Program features

We've designed our MBA so you don't waste a minute of your time with us. However every program has its highlights, so here are ours:

Executive Mentorship Program

Our Executive Mentor Program connects you with experienced business leaders in our community eager to share with you their expertise, knowledge and experience. Through your relationship with your mentor, you layer on a real world perspective to your classroom learning.

Learn more about our Executive Mentor Program.

Integrative Management Exercises (IMEs)

In the first year you participate in two consulting exercises called Integrative Management Exercise (IME) one in Victoria and  one in China, India or Brazil. In your team, you research and analyze the client's issue then submit your recommendations to the company in both a team presentation and report.

Integrative Management Exercise (IME) In Victoria

The IME in Victoria may take a variety of forms: an internal case competition, a business simulation or a live business case with a local organization. Most recently, the IME was a case competition with a sustainability consulting focus. External judges included business consultants from local consulting firms. 

International Integrative Management Exercise (IIME)

The International IME is a 10 to 12 day consulting project overseas. You apply both your cumulative business knowledge and develop your global mindset and skill-set.

In addition to the consulting project, other opportunities include:

  • visiting multi-national and local businesses
  • attending guest lectures on culture, government, finance, etc. at our partner universities
  • networking with local business people
  • meeting local MBA students.

In the 2013, our MBA students choose from among three IIMEs in the following countries:

    • Beijing and Shanghai, China
    • New Delhi and Hyderabad, India
    • Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Career development and co-op (paid internship) option

Career development

Working with your MBA Co-op and Career Adviser, you develop the 'soft' skills and professionalism to prepare you for internship and career opportunities. Career development workshops include:

  • career research skills
  • creating a career marketing plan including cover letters and resumé writing
  • networking skills
  • interview skills, including a Mock Interview Clinic
  • employer recruitment and information sessions
  • industry and alumni panel presentations
  • business etiquette

Co-op (Paid Internship) option

You have the option to apply what you've learned and gain valuable experience through one or two paid internships in a high-performance position.  Hundreds of  positions are posted each term.  Companies our students have interned with include, but not limited to:

  • HAECO, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company
  • RIM , Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • Ministry of Finance, Gov’t of BC here in Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Canadian Tire, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • ABE Books (a division of Amazon), Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Talisman Energy Corp., Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Emerson Co, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Imperial Oil, Calgary and Montreal, Canada
  • KPMG, Silicon Valley, CA, USA
  • Tranalta, Calgary, Canada
  • Royal Bank of Canada, Vancouver, Canada
  • L’Oreal, Paris, France
  • HSBC, Canada and Hong Kong
  • Fairmont Hotels, in Canada and internationally
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers, Vancouver, Canada
  • Scotia Bank, Canada and Malaysia

Global leadership development

To undertake an MBA is to prepare yourself for a leadership role in the workplace. We introduce you to industry and business leaders who share their experience. In the past five years, over 300 Distinguished Speakers have spoken to our MBA students about their ideas, insights and expertise, including these topics:

  • Your Career with a Gustavson MBA: Christian Kittleson, Finance Director and CFO, CHC Helicopters (Australasia)
  • The Role of a CFO: Rob McLeod, CFO of Ritchie Bros.
  • Careers in Foreign Service and How IT Can Can Help Companies with Their International Business: Andrew Shisko, Deputy Director and Trade Commissioner, International Trade Canada
  • Corporate Governance and Ethics: Randy Decksheimer, KPMG Professional Practice Partner, British Columbia
  • Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities as Entrepreneurs: Eric Jordan, Founder, PureEdge Solutions; Tony Melli, Founder, B-Found; and Robert Bennett, President and CEO, Municipal Software Corporation
  • A Portfolio for Sustainable Development Integration in the Business: Dr. J. Ashley Nixon, Sustainable Development Advisor for Shell Canada
  • How to be a Successful Consultant: Iraj Pourian, President and Chief Financial Officer, Sierra Systems
  • Overcoming Barriers to Economic Growth in Canada:  George Heller, President and CEO, Hudson Bay Company
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: Bob Elton, President and CEO, BC Hydro

International Business Specialization

In the International Business Specialization, you develop a strong cross-cultural managerial perspective. We provide an excellent location to study international business as we are located so closely to both the Asian and American markets. Four instructors deliver the content areas, working together to achieve the desired integration and provide a creative and interactive learning environment through lectures, case studies, group projects and discussions.

You are immersed in intense classroom learning in September and October, followed by experiential exercises in November. These exercises involve applying the conceptual material to real-world situations. The faculty and the students in the specialization together represent a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds and jointly contribute to the learning experience.

Specific objectives include:
  • Acquire a deep understanding of doing business in a global context
  • Apply this understanding through experiential components
  • Get you world-ready for the growing number of career opportunities in the global marketplace
Topics include:
  • International finance
  • Strategy
  • Supply chain management
  • Marketing
  • Cross-cultural management

Entrepreneurship Specialization

The Entrepreneurship Specialization is a single semester, integrated, experiential learning program. We view entrepreneurship as new value creation (economic, social, and environmental value) and entrepreneurs as people who create new value in new ventures, existing businesses (corporate entrepreneurship), not-for-profit organizations (social entrepreneurship), or government.

The specialization delivers requisite concepts, skills, and experiences in the order needed to create either a new venture, or new value in an existing organization. You are in-class with the same colleagues three hours a day, three days a week for three months. From your perspective, it looks like one big course, with a shared experience with other prospective entrepreneurs.

Specific objectives include:
  • Develop an entrepreneurial mindset and the skills, experiences, and knowledge needed to be an expert in some domain of entrepreneurship within three years. 

  • Acquire an appreciation and understanding of sustainable entrepreneurship.

  • Practice key skills and thinking, and develop strategies for attaining expertise. Expert theory suggests that cognitive systems are developed through deliberate practice of the right content, for the right duration, at the right intensity.

  • Identify your interests. Our "prime directive" is to clearly understand your interests, and to provide needed information in the way that you need it. Customized elements allow you to focus in your areas of interest.

  • Build valuable social and business networks.

Topics include:
  • Entrepreneurial planning and finance
  • New venture marketing
  • Entrepreneurial strategy
Balance of Theory and Practice

Our orientation is highly practical, experiential and competency-based. Our teaching team consists of seasoned faculty who constitute an array of theoretical and industry backgrounds. As well, we bring in a number of successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from the community to discuss practical elements. We that the best way to develop an entrepreneurial mindset is to actually practice being an entrepreneur. Consequently there are many experiential elements. These include:

  • value creation projects
  • transaction creation exercises
  • expert entrepreneur interviews
  • simulations
  • case studies
  • elevator pitches
  • presentations to external financial stakeholders.

Service Management Specialization

The service management module was developed in recognition of the fact that the Canadian economy, and that of much of the world, is dominated by services. The theme of the module is that service organizations (e.g., banks, transportation companies, consulting companies, hotels, hospitals, educational institutions, etc.) require a distinctive approach to strategy - both in development and execution.

This module focuses on the key elements (strategy, operations, marketing, HRM, and technology) that help to establish and maintain superior service quality within the context of global competitiveness.

Specific objectives include:
  • To provide students with a better appreciation of the necessary system elements to achieve service excellence.

  • To provide students with a theoretical and practical basis for assessing superior service performance.

  • To enhance students' analytical skills as well as oral and written communication skills.

Topics include:
  • Quality measurement, control and improvement—a systems perspective
  • Service leadership and strategy
  • Managing a service culture
  • Management and motivation of service workers
  • Operations in a service environment
  • Consumer behaviour in services
  • E-service and the role of technology in service
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Measuring performance excellence
  • Managing rapid growth and change in service organizations

International alumni network

When you graduate with your Peter B. Gustavson MBA, you become a member of an international alumni community. Such a rich and growing resource is yours for life, to both benefit from and contribute to. Connect with your fellow alumni in government, non-profit, corporate management, multinationals, IT or entrepreneurial ventures, and discover business opportunities throughout your career.