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A student works on a laptop in the grass, surrounded by books. (iStockphoto)
A student works on a laptop in the grass, surrounded by books. (iStockphoto)

Business School News

Ivey students take on Harvard Business Review Add to ...

The Globe’s biweekly business-school news roundup.

A student-run business publication, which recently published its 100th article, has ambitions to make a name for itself in the “thought leadership” market now dominated by the Harvard Business Review.

The Ivey Business Review, founded in 2009 by undergraduates at the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, has a more youthful, journalistic feel than its more established, scholarly peers (with cartoon illustrations and headlines like “Et tu, Google”) but student contributors are required to be no less rigorous in analyzing company strategies and market trends.

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“We wanted to give students a chance to push beyond the Ivey case method and immerse themselves in a real-live business issue,” says Matthew Ball, one of 10 co-founders of the Review and now a consultant with Accenture Management Consulting. He adds “we believe deeply in the potency of collaborative education and the value of a self-directed learning experience that drew upon the collective talents of the entire Ivey community.”

Published free twice a year, the Review recently revamped its website to include alumni blogs. The publication operates with a 13-person editorial board of current business undergraduates and an advisory board of 12 Ivey alumni, with 10-12 stories an issue selected from proposals pitched by undergraduates.

As well, in a relationship developed between the Review and Accenture, student authors meet face-to-face with the firm’s seasoned consultants, who offer advice and insights in their area of expertise. The publication retains editorial control.

“Accenture provides a sense check, but doesn’t guarantee veracity,” says Michael Zawalsky, the current publisher of the Review, which receives funding from the school, the student association and corporate sponsors.

Mr. Zawalsky says the publication already has had an impact, including an exclusive interview with Encana chairman David O’Brien about his retirement plans. Other Review stories have been picked up by mainstream business media.

Mr. Zawalsky, 21, expects to graduate next year with undergraduate degrees in business and engineering and describes the preparation of the Review as a team effort.

It’s also a learning experience. “It is an opportunity to practice everything you have been taught in the classroom in an actual context,” he says. “You are managing teams, budgets, marketing, public relations, fundraising and development of the website.”

As the traditional business press moves away from long-form print journalism, Mr. Zawalsky and his colleagues are bucking the trend. “We believe there will always be a place for well-reasoned, deep insightful coverage of issues,” he says. “We try to attract readers who are interested and will take the time to read 1,600 words on a niche topic.”

Adds Mr. Ball, “We have a pretty ambitious program in which we hope to become a key player in the business thought leadership space. We certainly see that as being something we are headed towards but we are not there yet.”

China-Saskatchewan links

In its first overseas agreement in a decade, the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan has signed a formal agreement with the Beijing Institute of Technology to promote student and faculty exchanges.

The agreement, signed in late May, cements a long-standing relationship between the two institutions. Already, about 50 MBA students from Edwards spend a couple of weeks in Beijing and Shanghai as part of their program, according to business school dean Daphne Taras, with plans now for Chinese students to spend time in Saskatchewan.

Last year, Dr. Taras took an undergraduate class to Israel and Jordan to “break the ice for undergraduate courses and I hope to see more courses abroad in the coming years,” she stated in an e-mail.

Surrey site of part-time MBA program

Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business plans to deliver a part-time MBA program at its campus in Surrey, B.C., tapping into the city’s reputation as a fast-growing hub in the southeastern region of the province. The evening program will enroll its first students in January, 2014, adding to a bachelor of business administration offered at the Surrey campus since 2002.

New appointments

The Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the globally-used GMAT entrance exam for business education, has named Sangeet Chowfla as its next president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2014. The business career of the India-born American citizen spans several sectors, including technology, telecommunications and venture capital.

Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business has tapped Sandra Betton as director of the MBA program, effective this month. In addition to the MBA program, she will oversee the school’s graduate diploma and certificate programs in business administration. A former chairwoman of the finance department, Dr. Betton joined Concordia in 1994.

Rob Hines, a 25-year business veteran, has been appointed executive director of the Career Development Centre at York University’s Schulich School of Business. A former managing partner of the executive search firm CTPartners, Mr. Hines is also a member of Schulich’s international advisory council.

Follow Jennifer Lewington and Business School News by subscribing to an RSS feed here.

Contact Jennifer at jlewington@bell.net.

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