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John Molson MBA student attends the 2022 Banff Global Business Forum

‘Experiential learning is a keystone of my time at John Molson, and this was the ultimate example’
January 18, 2023

For MBA student Lisa Malachowski, the 2022 fall semester started with an invitation by the John Molson School of Business to represent the School at the 2022 Banff Global Business Forum.

The Forum was founded in 2000 to focus on current issues, trends and events influencing the global economy. It is a volunteer run not-for-profit, funded by sponsors and the 200 participants include executives from a variety of industries, think tanks and institutions from Canada, the US and around the world.

Lisa Malachowski (top row, left) poses with the first MBA cohort invited to attend the 2022 Banff Global Business Forum. Lisa Malachowski (top row, left) poses with the first MBA cohort invited to attend the 2022 Banff Global Business Forum.

For this edition, the organizers invited 10 MBA students from across Canada to be active voices in the Forum’s discussions as future business leaders. Their flights and accommodations were fully covered by the Forum’s sponsors.

I asked Malachowski to share a few details about her trip, and how this experiential learning opportunity contributed to her learning journey.

Elena Parial (EP): Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Lisa Malachowski (LM): Sure. I am in my second and final year of the MBA program. I completed my Bachelor of Music degree in Piano in 2008, and after working as a musician for a number of years, I found myself in senior management and leadership roles in the restaurant industry. Within the MBA program context, I am most interested in strategy and leadership. I am currently serving as the President of the Case Competition Committee, and have participated in various Case Competitions. I expect to graduate in summer 2023.

EP: How did you find out about the Global Business Forum?

LM: I was honored to be selected by Li Yao, Director of the MBA and Graduate Programs in Business Administration, to represent JMSB at the Global Business Forum this year. Beforehand, I was not aware of the forum, but I was drawn to the event as an opportunity to meet a variety of global business leaders, and to learn from the large list of speakers. I was also excited to meet and work with MBA students from other Universities.

EP: While you were there did you meet anyone who surprised you?

LM: I was most surprised by the organizer, the Honourable Lois Mitchel, who has been running the forum for decades. She not only invited the ten MBA students to participate by sharing our thoughts with the entire forum at the end of each day, but she insisted that we dig in and analyze what the forum speakers had to say. She did not want us to simply agree, but to critique and question what we heard. I believe her initiative to invite the MBA candidates was a feature and not a bug. This was refreshing and convinced me that the Global Business Forum will continue to occupy a place of relevance for years to come.

EP: Can you give us a taste of some of the next-gen ideas that were discussed?

LM: Here are 3 that particularly stood out to me:

  1. Zita Cobb's visionary social entrepreneurship initiatives with Shorefast in Eastern Canada
  2. Mahindra Group's take on community capitalism
  3. Angus Topshee's thoughts on the future of the north pole as the ice caps continue to melt due to global warming.

EP: Did anything you experienced during the Forum change the way you approach your studies?

LM: The Forum allowed me to see what is considered important in global business outside of the classroom. I saw a community that I was excited and honored to be a part of, and one I wanted to be involved in helping grow and improve. Experiential learning is a keystone of my time at John Molson, and this was the ultimate example.

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