A Look Back on the Past Year

With 2016 marking the Alberta School of Business’ centennial (we began as the School of Accountancy in 1916), as well as the 50th anniversary of the first MBA graduate, it will be a very special year.  But for now, with the holidays upon us, let’s take a look back at what’s happened at the Alberta School of Business in 2015.


The start of 2015 saw a contingent of Alberta MBA students head off to Ontario for the 2015 MBA games held by the Degroote School of Business at McMaster University.  While we didn’t win the competition, and the privilege to host the 2016 games, a good time was had by all.  The end of January also saw the release of the 2015 Financial Times MBA rankings – which saw Alberta ranked 3rd in Canada and reported our highest-ever weighted salary in the annual MBA rankings.


Winter term picks up in February and as the annual Reading Week rolls around, students are quite happy to relax and take a break for mid-terms and group projects.  However, for some students, February was a very busy month with case competitions.  Teams of students traveled to Halifax, Toronto, North Carolina, Colorado, and London (Ontario) for case competitions.  We are especially proud of our team who won the inaugural Ivey-Haskayne Leadership Case Competition.


Taking a break from a busy semester, the Alberta School of Business hosted the annual Canadian Business Leader Award dinner.  The 2015 recipient was Larry Pollock, the long-serving CEO of Canadian Western Bank.


A very studious time on campus, April marks the end of Winter term with students buckling down on projects, assignments, and final exams.  April also saw Michael Lounsbury, Alberta School of Business Professor and Director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship MBA specialization, receive a tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  The chair comes with a $1.4 million award.

MBA students visiting Hanyang University on the Japan/Korea study tour


With classes over, May traditionally marks the beginning of our International study tours.  2015 saw our students head out to China (Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai), Europe (Germany and the Netherlands), Asia (Japan and Korea), and Brazil.  The tours provide a great opportunity to gain exposure to business practices in international locations and focus on topics such as family business (Europe) and energy (Brazil).


One of our favourite days of the year falls in June every year – Spring Convocation.  2015 saw 132 MBA and EMBA students, along with 29 Master of Financial Management students walk across the stage.  While every graduate has a great story behind their success, two MBA graduates (Vikram Chauhan and James Gaby) shared their stories with us.


The peak of summer when everyone is out enjoying the sunshine and warm weather is a quieter time on campus.  July did see a number of University of Alberta alumni and connections appear in the Alberta Venture list of Alberta’s 50 most influential people.


With Orientation and the beginning of classes in our MBA and Executive MBA programs, August is one of the busiest months of the year.  2015 also saw long-serving Associate Dean Dr. Joan White retire from the University and Dr. Michael Maier take on the role of Associate Dean, Masters Program at the Alberta School of Business.

MBA students at Orientation 2015


Fall term classes kick-off in September and students fresh off of Orientation begin to settle into classes.  September is also very busy time for our student groups as they plan out their events for the year and aim to start the new school year on a high note.


October saw the release of two different rankings, the Financial Times Executive MBA rankings and the Corporate Knights 2015 Better World MBA rankings – the Alberta School of Business fared well in both.  October also saw the appointment of our Dean, Dr. Joseph Doucet, as the head of the Premier’s Advisory Committee on the Economy.


Like February, November is another very busy month for external case competitions – with our students winning the Degroote MBA Case Competition at McMaster!  November was also a busy month in student recruitment, with our office traveling to India, China and across Canada, in addition to hosting alumni events in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.  Finally, November is also when the annual Fall Convocation took place – 32 MBA, 2 Executive MBA, and 9 Master of Financial Management students joined the University of Alberta alumni community.


The last month of 2015 saw the Fall Term come to an end with students wrapping up their final exams.  In addition to everything happening academically, December also saw Dr. Andrew Leach sit down and discuss his role in leading Alberta’s Climate Change Advisory Panel and the ultimate plan put forward by the provincial government. Students can now sit back, relax and spend much deserved time enjoying themselves with family and friends as they reflect on an exciting and rewarding year!!

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