Blog post

Getting more than expected from the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration curriculum

Graduate Perspectives series
April 6, 2022
By Chris Wise

Graduate Perspectives is a series of blogposts about the John Molson School of Business graduate programs experience from the perspective of current students and alumni.

This week, Vaibhav Sarfare, tells us about what he gained from the John Molson Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (GCBA) curriculum, especially its Marketing Management course.

Vaibhav Sarfare

Why did you choose to pursue the GCBA?  What were you doing before you decided to apply? Where were you at in your career trajectory?

After four years of work following my Bachelor’s in Instrumentation Engineering at the University of Mumbai, I joined Concordia University for a Master in Industrial Engineering. Learning about ‘lean’ manufacturing, Six Sigma, and production planning, the degree gave me a platform to explore my career even further in the field of Engineering Management.

This year, I will be finishing five years working as a Supply Chain Manager for a Quebec-based start-up in the video surveillance industry, serving a wide range of customers in the military, healthcare, pharmaceutical and retail sectors. My core responsibility is to deliver goods & service to the end user and I get the opportunity to work closely with all the company’s departments and stakeholders.  Soon, I will be leading a team of five people. 

Through my work, I began to realize the importance of understanding and implementing business fundamentals in my day-to-day operations. Being an optimist, I always like to upgrade my credentials, striving for continuous improvements in both my personal and professional life. So, in order to become an even more efficient manager contributing towards the growth of the company, I came across the GCBA after doing extensive online research for part-time business programs that accommodate working professionals. I knew that John Molson is a well-renowned business school, not only in North America, but all across the world, and having a discussion about the program with a graduate recruiter really helped me solidify my decision. In viewing the courses offered, I was confident that I would be able to improve my management and communication skills, in addition to my accounting, scheduling, strategic planning and decision making.

What did you hope to get out of the program? What were your first impressions when you started?

When I got admitted into the GCBA, the first thing I did while planning my courses was to ask to switch the Marketing Management course for any other course – Finance, Operations Management, whatever. I thought the Marketing Management course would not be relevant to my career objectives. Ultimately, my request was refused because it is a core course that is mandatory for the program. Today, I am realizing the importance of this course and I have cleared my misconceptions about marketing.

What did you realize was important about the GDBA 534 Marketing Management course?

I am interested in supply chain management and new product introduction. The Marketing Management course changed my perception of products and I came to realize the importance of marketing in an organization, irrespective of the sector – manufacturing, transportation, service, etc. You can have the best product or service in the world, but it's useless if you don't have the proper marketing strategy to reach the target market.

A few days ago, I went to Jean-Coutu and saw Laura Secord Chocolate, which reminded me of product placement. Then I went to the dépanneur (corner store) and saw cans of Red Bull, which made me think about the breadth of distribution a product could have. From the vantage point gained during the Marketing Management course, I had a completely different way of seeing those products as consumers do from a marketing perspective.

How does the Marketing Management course fit in with the rest of the program curriculum?

The GCBA curriculum has helped me to sharpen my business skills. The Professional Business Skills course taught me how to be more persuasive with team members and other managers. In Managing People in Organizations, I learnt about emotional intelligence, which is essential for employee motivation, group dynamics and job satisfaction.

Each year, my company launches new products and services and the Project Management course really helped me to develop skills I can apply, like for scheduling, resource management, cost constraints, etc. Knowing concepts is not enough; they only really make sense and deliver results once you start implementing them in your workplace.

For its part, the Marketing Management course is structured in such a way that all the fundamental concepts, including Integrated Marketing Communication, apply to any context; from Ikea to Walmart to the banking sector. You can take any product or service, strategize over your 7 Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Process, and Physical Evidence) and you can definitely reach your target audience and achieve corporate objectives.

Is there anything you would like to share about your overall John Molson experience? What advice would you give to students as they register for and begin the program? What about during the program?

My journey through the GCBA has been amazing! To be honest, it is a bit overwhelming to do the courses along with a full time job, as both are very demanding (especially during the summer). You always need to be on your toes to manage your time effectively. However, all my professors have been very professional, easy to approach and very supportive throughout the program (all this despite the various challenges we have faced through this global crisis).  I am not a big fan of online classes, but it saved me a lot of commuting time that I could use for more productive activities. So, my sincere thanks to the whole John Molson faculty, as well as the administrative team.

For more information on the John Molson Graduate Certificate in Business Adminstration, visit our website. Then connect with a recruiter to ask a question or arrange a one-to-one meeting, or you can participate in one of our many online information sessions.


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