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Business revitalization

Curriculum redesign aims to cultivate business professionals of tomorrow

Teaching and Learning

By Susan White

Memorial’s business faculty is launching a new innovative undergraduate curriculum starting fall 2022.

The Faculty of Business Administration will now offer two degrees: a bachelor of commerce (B.Comm.) and a bachelor of commerce (co-operative) (B.Comm.(Co-op.)).

Pictures is the building in which the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University of Newfoundland is housed.
The Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University

New courses will prepare students to excel in current business trends, such as business analytics, computer applications and business professionalism, as well as professional development seminars for all students.

“We’ve spent the past two years doing extensive research and consultations with alumni and within the business community to develop this new curriculum,” said Dr. Isabelle Dostaler, dean.

“We’re an internationally accredited business school, and it’s imperative that our programs are responsive to the current and future needs of the business world. We’re confident that these changes will help us stay relevant and produce graduates who are innovative thinkers and communicators.”

Professional development added

A major innovation of the new curriculum is the addition of applied, career-focused professional development. Students will undertake three seminars throughout the program that complement academic studies and equip them for career success.

“Our research as well as feedback from alumni identified career-focused training as an area that was lacking in our current programs,” said Dr. Dostaler.

“We recognize the need to adequately prepare our students for the workforce, and are taking steps to ensure that once they leave our halls, they can step into any business or organization and succeed.”

“I think the new program will foster curiosity and creativity in students.” — Melissa Berkshire

The seminars will be offered in partnership with Gardiner Centre, an award-winning professional development arm of the business faculty.

“We’re honoured to partner with Memorial’s business faculty to help foster the success of undergraduate students as they transition to the workforce,” said Valerie Howe, the centre’s director.

“This partnership supports our mutual goals of assuring the development and advancement of business professionals who contribute to business excellence and success within their organizations and the community.”

‘Foster curiosity and creativity’

Melissa Berkshire wears a sleeveless teal blouse and grey skirt. She has long, wavy hair.
Melissa Berkshire (B.Comm.(Co-op.)’15)
Photo: Submitted

Melissa Berkshire (B.Comm.(Co-op.)’15) was an alumni representative on the faculty’s undergraduate program review committee and says she’s excited about the new curriculum.

“As a co-op student, there were career development resources made available to us but I’m excited to see those resources revamped to become more interactive and extended to all students moving forward,” she said.

Ms. Berkshire believes the addition of professional development to the curriculum will help better prepare future business graduates.

“In today’s world, you can’t rely on technical skills to set you apart,” she said. “It’s how you communicate your ideas, how you collaborate with others and how you persevere when faced with a challenge that help you stand out.

“I think the new program will foster curiosity and creativity in students,” Ms. Berkshire continued. “My hope is that students become more aware of their strengths, build on them and learn to illustrate them as part of their personal story.”

Options for students

Business students will still be able to pursue joint degrees with the School of Music and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). Opportunities to study a minor with HSS, School of Music, Faculty of Science or Marine Institute will also continue.

The bachelor of business administration (BBA) and international bachelor of business administration (iBBA) degrees are being retired. Students currently enrolled in these programs are not affected by the curriculum changes and may complete their degrees uninterrupted.

Students should contact the faculty’s Academic Programs Office at busihelp@mun.ca for guidance. More information about the curriculum changes are also available here.

Information sessions planned

Information sessions will be held on Oct. 20, Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 for current students with open houses for prospective students taking place on Oct. 28, Nov.15, Nov. 17 and Nov. 24. Registration details will be available closer to these dates.

“Business schools, like businesses themselves, have to be able to adapt to new trends and realities in order to succeed,” said Dr. Dostaler.

“We’re really excited to move forward while also upholding our reputation for high-quality programs of which our students, alumni and university may be proud.”

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