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Dalhousie University Rowe School of Business: Diverse Backgrounds in Business 

Welcoming students with non-business experience into the Corporate Residency MBA program

IAN SELIG
  • IAN SELIG

After spending two years working in the music industry in Montreal, Bronwyn Worrick was ready to go back to school. She already had an undergraduate degree in Sociology and International Development Studies, pointing to an obvious path for further studies. But luckily a former classmate from McGill guided Bronwyn towards a less-obvious choice for grad school, the Corporate Residency Master of Business Administration (CRMBA) at Dalhousie University's Rowe School of Business.

The CRMBA program doesn't require "traditional" business experience, and that gave Bronwyn the ability to pivot away from, while simultaneously leveraging, her non-business background and undergraduate degree.

The CRMBA program, Bronwyn says, "doesn't just 'accept' people from different educational and experiential backgrounds, it truly welcomes different understandings and ways of approaching problems."

Bronwyn has been able to learn about — and provide valuable insights into — corporate social responsibility, innovation and organizational change both in the classroom and during her eight-month work term at Stantec on their Indigenous Relations and Sustainable Development teams.

Being surrounded by students from diverse backgrounds proved to be both exciting and challenging for Bronwyn. "I learned so much about how to engage and empathize with different perspectives and understandings of our evolving business world. This has allowed me to be a better learner, listener and leader."

At the Rowe School, Bronwyn has been taught how to lead through change and complexity with creativity, empathy and innovation. The small cohort size also attracted Bronwyn to the program, and she has enjoyed the familial culture that the faculty and staff exude at Dalhousie.

"Professors are extremely dedicated to students' long-term success. Due to the small class sizes, you really get to know your professors and they get to know you," she says. "This allows for strong mentorship opportunities and the ability to build lasting relationships." Bronwyn adds that the biggest success for her throughout the CRMBA program has been gaining confidence in integrating her personal approach to problem-solving with the different perspectives of her classmates, colleagues, and clients.

The CRMBA expanded her career options further than she could have imagined, through opportunities such as the MBA Society, case competitions, the Creative Destruction Lab and the student-run consulting firm Coburg Consultants. Bronwyn's advice to prospective students is to remain as present as possible for the entire experience – both during the eight-month work term and in the classroom. The intensive and experiential learning environment allowed her to challenge herself in a safe, collaborative space.

"The CRMBA program is a fantastic way to launch your career. I feel a renewed and strengthened sense of confidence that I didn't anticipate when entering the program. I know that what I've learned will propel me in my professional journey – from pursuing a career in consulting to starting my own business one day."

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Vol 26, No 42
March 14, 2019

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