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June 6, 2002 Karim Boulos wins MBA award of $10,000



Karim Boulos

Karim Boulos, winner of the Bourse Émérite, given by the MBA Association of Quebec

Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

by Barbara Black

Karim Boulos says with a grin that his marks this year were “straight As — the best ones I’ve had since kindergarten!”

Boulos, 35, is finishing up his master’s in business administration with a flourish. This spring he won the first Bourse Émérite given by the MBA Association of Quebec (AMBAQ), worth $10,000. Last fall, at Concordia’s Graduate Awards ceremony, he won the Briscoe Award for entrepreneurial leadership, which carries a prize of $2,500.

Head coach of a swim team in Beaconsfield for many years, Boulos decided it was time to try something different.

He took his courses over one and a half years, leaving the core courses to the end. He had an undergraduate degree in education from McGill and had taught coaching courses, but it had been a long time since he had been a student himself.

At first, it was tough. “Deadlines, routine, assignments — but you adapt.” A key element in his adaptation to student life was the fact that he plunged right into extracurricular activities, and enjoyed them. Now he’s a big booster of the John Molson School of Business, and says he’s glad he came to Concordia.

Boulos soon came to love studying management, too, because he loves people. The business courses appealed to his entrepreneurial instinct. “It’s about achieving goals, and I knew about that from being a coach.”

“The award is neat, and so was the selection process,” Boulos recalled. “I met the CEOs of all the major Quebec corporations, from high-tech and production to distribution.”

Boulos, who came from Egypt as a child and grew up on the West Island, had another reason to celebrate. Right around the time he won the big AMBAQ prize in April, he and his wife announced that they were expecting their first child in late September.

They say good things come in threes, and sure enough, they did for Boulos. He also won two Air Canada plane tickets at the Concordia International MBA Case Competition. He and his wife used the tickets in April, when they visited Spain.