Written by Dawn Milne
Back in 2006, Ivey’s switch to a one-year Master of Business Administration (MBA) was seen as a radical change. But like the old adage: The more things change, the more they stay the same. The heart of the program and the overall experience still earn top marks from students and recruiters alike. The MBA Class of 2017, which graduated on June 9, is the 10th class of the one-year program. As we celebrate this milestone, we reflect on the program’s success.
Whether it’s high employment rates and salaries, student and recruiter satisfaction, or rankings success, the switch to a one-year MBA paid off. Some of the recent accolades for the program include:
In a 2015 recruiter survey for Bloomberg Businessweek, Ivey’s MBA graduates also ranked first in leadership skills, strategic thinking, collaboration, and communications skills – among the most-wanted, hardest-to-find skills sought after by employers.
Alumni engagement is another key indicator of the program’s success. Whether attending Homecoming, referring candidates, or mentoring students, Ivey’s alumni pay it forward in a big way.
Irwin-Foulon said the annual MBA Get Connected event, offering three days of networking and information sessions with recruiters and alumni, is now so popular that it has a cap on numbers, with the flagship Monday networking night being MBAs from the last five years.
"Every year about 300 MBA alumni come back over three days to pay it forward and put themselves out there as mentors and sources of information. For me, that’s an indication of the pride in the program and the belief in what we’re doing here," she said.
All of these indicators of success come at a time when MBA programs around the world are under pressure.
"A lot of schools are struggling right now, but we’re not. The program is strong and it’s basically at capacity and the quality of our students is just as high as it has always been. We’re not sacrificing quality to get the numbers," said Vandenbosch. "We had some fits and starts. It was a huge change and we were leading. We were probably the most well-known North American business school to take this leap to a one-year format. Now it’s pretty clear the Ivey MBA has been successful."
From its launch in 1948 to the groundbreaking move to a one-year program in 2006, Ivey's MBA program has evolved with the times.
The MBA at Western launches.
Western grants first MBA degree.
The first MBA class graduates.
Ivey admits its first class in the one-year MBA program at the Spencer Leadership Centre.
The first one-year class graduates.
Switch from fall and spring intakes to just one intake in March to better match recruiting needs.
Grand opening of the Richard Ivey Building – the new home of the Ivey MBA.
Celebrating 10 years of the one-year MBA as the Class of 2017 graduates.