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Faculty of Management contributes to Nova Scotia's prosperity

Posted by Miriam Breslow on November 16, 2015 in News


Management Without Borders teams share the results of their projects with colleagues and the organizations they consulted for with a poster day.


Since the release of the Ivany Report in 2014, Nova Scotians have been focused on ensuring the future prosperity of their province. Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management has connected with the community through multiple projects. “I’m proud to see the contributions made by many areas of the Faculty to the wellbeing of the province,” says Bertrum MacDonald, Interim Dean of the Faculty. These contributions span various schools and centres within the Faculty of Management:

The Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship is a launching pad for entrepreneurial projects and a place for networks to grow around Halifax and the province. Akram Al-Otumi, Program and Projects Manager, notes that the NNCE recently partnered with Fusion Halifax, the largest networking organization for young professionals in the city. With Fusion, the NNCE held an event highlighting the entrepreneurial pursuits of immigrants to our area.

Students working in the NNCE frequently focus on community projects and entrepreneurship that improves the regional standard of living. The Centre’s semi-annual Startup Weekends bring together students and community members to create new ventures that are mutually beneficial.

The course Management Without Borders, mandatory for all graduate students in the FoM, requires students from all four schools to learn by designing plans for local businesses and non-profit organizations. In one project, a group of students designed a marketing plan for a Cape Breton lobster fishing group that focuses on encouraging lobster sales directly from the fishers. Jenny Baechler, who coordinates the course, says that it is gratifying to see students with diverse interests working together to tackle big projects. The course fulfills two goals: while the students learn about marketing, planning and their region, Nova Scotian organizations benefit from their expertise—and make connections with those who will soon be joining the workforce.

Another initiative that connects Management’s students with local enterprise is the aptly named RSBconnect program. “The Rowe School of Business is committed to not only deliver first-class education but also to improve our contribution to our community’s continuous learning effort,” says Dr. David Stuewe, lead on this initiative. RSBconnect pits students in marketing and strategy courses—in the last eight months of their Commerce or MBA degrees—against challenges faced by local businesses. Earlier in their studies, students are encouraged to spend time in the community and suggest projects. Partnerships include close work with Neptune Theatre, the Seaport Farmers’ Market and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, to name a few.

At Management Career Services, staff members advise students, make connections with local businesses, and generate internship and co-op placements. MCS involved over 160 Nova Scotian employers in work terms in 2014; the same year, FoM students earned over $5.6 million while in placements, which, as MCS Director Anna Cranston points out, is mostly spent in Nova Scotia.

In a direct response to the Ivany Report, MCS created the Workplace Experience program, which allows international students with little knowledge of Canadian workplaces to spend time in a local organization. The students participate in workplace discussions, observe different workplace roles and build confidence to apply for jobs in Canada. Another MCS program, C3 Mentoring, invites business students to embrace corporate social responsibility to become a “Corporate Community Connector.”  The C3 Mentoring Program creates partnerships between corporations and local non-profit organizations, linked by Commerce students in the Rowe School of Business.

Aside from working with undergraduate and graduate students, the Faculty of Management also hosts the Executive Education Program, which delivers cohort-based programs to improve the leadership skills of those working in local and regional organizations. Executive Education tailors programs to specific industries and companies, which have included IMP Group, Halifax Port Authority, the Construction Association of Nova Scotia and the Black Business Initiative. “Our focus is on developing leadership, productivity and global competitiveness within the region,” says Deborah Merry, Executive Director. 2016 will see Executive Education launching open enrollment programs to serve the business community with courses in areas such as Big Data and Law Practice Management. Executive Education has recently partnered with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce under the All Ships Rise initiative.

Finally, the Centre for Family Business and Regional Prosperity is dedicated to engaging in education, research and outreach concerning family business in Nova Scotia. Besides educating graduate and undergraduate students about managing and working in family enterprise, the Centre runs educational workshops for members of and advisors to family businesses.

The Centre is currently engaged in an “Extent of Family Business in Atlantic Canada” research project to discover more about the experience and challenges of being in a family business. Each year, the Centre honours an Atlantic Canadian family business that has successfully transitioned to or involved the next generation of the family. “The succession of these family businesses is vital to our regional prosperity,” says Leslie McNabb, Director of the CFBRP, “and the Centre aims to be part of the solution by becoming a resource to the family business community.”