Recent changes to business programs focus on students’ career opportunities, says college

By in News
The Edwards School of Business sign in front of the building entrance is photographed on November 6, 2020. Ammara Syeda/Photo Editor

Students at the Edwards School of Business can expect more options in their degree with a new supply chain management title and an international business minor.

ESB associate dean Noreen Mahoney says that the curricular renewal project encompassing these program changes will ultimately strengthen students and the Edwards School of Business. 

“The impetus for renewal has to do with enhancing our first year experience and the enhancement of our sequencing of our courses to ensure that our student experience aligns with the pedagogical values of our college,” Mahoney said.

The first development is a name change for their former operations management program to supply chain management program in September of 2021. ESB dean Keith Willoughby says the difference between the two names is that operations management is a general term whereas supply chain management is more recognized by the industry. For example, if ESB students want to go into the project management professional designation or the supply chain management designation.

“The supply chain management major is a better stepping stone to those two designations that are really important for our students and their future careers,” Willoughby said. 

Implementing the name change was a comprehensive process that has required the addition of new courses, such as business logistics, and will also focus on students’ potential careers after graduation. 

Willoughby says that supply chain management, which involves the inputs and outputs of an organization’s goods, plays an important role in today’s world because of the pandemic. Due to supply chain management issues during COVID-19, students will see a “definite application” to their studies. 

“I think it’s crucial for us to give our students the curriculum and the skills that will help them meet the challenges of today and tomorrow,” Willoughby said.

Another upcoming change involves replacing the Global Business Stream and the Advanced Global Business Stream programs with a minor in international business in the Bachelor of Commerce degree. Mahoney, a major leader in the curricular renewal project, says that the college has been contemplating making this change for the last couple of years.

“We wanted to … provide opportunities for our students that wanted to pursue courses in international matters or international business, and then be recognized for their depth of study in that international business minor,” Mahoney said.

The college has not offered minors in its Bachelor of Commerce program for some time, says Mahoney. Although both Global Business streams are being replaced with one minor, the latter will operate similarly to its predecessor with some adjustments. Mahoney says that it will be more “seamless” for students to achieve the minor rather than the two global business streams.

Students interested in the program can expect to continue their studies and potentially go on an international study tour. Although she cannot confirm the viability of international travel due to the pandemic, Mahoney is hopeful that there will be some options soon. In the meantime, students wanting to participate in a study abroad program can take online classes from select study abroad institutions in 2021.

Willoughby says the project has involved participation from a wide range of faculty and staff, in addition to input from different students. 

“They wanted to enrich the curriculum with courses and material that would really align with the items students need to know to achieve success in their careers,” Mahoney said.

“Our mission as a business school is to develop business professionals to build nations.”

Fiza Baloch | Staff Writer

Photo: Ammara Syeda | Photo Editor