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Concordia business students study a live case on crisis management under COVID-19

The John Molson EMBA program offers a unique learning module on surviving and developing business opportunities during a pandemic
June 26, 2020
By Katie Malazdrewicz

Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

The new reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in requires everyone across the globe to re-evaluate how course curricula are delivered. Concordia’s Executive MBA (EMBA) program at the John Molson School of Business has risen to this task in an exemplary way.

As part of their two-year program, EMBA students take part in an international trip. The Global Experience (EMBA 625) course ordinarily grants them the experience of doing business abroad, while learning the broader economic, political, social and cultural factors that influence business opportunities and practices. Given the current travel bans, the international trip had to be cancelled this year.

Janis Riven, JMSB lecturer and the trip coordinator, saw this as a rare opportunity to take an event that has had global ramifications, and turn it into a unique and memorable learning opportunity. Thus, she created a new course — Creating a business case for surviving and developing opportunities through a pandemic (EMBA 625).

“This is an opportunity for powerful learning,” Riven explains. “The EMBA program has always been a leader in unique, edgy, on-the-ground and topical education. Being able to design a module that follows real-time global events fits perfectly within this model.”

‘Unique added value’

The learning objectives of this new module, which will be held on August 13 and 14, will cover a variety of topics. These range from learning to analyze the opportunities and threats that arise from a global pandemic to examining the need for businesses to be resilient by understanding their inherent dependencies on both external and internal factors. Keeping within the theme of a global experience, the module also looks at the growing dependencies arising from the globalization of business in every industry, and it looks at the ways to accommodate different cultures.

Within a few weeks, the Executive MBA administrators and Riven put together an expert-driven curriculum, which includes material from epidemiologists, news editors and business representatives from the retail, service and manufacturing sectors. Delivering a module like this, while following and living the subject matter in real time, has transformed what was initially a feeling of disappointment to one of optimism and opportunity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has united societies in a way that many have not yet experienced, and the EMBA students themselves exemplify this unity. The year-two students will present their final presentations as part of the orientation session for the incoming year-one students, so that everyone can benefit from the knowledge they acquired through this experience.

“We hope this brings unique added value,” Riven says. “While the COVID-19 situation is one we didn’t anticipate, there are opportunities to learn everywhere, and we hope this module takes advantage of this.”

Learn more about the John Molson School of Business EMBA program.



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