberta. But Croome took away more than practical, applied business skills. He was also steeped in MacEwan’s commitment that the best way to ensure a vital business environment is to give back to the community. On campus, he joined MacEwan’s Student

seasoned foresight was doubly important to Croome, who was basing some of his reallife business decisions on his MacEwan experiences. Fisher, also a partner with Fisher Langford–Jones and Associates, and Croome have maintained their business connection, with Fisher doing some strategic planning work for Solaris. And the MacEwan philosophy of giving it back and mentoring the next generation remains strong in Croome. He has participated in guest lectures at the school and, to date, he has taken on four MacEwan student interns. “I only bring people on if I actually have something valuable for them to do,” Croome says. “It’s been good. I got so much out of MacEwan and now I can give back.” aspire




n educational institution’s responsibility is to mould its students to become leading members of society. Be it economically, socially or even politically, the success of their future contributions depends on the institution’s ability to guide them into becoming valuable assets to the country. Since 1971, Grant MacEwan University has established a strong foundation to foster student achievements within local, national and international communities. Named after former lieutenant governor, environmentalist and educator J.W. Grant MacEwan (pictured at right), the university focuses on innovative and intimate learning to offer students an enriching educational experience. Instructors at MacEwan come from various industries and international backgrounds. Bringing a wealth of experience, they create a progressive learning environment for the students. Having instructors and students from diverse cultures and countries facilitates a mutual exchange of knowledge and global discovery. The small classroom sizes at MacEwan offer a friendly teaching environment where students are encouraged to participate in class discussions. In this intimate and engaging environment, they can actively trade ideas and opinions. Moreover, instructors are very willing to share their time and knowledge with students to stimulate further discussions and new ideas. Besides providing quality education, MacEwan also encourages students to be involved in their community. Many student clubs are led by students with a vision. Whether it is for a local environmental cause like Common Ground or even championing



global issues such as Walk for Darfur, student activities are widely supported by both the student body and the school. Not only does it promote relationship-building amongst the students, it is also a platform for students to stand up and speak out. In addition, MacEwan affords sponsorships for students who are interested in representing the school in competitive events. Besides empowering students to compete in world-class competitions, school instructors provide intellectual guidance to ensure that students are on the right track. Every month, MacEwan School of Business invites speakers from across various professions to give motivational and experiential insights to students. Costing nothing more than their own time, students have great opportunities to learn different collections of information from across the country and the world. These extrinsic education tools expand learning beyond the classroom, opening students to vast possibilities and new ways of thinking. All in all, education is an advantage that allows people to progress in life. Like a dress rehearsal before the centre stage, students can continuously learn, practise and improve their skills before taking on the real world. To make a difference for themselves and society, learning and self-discovery is a

never-ending cycle. Today, as the international arena becomes a level playing field for everybody, it is very important to prepare Canadian students to be aware of global changes and stay ahead of the curve. Knowledge is valuable, as information is powerful. Holding tr ue to its namesake, J.W. Grant MacEwan, the university will preserve the tradition of creating the new leaders of tomorrow. Rachel (Mei Qin) Kok is a student in the Bachelor of Applied International Business and Supply Chain Management program.



International influences, intimate learning, and community involvement are the hallmarks of Grant MacEwan University


MacEwan School of Business



By Angela Hall

SCHOLAR FROM AFAR Visiting scholar provides international partnership opportunities for MacEwan


r. Saroj Hiremath is the first visiting academic to the School of Business since MacEwan was granted its university status on September 24, 2009. Joining the university from Sir Parshurambhau College at the University of Pune on the west coast of India, Hiremath learned about the status change shortly after landing in Edmonton. “I was very happy that on the day I landed in Edmonton, MacEwan received its university status. I felt very proud to have witnessed and shared the happiness with all of the MacEwanites… I am very delighted to be the first visiting scholar at Grant MacEwan University,” says Hiremath of the momentous occasion. Hiremath holds a PhD and M.Phil in Insurance and Transport Management, plus M.Com. and B.Com. degrees, all from the University of Pune. This is where she currently resides as a post-graduate teacher and a PhD advisor for the MBA and Commerce programs. The University of Pune is one of the most popular universities in India, founded in 1948. The city of Pune is dubbed the “hometown of education” because it boasts more educational institutions than any city in the world. Most of the colleges in Pune are affiliated with the University of Pune, which offers over 3,500 courses in diploma, degree and post-graduate programs. It is a leading centre for research and teaching. “It is popular because the examinations at the university are very stringent… they are very strict with their monitoring system. It is not only what you teach, but how you monitor what you teach. It attracts students who really want to study,” Hiremath explains. This was Hiremath’s first visit to



Canada. She came to build international opportunities between MacEwan and the University of Pune. Last summer, Mike Henry, associate dean, and Dr. Makarand Gulawani, Bachelor of Commerce instructor, took a school business trip to India. Recognizing the need for students to learn how business is conducted in India and other cultures, they approached Hiremath at the University of Pune about the possibility of creating an international partnership between the two institutions. In the following months, Henry and Hiremath continued their discussions

and spoke on a variety of subjects relating to business in India. These topics included business sustainability, managing international business, intercultural communication exchange of values, and the history of insurance in India. In addition to several meetings with deans, program chairs and faculty to discuss partnership opportunities, Hiremath took time to meet with students of the Commerce Club. She was also interviewed by Paul Bhupinder-Singh, an Insurance and Risk Management student, on the history Partnership opportunities include study of insurance in India for the tours, faculty research collaboration Indo-Canadian program on and field placements for students. Edmonton’s CKER World FM radio station. The MacEwan School of Business hosted its second international and Hiremath agreed to visit MacEwan for business conference in May 2010 with the two weeks. theme Managing by Values – Beyond Cul“After coming to MacEwan, I have lots tures and Generations. With 95 participants of ideas of how we can work together. One from various parts of the world, it focused on thing I am very optimistic about is research the importance of aligning employee values co-operation and exchange,” Hiremath says. with organizational values and what post“I am also interested in interaction with the secondary institutions need to be teaching students.” She explained that the partnertheir students, so they can become successful ship would include curriculum, student and business leaders of the future. faculty exchange. The MacEwan School of Hiremath shared her thoughts on Business and Sir Parshurambhau College at the conference subject. “I think it’s a very the University of Pune are currently discussinteresting global topic. If you manage your ing possible partnership opportunities such as study tours, faculty research collaboration business by values, there are long-term beneand field placements for Asia Pacific Manage- fits and you will get consistent results. This approach will help to create lasting relationment students. ships with clients, but most importantly, Hiremath was kept busy with many retain those clients. The cost of retaining a activities during her stay at MacEwan. She customer is much less than creating a new acted as a guest lecturer in numerous classes

MacEwan School of Business

us with a thought-provoking statement: “Management is doing things right, but a successful leader does right things only.” “I want to thank each of you at MacEwan University for the warmth and hospitality you extended to me,” says Hiremath. “And I want to express special appreciation to the students for being so open to our interactions.” MacEwan School of Business would like to thank Dr. Saroj Hiremath for generously sharing her knowledge and experiences with us. We look forward to implementing the partnership opportunities we are building with Dr. Hiremath and the University of Pune in the future.


one, so management by values will be costeffective,” she says. “Managing by values will also make the work environment more satisfying for employees.” She believes effective leadership in an organization identifies and develops the strengths of each team member, to create more growth for both the individual and the business. “Managing by values can help to achieve this goal.” Hiremath thinks that management educators should focus on teaching their students how to become excellent communicators, how to plan and implement strategically and how to make tough decisions. She leaves

VISITING SCHOLAR: Dr. Saroj Hiremath came to MacEwan from Sir Parshurambhau College at the University of Pune, India



By Erin McCarty



MacEwan Corporate Learning and Continuing Education supports the lifelong education needs of School of Business graduates and its local business partners


KNOWLEDGE BUILDER: AIMCo partnered with MacEwan to offer performance management workshops to staff. L to R: Sameer Verma, Janet Chapman, Swati Tewari, Lorne Anderson, Heather Bolli

MacEwan School of Business

hen Lorne Anderson, senior vice-president, human resources, at Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), was looking for continuing education training for his department, he knew exactly where to go. AIMCo, one of Canada’s largest institutional investment fund managers, with 200 employees, wasn’t in a position to establish a dedicated training facility but was looking for opportunities to offer courses in leadership and project management. MacEwan Corporate Learning and Continuing Education helped bridge that gap. “Initially, it began with one of our departments, our Public Equities Group, looking for some team building on site, and one of our people had used MacEwan before for that [purpose] and had a successful experience,” says Anderson. MacEwan met with AIMCo and, based on an assessment of the company’s needs, also helped develop a successful performance management workshop, which was delivered to AIMCo leaders and management over three one-day sessions at MacEwan in May.




“The best part of this experience has been the open dialogue and how they’ve worked with us to meet our needs,” says Anderson. MacEwan is also partnering with AIMCo to offer a Level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certificate program this fall through evening studies, open to AIMCo employees, as well as other local businesses. Corporate Learning has also helped AIMCo develop an educational and skills development course guide for its employees, providing them with various professional development opportunities at MacEwan. Learning is a core value at AIMCo, says Anderson. “We have to be continuously looking forward and giving our employees knowledge, as we’re in the money business and it’s forever changing.” Offering lifelong learning opportunities is the aim of MacEwan School of Business’s Corporate Learning and Continuing Education team, which has been finding ways to

“We work with associations in the business community to identify what knowledge and educational training is required to make people successful in the workplace,” adds LeBlanc. While the business sector is a primary focus of Corporate Learning and Continuing Education, its expertise and course offerings span all industries and sectors. We live in a knowledge economy that is constantly evolving, says LeBlanc, and MacEwan has an integral part to play in keeping people’s knowledge as current as possible. “Two fundamental areas we provide lifelong learning opportunities in are supervisory and leadership skills; those are needed in every industry. So if you are a frontline person – whether you’re an engineer or you work in a warehouse – and you move into a supervisory role where you are managing others, there is a whole range of interpersonal, organizational and team-

We live in a knowledge economy that is constantly evolving, and MacEwan has an integral part to play in keeping people’s knowledge as current as possible, says Sheila LeBlanc. offer expertise, professional development and skills training to individuals and corporations for over 30 years. “We provide evening, online, and daytime mid-career professional training in the Continuing Education area, and in Corporate Learning we take that same knowledge and tailor it to corporate learning needs,” says Sheila LeBlanc, director of Corporate Learning and Continuing Education for MacEwan School of Business. Keeping current with industry needs is a key priority, so a number of partnerships have been developed with professional associations that have specific designations. This allows course participants access to continuous learning and ongoing credits to maintain their professional designations. Some of these collaborations include the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA), the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) and the Alberta Institute of Purchasing Management Association of Canada (AIPMAC). p.34


building skill sets that they can have the opportunity to build further.” Continuing Education supervisor Janine Loewan oversees open enrolment courses, which can be taken by any student or member of the public, business background or not. Three main certificates are offered: leadership, supervisory and project management. “As well, offering accreditation programs can help grads who might want to pursue professional designations and further their knowledge as their careers progress,” says Loewan. Short courses and seminars are also offered on topics including conflict resolution, social media, time management, industry exam prep and computer training. Both non-credit and credit courses are available. Personal development classes are also very popular. Continuing Education is aiming to offer 30 per cent new programming every

year, based on demand and interest in the workplace. Loewan says some programming is developed solely by MacEwan, while other programs are offered in partnership with organizations that bring programming to them. MacEwan Corporate Learning offers expertise in over 80 academic programs and provides corporate clients with training that is relevant and meets their unique needs, either by customizing existing programming or developing something completely new. Corporate Learning manager Ratka Janjic says training can take the form of one- to two-day workshops at any time of day, and clients can come to one of four MacEwan campuses, or Corporate Learning will deliver professional training off site. Online learning options are also available to provide even more flexibility to clients. “Depending on the needs of the client, training can extend over a longer period of time,” says Janjic. Corporate Learning has recently partnered with M.C. College (Marvel) to create a Salon Ownership course, which will be offered this fall. “It’s a great partnership and we are very pleased to work with M.C. College as they, like MacEwan, have a long history in Edmonton,” says Janjic. “The course will offer students industry and business training relevant to those considering starting their own salon business.” The course will be part of the full-time hairstyling program at M.C. College but will also be offered through MacEwan Continuing Education so it can be accessed by stylists in the city. The curriculum will be developed by MacEwan along with M.C. College, salon owners and industry experts. Janjic says, “The plan is to offer the course in multiple cities, including Kelowna, Calgary, Winnipeg and other cities with M.C. College locations.” Through these types of partnerships, it’s clear that MacEwan is committed to maximizing the potential of businesses in the community – helping new ones get established and existing ones to retain and engage their employees. “They work very well with their partners. I would say it’s as if they’re part of the team in developing and training our people,” says AIMCo’s Anderson.

By Erin McCarty



MacEwan students prove themselves as the team to beat in this year’s student business competitions

GO TEAM: Winning MacEwan business students and faculty include: Back Row (L-R): Evan Cherot, Moses (Kwabena) Apoma, Raymond Korner, Holly Davies, Faculty Advisors: Makarand Gulawani and Raina Rudko. Front Row (L-R): Brian Harker, Peter R. Jaffray, Annie Qian, Zachary Bartel, Nicole Tupechka, Matt Mowbrey, Rachel (Mei-Qin) Kok, Jane Causgrove-Reinhart (Faculty Advisor), Raman Perhar. Missing: Anand Pye, and Faculty Advisors: Humayun Qadri, Eloisa Perez and Mahdi Rostami.

MacEwan School of Business


acEwan School of Business students showcased their talent and skills at several business competitions this year, sweeping three fi rst place titles and getting several honourable mentions. In January, a team of five MacEwan students took home all three of the top awards at the Manitoba International Marketing Competition. Considered one of the most prestigious student marketing competitions in the world, the international event hosted teams from as far away as Nigeria, Ghana, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil and Australia. “This was the third year we’ve participated in this competition,” says faculty advisor Dr. Makarand Gulawani. “It was very important for us aspire



to see where we stand against other institutions. It is not just about going there and winning; it was about confirming the standard of our teaching and the quality of our students. We knew we had been doing well, MAKING A CASE: Above (L to R) CMA’s Dr. but this year we took all the first prizes.” running because there is more emphasis on Chris Bart, Annie Qian, Holly Davies, Eloisa Perez Starting in mid-October, the team – the practical skills rather than just theor(faculty advisor), Brian Harker, Raymond Korner, which included Peter Jaffray, Anand Pye, etical ones. CMA’s David Shaw. Left (L to R) Peter Jaffray, Anand Pye, Rachel (Mei-Quin) Kok, Moses Rachel (Mei Qin) Kok, Moses Apomah and “Students hold up very well in the work(Kwabena) Apoma, Matt Mowbrey, Makarand Matthew Mowbrey – participated in a simuplace because they have those technical Gulawani (faculty advisor) lated online competition, which involved skills. They spend less time trying to grasp and this was a way to get a taste of that. We marketing a fictitious product. Team memthe skills because they already have been have lots of opportunities for students at bers then travelled to Winnipeg to present using them.” whatever level they’re at and opportunities their results and business plan to a panel of Yet another win came at the end of March for them to do whatever they want.” judges. The MacEwan team took home the when four MacEwan students took home a Honourable mention is in order for the Best Strategy Statement award, Best Presenta- cash prize of $4,000 as the winning team at tion and Q&A award, and the overall winner the Alberta Deans of Business Case Competi- MacEwan team that was runner-up in its award – the Walter Good Cup. They also tion at SAIT in Calgary. Second-year account- category at the 5th Annual Centre for Entrereceived a $4,000 cash prize. ing students Raman Perhar and Evan Cherot preneurship and Family Enterprise (CEFE) Business Plan Competition. Hosted by the March brought more victories. School of and first-year management studies students University of Alberta School of Business in Business students won first place and took Zachary Bartel and Nicole Tupechka bested January, teams from nine northern Alberta home a $10,000 prize at the CMA Case Com- 13 teams for the title. The very same team academic institutions competed in three petition, held at the University of Calgary showed their mettle at the MacEwan Amazcategories for over $30,000 in prize money March 17 to 19. The MacEwan South Caming Case Competition in January, stealing as they took part in Alberta’s largest business pus team included Raymond Korner, Annie the top title there. Qian, Holly Davies (all third year Bachelor Raina Rudko, one of the team’s faculty ad- competition. Bachelor of Commerce students Shaun Rudanec, Alysha Currie, Terence Macof Applied Business Administration – visors, says the group’s overall performance lenn, Jared Carvalho, Michael Accounting) and Brian Harker Crawley, and Kevin Turna were (second year Management Studrunner-up in the Open Innovaies), who beat out 12 other teams “It is not just about going there and winning. tion category with their plan from schools including the UniIt was about confirming the standard of our entitled “PJ Café.” versity of Alberta, University of “I had the pleasure of working Calgary, NAIT and SAIT. Teams teaching and the quality of our students,” says with this outstanding group of from the University of Alberta Dr. Makarand Gulawani. young people,” says Rhonda took second and third place. Reich, the team’s faculty advisor. “There was an interesting “I think the Bachelor of Comrivalry with U of A,” says Davies, merce program at Grant MacEwan School of who was part of the winning team. “They was impressive and she was pleased with Business offers students unique, experiential won last year and we were third, so it was ex- how the group conducted itself. “There were opportunities like this, which are valuable to citing to win this year. It was nice to see that no questions for our team, only accolades we are on par with other business schools in and comments on their professionalism and students.” She says the learning experience doesn’t Alberta.” how well they executed their presentation,” end at competition. “We’re showing students Faculty advisor Jane Causgrove-Reinhart says Rudko. about taking initiative with these opporsays that instructors at MacEwan are teach“They were truly exceptional and confiing similar content as other universities, but dent. Internally we’ve always known we have tunities. It really links young, interested entrepreneurs to the industry.” MacEwan students are hitting the ground a quality product as a business institution p.36


By Lindsey Norris


Evandro Bocatto Instructor, B.Com. program

LESSONS FROM BRAZIL How cultivating a new generation of intrapreneurs may avert another financial crisis In the aftermath of the financial market implosion, plenty of people had opinions on how and why it happened. Others had suggestions on how to prevent it from happening again: stricter government regulations, more vigilance from investors, even a revised approach to the mathematical formulas that govern market risk. Dr. Evandro Bocatto and Eloisa Perez have another approach, one gleaned from lessons in an area that may seem far away from Wall Street and Bay Street: municipalities in Brazil. The two MacEwan professors grew up in Brazil and come to the topic from different research backgrounds – Bocatto’s in psychology and Perez’s in finance – but both studied corporate and public governance and believe many of the elements that affect a town or city affect a corporation. Both municipalities and corporations can be governed by various styles of management, including autocratic, where decisions come from the top down, or its opposite approach, participatory management, where decisions that will affect a great number of people are made by consensus. In Brazil, Bocatto and Perez found that when city council made decisions for itself, people would lose trust and voting participation would drop. “Except that only consulting doesn’t work; you have to empower people,” Bocatto says. “Corporations work the same way.” In the case of the financial crisis, where a few individuals in one department of large financial firms were chiefly responsible for making the decisions to invest huge sums of money in risky asset-backed commercial paper (and would gain most of the benefit through performance bonuses), the benefits of a participatory structure are obvious. How to change the culture of a corporation to such a structure is less clear. Unleashing a generation of B.Com. graduates that has studied these models is a start, and that’s what the fourthMacEwan School of Business

year course Intrapreneurship, Innovation, and Creative Problem-Solving, aims to accomplish. “The course teaches how an organization can foster democratic management, resulting in innovation after solving problems,” Bocatto says. “Students become change agents, who will start to propose and to support and advocate in favour of a more consultative or participatory management… We are bringing to the market new mental models for business students.” Essentially, Bocatto hopes participatory management styles will help students learn how to be better intrapreneurs – people who bring an entrepreneur-like mindset of innovation to a large organization. And since no change agent can effect much change without the right tools, along with the intrapreneurship course, Perez created a course called New Venture Creation, which teaches students how to create a business plan that will help intrapreneurs defend their ideas. The third course, Managing Change, completes the triage. “My solution for the problems of the crisis relies on people, but people being managed democratically,” says Bocatto. It’s an unusual, innovative idea – but then, you would expect nothing else from a champion of intrapreneurship. aspire


Joong Son Chair, Supply Chain Management

BUYING WI How two faculty members brought one of Canada’s premier professional accreditations to MacEwan’s supply chain major

Here’s a dilemma. Let’s say you’re a purchaser for a retail store and responsible for reordering the latest hot tech gadget. There’s a huge demand for this gadget, so rather than ordering the 20 units you need, you order 200. Demand forecasting suggests they will sell. But they might not, possibly because other purchasers are thinking the same, or maybe you’re just overconfident. Either way, it’s a problem. “If we’re talking about items that don’t have several years of life cycle, ultimately we would have to write them off, which would make them very low-value items,” says Dr. Joong Son, chair of the supply chain program. On the other hand, Son points out that no retailer wants to allow their competitors to scoop up the majority of a product. Either scenario spells a business disaster, and explains why Supply Chain Management – a program that was offered as an applied degree at MacEwan for close to 10 years and is now one of three majors in the B.Com. program – has been steadily growing. Organizations around the world are



facing major shifts in the management of their supply chains, and highly trained professionals that can efficiently co-ordinate the delivery of products and services through to the end customer are in increasingly high demand. In today’s economy, supply chain management professionals have the ability to give companies a serious competitive advantage. “One of our strategies has always been to make sure our students have options,” says Lynn Sugden, Son’s predecessor as chair of the applied degree program and a MacEwan professor for over 20 years. “So as the B.Com. came on board, it was decided for a number of reasons to offer a supply chain major with the B.Com. program.” This evolving field has meant changes for the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC), a professional association for supply chain management professionals. In 2009, the organization changed its professional designation from Certified Professional Purchaser (CPP) to Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) to better reflect the skill set of today’s industry professionals.


Lynn Sudgen Instructor, B.Com. program

ISELY That meant changes at MacEwan too; previously, students completed the prerequisites for the CPP accreditation in their coursework and could write the exams to graduate with a professional designation. The changes meant MacEwan’s ties with PMAC would be broken, and that’s where Sugden, Son’s predecessor as chair of the applied degree program and a MacEwan professor for over 20 years, stepped in. Though not a member of PMAC himself, Sugden has long-standing connections with the association. Before he got his MBA from the University of Seattle or became a professor, he was a systems analyst who counted among his clients Chrysler and PMAC. He is also a Certified Management Accountant, as is PMAC’s current president. Together, Sugden and Son began the long process of getting MacEwan’s Supply Chain Management major accredited under PMAC’s new standards. “It involved a lot of elbow grease,” Sugden says. Two independent reviewers viewed the curriculum to ensure its rigorousness and even considered the qualifications of the teachers of the course. As a result, MacEwan’s supply chain majors

MacEwan School of Business

receive advanced standing in four of the eight required modules. With the SCMP accreditation, “This gives supply chain grads an immediate step into an industry designation,” says Sugden. It’s a development that will undoubtedly attract students. “You have to keep in mind it is a relatively new concept in business: people generally think about accounting, marketing, finance. You will rarely hear a student declare their major in supply chain management,” Son says. “With accreditation, students now understand what’s at stake: they understand this is a premier designation.” The supply chain program will attract faculty, too. It worked for Son, who completed his master’s and PhD in the U.S. Neither he nor his wife were sure where they wanted to settle. They chose Canada when Son accepted the position with MacEwan in 2007. “Not many schools have a supply chain management area, and when I was looking for a position in post-secondary environment I saw MacEwan’s announcement. I had not heard about it before, but I discovered it has lots of growth opportunities and positives,” he says. You might say he bought in.



Odette Pinto Instructor, Accounting & Strategic Measurement program

A TAXING ISSUE Tax wizard Odette Pinto’s PhD explores issues of taxation, and finds that sometimes the best advice is none at all The most famous quote about income tax must surely come from Benjamin Franklin, who wisely remarked that nothing was more certain than death and taxes. But a close runner-up must be attributed to Albert Einstein, who once said – context unknown – “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” Tax planning is an important service provided by public accounting firms. Therefore, the judgment and decision-making of tax professionals preparing tax plans is very important. Odette Pinto knows all about the challenges of tax planning. Before she joined MacEwan’s School of Business in 2002 as an instructor in the Accounting & Strategic Measurement program, Pinto was a tax consultant herself. No stranger to strict deadlines or long hours, Pinto embarked on completing her PhD in 2003 at the University of Alberta on a parttime basis and completed it in only six years. She’d had practise: she completed her CGA, CICA In-depth tax course and MBA part time. “I have learned how to achieve balance between family commitments and career aspirations, although there were definitely challenging times during the six-year period,” she says. Her thesis topic, “Advice and complexity in tax planning judgments,” examines how the advice from supervisors affects the performance of tax professionals preparing estate tax plans. The research study found that supervisory advice doesn’t always improve performance and may sometimes be detrimental. Eighty-five tax professionals from public accounting firms across Canada participated in the study, preparing estate tax plans for tasks of varying complexity. Pinto found that for low complexity tasks, advice was unnecessary and actually had a negative effect on performance. For more complex tasks, the timing of giving advice is important and advice was found to be more helpful when given after the tax professional had developed a proposed tax plan. As a thesis topic, it interested Pinto on several levels: she recognized that it would begin to fill a gap in the existing tax literature and knew the results of her study would be relevant to the tax practices of public accounting firms. As well, it touched on a phenomenon she had noticed in the classroom. “As an instructor I also noted that when students are provided with structure and format, it sometimes causes confusion,” she says. Pinto says she can definitely bring what she learned from her PhD to the classes she teaches at MacEwan. “The research skills I acquired are also beneficial.” Her goals are to publish papers developed from her PhD thesis and also conduct further research. “Scholarly research is important to Grant MacEwan University,” she says. p.40



Don Schepens Instructor, Human Resources Management program

COMMANDING PRESENCE It started with the age-old perennial problem faced by teenagers everywhere: Don Schepens, a 16-year-old high school student in Saskatoon, needed gas money. But rather than flip burgers or bag groceries, he joined the military reserves as a private. It would prove to be his longest single career, outlasting his early days as an education grad teaching English at a French school in northern Saskatchewan. It also first introduced him to his interest in human resources. “I was a personnel selection officer with the military, and I liked it,” Schepens says. “Later I was staff officer personnel for the Saskatchewan district, which was more of an HR job.” By the time he retired from the reserves in 2006, Schepens was a lieutenant colonel with a legion of credentials, skills and titles, including commanding officer of the reserve service battalion, 41st brigade. He honed his negotiating skills in tricky situations, like when he convinced reservists’ employers to give them leave to fight fires in northern Alberta or complete a tour in Afghanistan. His civilian jobs included a stint as the head of manpower planning for Qatar Petroleum. And in his spare time, he completed three undergraduate degrees and an MBA, and was recently appointed president of the Human Resources Management Association of Edmonton. He brings the weight of his experience to MacEwan’s School of Business, where he used his intercultural skills to help develop an after-degree Management diploma and Human Resources diploma program for Ukraine’s International Institute of Business. On a daily basis, he teaches human resources and organizational behaviour in the B.Com. and Management Studies diploma programs. His students are sometimes not much older than he was himself when he joined the reserves for gas money. “One of the things that really surprises me when I’m teaching introductory HR is that most have really no idea what their rights are in the workplace, that they can turn down work if it’s dangerous,” Schepens says. That’s something that needs to change: in Alberta, 80 per cent of industrial deaths and injuries happen to people under the age of 25. “There are 300 burns from deep fryers every year that are bad enough to be reported to occupational health and safety. We don’t do enough to protect people here,” he says. It’s why there is a growing demand for HR professionals. As Schepens points out, you need HR expertise when you’re hiring and when you’re firing, and a lot of both goes on in Alberta. And with labour laws growing tighter, there is more demand for people who know what they’re doing. MacEwan School of Business



WORLD COMPETITORS: Dr. Chaldeans Mensah displays an award that recognizes the Grant MacEwan University team (representing Indonesia) with an honourable mention in the 2010 National Model United Nations Conference. Student Chrystal Coleman is in the front row on the right.




THE GREAT DEBATE Students sharpen business skills and broaden cultural understanding at United Nations simulations


he day was known as Meltdown Tuesday. After 14 hours of deliberating, negotiating and reworking resolution clauses, I could see why. But we were focused. After all, we were in New York and this was probably the only time in our lives that we were going to simulate the United Nations at its world headquarters. For five days this past April, more than 4,000 students from five continents came together in New York to represent the 192 countries that make up the United Nations in one of the largest student conferences in the world. From the first day of National Model United Nations (NMUN), I felt the magnitude of what we were there to accomplish. Only a conference of this kind allows students to tackle world problems such as human rights, disarmament and international security, international law, development and the environment. So what was a business major doing at a conference that typically draws political science majors? At first, I asked myself the same question. After a year of participating in mocksimulations and attending three UN model simulations including one in Quito, Ecuador, I discovered that participating in NMUNs not

MacEwan School of Business

only allows students to work with important global issues, but also helps sharpen critical business skills. Through these experiences – whether during preparation, in committee sessions

have to keep it up, stay organized and be assertive,” says Nguyen. “UN simulations help people learn skills in communicating and debating. It also helps in public speaking and research. Not only do you have to speak well, but you also have to know what you’re talking about.” “UN simulations offer students the op“UN simulations offer portunity to develop an understanding students the opportunity to develop an understanding of of the complexity of decision-making the complexity of decisionwithin a global institution.” making within a global institution,” says Dr. Chaldeans and even in hallway caucuses – we developed Mensah, chair of the Department of Anthropology, Economics and Political Science. “In an appreciation of differing viewpoints, addition to the cultural understanding that the frustration of negotiation, the rewards the conference affords, NMUN also teaches of co-operation and a broader view of the students the art of diplomacy including the human side of international relations and building of consensus necessary to address diplomacy. some of the challenging global problems of As a major in public relations, I pracour time.” tised cutting through the clutter of informaWhether it was on the sunny deck at tion in order to get to the heart of an issue, the university in Quito, Ecuador, or at the writing and delivering speeches and resolugold-covered backdrop within the United tions, researching and idea building. Three other business students attended Nations New York building, UN model delegates came together to explore some of this year’s conference in New York, includthe most pressing global issues facing our ing Janet Nguyen, a Bachelor of Commerce world today and walked away with incredible business major. “Simulations are like small businesses – you have your own part and you memories.




ill e r M t e Jarr m. 2009 B.Co nomy o c e in the his A blipn’t stop tduate couldEwan gra a Mac launchingeer from ising car prom



th a P g Hi s


MacEwan School of Business grad Jarret Miller knows fi rsthand that job opportunities have a way of presenting themselves in unexpected ways. Miller, 24, worked exceptionally hard so that he could graduate in 2009. He wanted to be among the first class of fourth year students to complete the Bachelor of Commerce program at MacEwan School of Business. “I took seven classes my first semester and six my second,” says the management major. “During my second semester, the job I had intended to walk out of my degree into fell through due to the recession.” While still completing his final semester, he started spending six hours each day searching for a job. When he graduated in June 2009, he spent a solid month job hunting, looking for a position in Calgary so he could join his girlfriend who lived there. Determined to jumpstart his career in the construction or mining fields, where he already had experience, Miller also began networking as much as possible, carrying around business cards that directed people to his LinkedIn profile. By August, he had landed a temporary placement doing data entry at Caliber Systems in Calgary. The two-week posting turned into a three-and-a-half month position, where he took on the role of HR and payroll assistant. “MacEwan set me up quite a bit to take on the work at Caliber. I learned the analytical aspects and case studies to be prepared. Although no matter how well a school tries to prepare you, you still walk into a new situation green, and you do the best that you can.” After Miller put his nose to the grindstone and proved himself as a professional, the owner of Caliber Systems offered him a position at one of his other companies. Now, Miller is the office manager for L’Aquila Contracting & Mix Ltd., a construction company in Calgary. He is in charge of running the administrative processes, and is assisting in cleaning up the structure and processes. Miller was asked to speak at MacEwan’s Student Business Conference on March 11 this year. “I was really honoured to be asked. It was really fun to speak to the students and talk about how I’ve made it to this point,” says Miller. “I graduated in June and, in a short period of time, I already had trust put in me to be in a management position… It’s been very eventful so far.” This position is a huge step in his career, he says. “I didn’t want a lull. I wanted to hit the ground running, doing something I was really passionate about.”

By Erin McCarty

lis t as o K ea Anthm. 2009 B.Co gradl n a w a MacEher glob turnsriences expelocal into rtunity oppo

MacEwan School of Business


ti a n r e Int

h c a e nal R

MacEwan grad Anthea Kolitsas hasn’t been out of school very long, but she’s already making her mark in the world of international business. Kolitsas, 24, graduated from MacEwan School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in management, in December 2009. She is now at the helm of Recruitment & Retention for MacEwan International, where she is in charge of recruiting for the Americas and the Middle East. As part of the university’s goal to be a global institution, MacEwan International actively recruits students from around the world. “My other goal is to help assist in creating a plan to retain international students, as many are leaving and we’d like to keep them here,” says Kolitsas. MacEwan provided her with many opportunities to learn about international business practices and etiquette, both locally and abroad. During her time in the program, she went on a two-week study tour of China and Japan. “I visited different corporations and saw how business was conducted there. From a business standpoint, it was a really invaluable experience... to see countries that may be new business superpowers in the future.” In her final year, Kolitsas applied for a four-month internship with the Global Trade and Regional Integration Program through the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. A successful applicant, Kolitsas interned at Merrill Lynch in Washington, D.C., where she create marketing plans, conducted stock portfolio analyses and received investment strategy training. “I thought this internship would be really interesting because I knew something about the Asian business dynamics and Canadian business dynamics, and I wanted an understanding of corporate America, especially in this time of economic recession. So it was amazing to have a first-hand experience at such an imperative time.” More than a learning experience, she describes it as a life-changing opportunity. “Washington changed me as a person. I developed a lot individually, professionally and as a leader. And the people I met were amazing. I lived with four other people from around the world… a roommate from Korea, one from Mexico. It was good to meet people from other places and learn from them.” Kolitsas says she doesn’t believe she would have had these international opportunities at a larger academic institution. “I feel because of the small class sizes and the intimate atmosphere, these business opportunities are more readily available and opened up to us. They want to see us succeed.” She credits her experiences abroad as increasing her networking opportunities and making her more marketable upon graduation. Kolitsas never in fact imagined herself working at a job in this international capacity but says the fit is perfect and she loves the path she’s on. aspire


Exit Interview JOE Di FABIO

WHAT I LEARNED AT MacEwan Recent graduate Joe Di Fabio talks about all-nighters, stupid questions and global domination What program did you complete at MacEwan? The Bachelor of Commerce program with a major in management. What are you doing now? I’m currently exploring opportunities and testing the job market as well as starting up a company in mobile software development. What was the most important thing you learned at MacEwan? It’s hard to pick just one thing that sticks out in my mind as “the most important” because everything I learned at MacEwan is in some way or another linked together, and I think that was something that really stuck out for me. However, if I was to pick out something in particular that was extremely significant for me and my education, it would be the importance of increasing your social network to help further your education and learning opportunities. This can be seen as odd because it really isn’t something that you learn in class but learn outside of it. What was the most important thing you learned about business during your studies? There is no such thing as a stupid question and, more often than not, there is always someone smarter than you, so seek them out and ask them a question and try to learn something new.

on developing a community in MacEwan for people who were in the School of Business or just had a passion for business in general. We wanted to give people the opportunity to network with their fellow classmates and with business professionals from around the city. What would be your most treasured memory of your time at MacEwan? Sitting in the business lounge talking with whomever comes in the door, and the Commerce Club Gala. The Commerce Club gala is fast becoming the flagship event of the club. It’s a celebration in honour of a year of hard work and newfound friendships. Seeing the event succeed and carry on successfully for two years makes it one of the memorable moments of my education. If you could only use one word to describe your experience at MacEwan, what would it be? Epic. What was the greatest challenge you experienced while taking your degree? Deciding what I wanted to take. I had a diverse palette of interests and it was difficult trying to decide what to focus on. What was your most significant learning experience during your studies? That it’s possible to write a paper in one night but it isn’t necessarily a smart idea.

If you could invent a new course that you would have loved to have taken, what would it be? Global Domination.

What are the most important skills you learned that you are now taking into the business world? Networking, time management, stress management and multi-tasking.

What was your most significant accomplishment during your studies? Starting up the Commerce Club with Corey Lemiski and being involved with it for two years. MacEwan’s Commerce Club provides students with the opportunity and ability to exercise their business skills in a “real world” environment to help them further their career. We placed a focus

Where do you think your business degree will take you? The sky’s the limit. Hopefully global domination, but if that doesn’t pan out, I hope to own my own business one day. I have a strong passion for marketing and communications, and I hope to be able to pursue that career path.



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aspire - The Values Issue - Fall 2010  

aspire magazine is produced by MacEwan University's School of Business.

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