by Jennifer Gearey
Concordias Masters of Business Administration program picks
up students with unusual job skills.
Take, for example, Tamara Medwidsky, international wrestling competitor.
Medwidsky, who also has a graduate Diploma in Sports Administration. She
says shes simply planning for the future, when she can no longer
Then theres Anthony Housefather, president of Alliance Quebec, the
English-rights lobby group. The MBA program helps me be more effective
in running a volunteer organization, as well as being a city councillor
Mutsumi Takahashi, co-anchor of CFCFs Pulse News, got her MBA five
years ago. The program is a bit like boot camp, she said.
They throw so much information at you. I think what theyre
doing is testing to see how much stress you can take, how well you can
function under pressure. Their message is, if you want to make it in the
corporate world, be prepared to work.
Masters of Business Administration program director Lea Katsanis
says that shes seeing more mature, work-savvy MBA students these
Only a few years ago, the average GMAT score was 560; these days, applicants
to the program should have 600, and the average score is 620. (The GMAT
is the four-and-a-half-hour Graduate Management Admissions Test, a standard
Similarly, where the students once had three or four years work
experience, they now have an average of six. This means that there
are more opportunities for peer learning, Katsanis said. They
can network and learn from each other about businesses and industries
that are different from their own field.
This rise in standards reflects a Faculty-wide push to reach a market
beyond Montreal. And students compare before they buy. They talk
to other people, and get on the Web, said Katsanis, who is a Marketing
professor. MBA students are pragmatic. Theyre looking at the
job market, not at personal development for its own sake.
The Facultys accreditation by the American Assembly of Collegiate
Schools of Business has a significant effect in the scramble for students.
While the minimum admission requirements are an undergraduate degree with
a GPA of at least 3.0, high Graduate Management Admission Test scores,
and at least two years work experience, most now exceed that criterion.
Last year, 90 per cent of the Concordia MBA graduates were hired within
three months, at salaries at least 45 per cent higher than they were making
before going back to school.
There are 300 students in the program, fairly evenly split between male
and female, part-time and full-time students. The MBA can now be completed
in 16 consecutive months, although few students take that gruelling option.
The program focuses on workplace challenges. Many people can identify
problems, but then not be able to figure out what to do about them,
said Katsanis. Figuring out what has to be done is not easy. Even
more challenging is getting others to do what needs to be done.
One of the MBA programs
great strengths is its staff. You hear the most wonderful things
from students about them, says program director Lea Katsanis, seen
here in the middle.
Rebecca Midgley, the Admissions Officer (far left), is the first
face that the students see, Katsanis said. Her office is full
of photos of grads, and she still has students who come by to say hello.
Well miss her when she retires in March.
Lissa Matyas (second from right) is the new Assistant Director. As Katsanis
says, she is full of enthusiasm, and building strong links with
student group, alumni and companies.
Marlene Lloyd (far right) is the Student Affairs Coordinator. After
you get past Rebecca, Marlene takes you right through to graduation.
Tracy Sutton, the department secretary (second from left), is our
valued traffic cop and problem-solver.