BCom program specializations

Learn how Gustavson's specializations prepare our students and alumni for a range of careers.

The BCom program gives students at the Gustavson School of Business the opportunity to specialize in a high demand area of business. In Year 4, you will be able to specialize in Entrepreneurship, Service Management or International Business. Students can also choose to remain non-specialized. 

Entrepreneurship

Gustavson’s Entrepreneurship specialization will help you develop the entrepreneurial mindset. We can give you the skills needed to:

We view entrepreneurship as the creation of new value. This could mean economic, social and environmental. Entrepreneurs create new value in a variety of for-profit and social contexts.

All students identify and research a new business opportunity. They complete the program in one of two self-determined streams:

  1. investor ready
  2. consulting

Learn more

Skills and expertise

We help learners identify their passions, develop expertise, practice key skills and critical thinking and develop strategies for attaining expertise. Specific skills include:

  • Identifying and evaluating opportunity
  • Assessing risks
  • Creating business model canvas
  • Testing key assumptions
  • Creating value propositions
  • Selecting founding team members
  • Leading and motivating employees
  • Creating financial forecasts
  • Valuating businesses 

Hear what our students have to say about it!

"What drew me most to the Entrepreneurship specialization was that it was a chance to invent yourself and try something new and take risks. I was really interested to see how something that so many people have said can’t be learned – being an entrepreneur – could be turned into a course."

Ally Smit
BCom '17 

Experiential learning

The best way to become an expert entrepreneur is through deliberate practice. That is why the we design this specialization with experiential learning opportunities including an innovation project where students start and run a micro-venture.

Custom skill building assignments are also built into the course. This allows you to tailor your learning to your specific venture or interests so you get what you need out of the program.

Possible careers include

  • Entrepreneur (serial, social, corporate, lifestyle)
  • Business development manager
  • Venture capital analyst or investor
  • New product development manager
  • Small business consultant 

Coursework

Courses taught in the Entrepreneurship specialization are integrative and cohort-based (5 courses taught as one).

  • ENT 400 Strategic Management for the Entrepreneurship Specialist
  • ENT 410 Venture Marketing Expertise
  • ENT 411 Venture Planning/Finance Expertise
  • ENT 412 Acquiring Expert Venture Cognitions
  • ENT 413 Portfolio Practicum

Contact

Entrepreneurship faculty champion: Brock Smith
250-721-6070

International Business

An International Business specialization is your passport to a career in the global world of commerce. In our increasingly connected world, career success demands globally minded individuals with the skills to work effectively in cross-cultural contexts and across borders. The IB specialization challenges students to expand their horizons. It helps them develop knowledge and skills that can open doors to a diverse range of careers.

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Skills and expertise

Students in the International Business specialization develop global citizenship skills and abilities in:

  • Comparing and assessing international market opportunities
  • Identifying and developing strategies for competing internationally
  • Understanding how culture and other national differences shape business practices
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Intercultural awareness
  • Social engagement
  • Collaboration 

Hear what our students have to say about it!

"I feel like Gustavson’s International Business students stand out because organizations know that we’re able to understand cross-cultural contexts."

Conor Doherty
BCom '17

Experiential learning

Students can gain valuable international experience via:

  • short-term study trips abroad
  • semester-long international exchanges
  • an international co-op work term 

Students also enjoy engaging with Gustavson’s diverse community of students, faculty and staff. Interact everyday with people who have direct experience living and working abroad.

Possible careers include

  • International sales and marketing
  • International trade (import/export)
  • International consulting
  • International banking and investment
  • International economics and development, including non-governmental organizations 

Course work

Students in this specialization must take COM 400 alongside their International Business module.

  • IB 415 Cross-National Management
  • IB 416 International Marketing
  • IB 417 International Finance
  • + International component. An acceptable international component is either:
    • an international exchange term
    • an international work term
    • IB 418 (not offered every year)
    • other significant international experience (see a BCom Advisor for details).
  • Note: sometimes the IB module is offered in a COIL Online version, in partnership with a university abroad. In that case the COIL IB module usually also includes an additional course under the course code IB 409 Selected Topics in International Business Management.

Travel restrictions may be in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please speak with a BCom Advisor for details about this component.

Contact

International Business faculty champion: Wade Danis
250-853-3872

Service Management

Gustavson’s Service Management specialization is your entryway into a career of managing a service-oriented business. All businesses are service businesses. Our program builds your skills to be leaders of service businesses. You learn to manage people, processes, the physical environment and technology to deliver great customer and employee experiences, build customer loyalty and drive profit.

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Skills and expertise

The service management specialization teaches you skills in:

  • Service blueprints
  • Service design
  • Gap analysis
  • Best practices in hiring, training and motivating staff
  • Tools for understanding how technology is changing service design and delivery 

Hear what our students have to say about it!

"We’ve talked about service management from a healthcare perspective, we’ve talked about it from manufacturing and operational perspectives – it’s definitely so much more than hospitality. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to see and study the subject from those diverse perspectives."

Tamika Rodney
BCom '18 

Experiential learning

Collecting data in the field, analyzing it and developing recommendations based on service management principles gives you the practical experience you need to manage a service organization. The Service Management classroom is a laboratory. Here, you will work on problems and develop solutions for real businesses. Practice will open your eyes to opportunities where you can deliver “wow” experiences to your customers. 

Relationship management

Building valuable relationships with customers, employees and partner businesses is at the heart of successful organizations and the service management specialization. This is particularly important in accounting and finance organizations. Here, the ability to manage and grow client relationships is what these professionals.

Possible careers include

  • Customer experience/marketing manager
  • Financial services professional: accounting, banking, investments
  • Human resources manager
  • Project manager
  • Quality manager 

Course work

Students in this specialization must take COM 400 alongside their Service Management module.

  • SMGT 415 Customer Experience Management
  • SMGT 416 Service Operations and Quality Management
  • SMGT 417 Service Human Resource Management

Contact

Service Management faculty champion: Steve Tax
250-721-6417

Non-specialized option

Your future may include working in a small, medium or large company. Your goal might be to be a generalist or a specialist. The non-specialized option provides you the knowledge and skills you will need to meet the future's challenges. This includes a global perspective and socially responsible mindset.

The non-specialized option offers

Learn more

Hear what our students have to say about it!

"It really hit me in my third year that I wanted to pursue accounting. The non-specialized option gave me the flexibility to do the necessary pre-requisite courses for my CPA, and I think that’s why for anyone that wants to go into accounting or finance, the non-specialized option is best."

Gabriel Silva Porto
BCom '17 

Possible careers include

  • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Product management
  • Human resources management
  • Marketing management
  • Sustainability program coordinator 

Course work

Students in the Non-specialized option must complete 12.0 units of upper-level commerce electives.