The University of Victoria is home to the Gustavson School of Business – a business faculty with many programs available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The faculty brings an edge to its domestic and international students alike by providing unique opportunities such as co-op (both self-directed and with an employer), international exchange, and the Applied Portfolio Management Program.
Undergraduate Program – BCom at UVIC
Bachelor of Commerce Program Overview
UVIC’s Bachelor of Commerce Program is broken down into 4 years and typically includes a co-op work term between years 3 and 4. The first 2 years are dedicated to what is designated as pre-commerce courses; students will take 5 courses (7.5 units) related to their bachelor’s program, as well as an additional 22.5 units of elective courses. Some of the required courses in years 1 and 2 include Microeconomics, Statistics for Business and Finite Mathematics. During the first two years, students can better determine their interests in the realm of commerce so that they can appropriately choose a specialization in year 4.
Year 3 in the Bachelors of Commerce provides students with a foundation in accounting, marketing, finance, management and corporate sustainability. These are the core courses of the program, and students are required to complete all deemed necessary. No electives are available in year 3 of the program. Between years 3 and 4, students often choose to do a co-op, this is a paid work experience providing students with experience relevant to their careers. Moving into year 4, students complete a specialization; there are 4 specializations available including entrepreneurship, international business, service management and a non-specialized option. Further, year 4 is also the year students are eligible to go on an international exchange; they get to take courses and explore a brand new country as well.
Career Outlook and Wage Potential – Human Resources Manager
Graduates of this program will be eligible for a number of career types, and the career they enter will likely be based on their specialization chosen. One example of a possible career for graduates includes a Human Resource Manager. In Canada, the outlook for this job is balanced – labour demand and supply are expected to be in line for the years of 2019-2028 according to the Government of Canada. The outlook in the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec are good, and fair in limited in the remaining provinces except for Nunavut who remains undetermined according to the Government of Canada. Finally, in Canada, human resources managers can earn a median salary of $45.06 per hour, according to the Government of Canada.
International Student Alumni Feature – Farboud
UVIC Bachelors of Commerce alumni Farboud is keen on all things accounting and international business. During his degree, he participated in co-op twice; once in a self-directed entrepreneurial co-op where he expanded his own produce company, and a second with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Amazingly enough, both co-ops proved to be greatly successful and Farboud has continued on in both roles after graduation. He is continuing his produce import business which happens to supply 10% of Vancouver’s avocadoes, and also has a role lined up with PricewaterhouseCoopers! He will also be returning to school for a master’s program soon.
Graduate Programs and Opportunities at UVIC
Masters of Business Administration Program – Sustainable Innovation
UVIC’s MBA program is a graduate program with an edge – the focus is entirely on sustainable innovation. Sustainability is necessary for business; times have changed dramatically – we are seeing climate change, social unrest and other wicked problems that businesses must be ready to adapt to. As such, UVIC is seeking problem solvers and entrepreneurially minded individuals to tackle these great problems of the 21st century, changing businesses so that they can both mitigate and adapt to new challenges.
Two MBA options are available for graduate students at UVIC – the daytime option and the weekend option. The daytime option is a 16-month program that runs full time, with the option of a co-op work placement. In this MBA, you will require skills in areas such as management, socially-minded corporate leadership, community-building and entrepreneurship. Students will further get to participate in real-world projects with other MBA candidates, allowing them to hone in on skills and gain relevant career experience. Meanwhile, the weekend option is a 24-month program that is tailored to working professionals – reflective exercises, projects and case studies will help future students move into senior business positions at their respective workplaces.
Masters of Global Business Program
International students studying business will likely naturally be interested in global business and UVIC provides just that. UVIC offers an MGB – a Masters in Global Business designed for graduates from all around the world. This particular master’s degree strives to combine applied learning and international experiences; in fact, students will travel to 3 countries during their MGB program. They have a choice of different paths in terms of the countries they choose, and each path ensures a well-rounded international experience. During the time abroad, students will learn business fundamentals, a new language, and cross-cultural intelligence.
Masters of Management Program
A final master’s option for students is the Masters of Management option. This is a graduate business program designed to fit undergraduate students with an interest in business but who took a non-business program during their undergrad years.
The program is 12 months in total and will help students leverage the skills and experiences acquired in their undergraduate program; you’ll build upon acquired skills through a business lens, helping you to work in any organizational environment later on. There will a range of core business courses available, including Organizational Analysis and Problem Solving, Organizations in a Changing World, and Collaborative Teamwork in Organizations. In addition to course work, students will also complete a 12-16 week work experience placement; this will provide students with relevant experience in Canada and may help them determine the kind of organization they wish to work for after graduation.
Career Outlook and Wage Potential – Chief Sustainability Officer
A possible career option for business graduates could be a chief sustainability officer – these executive officers are the highest-level employee who oversees the corporate strategies in place to achieve sustainability objectives. The Government of Canada does not report on this specific position, but positions are available at a variety of workplaces according to EcoCanada; this is including local, regional and national governments, corporations, utility companies, and natural resource extraction companies. Often CSO employees work both in the office and in the field, monitoring initiatives in practice at work sites or leading public relations interviews, and preparing for both in the office as mentioned by EcoCanada. Finally, for chief sustainability officers in Canada, the average hourly wage is $48.78 per hour according to Neuvoo.
International Student Highlights – The Kitimat Clean Case Study
New international MBA students in their course Essentials of Business and Leadership were exposed right away to real-world case studies affecting Canadian stakeholders such as industry, government and First Nations. In the 2017 version of the course, students began by studying the Kitimat Clean project – a refinery for bitumen near the City of Kitimat in British Columbia. Many of the international graduate students learned of new considerations key to Canadian industry projects.
For many of the international graduate students, they learned a lot about sustainability and the local First Nations in the area near Kitimat. These were elements the students had not considered before, with much of their focus being on demand marketing when considering new projects. Further, many of the MBA international students were exposed to long term vs short term thinking; long term thinking for project consideration is a widely held First Nations value – considering the impacts to future generations is important and necessary.
UVIC’s business faculty is a leading Canadian business school with programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels for business students. It also combines experiential learning opportunities with traditional course-work, this includes co-op, case studies, and international exchanges as well!