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Queen's MBA ranked in global top 100

[Queen's School of Business]
The Queen's School of Business' MBA program is ranked among the top 100 internationally by the Financial Times (University Relations)

The Financial Times has released its list of the top 100 full-time global MBA programs with Queen’s placing 86th in the world and third in Canada.

This marks the first year that Queen’s School of Business (QSB) has participated in Financial Times’ ranking of full-time MBA programs since 2009.

“We made significant, market-driven changes to our full-time MBA program over the last few years, and wanted to wait until those program enhancements were established before reentering the ranking,” said David Saunders, Dean, Queen’s School of Business. “We are very pleased to be recognized as one of the top 100 programs in the world by the widely respected Financial Times.”

The Financial Times global MBA ranking is calculated based on 20 separate criteria, such as value for money, career progress, international faculty and faculty research, but is heavily weighted to salary measures (worth 40 per cent of the overall ranking). Six Canadian schools made the 2015 ranking.

Visit the Financial Times 2015 Global MBA ranking to view the full ranking.

In October 2014, Queen’s MBA was ranked in the top 10 in the world outside the U.S. in Businessweek’s Best Business Schools ranking. QSB also topped the list for Canadian Business magazine’s ranking of Canada’s Best MBA Programs. The Canadian Business “Top 10” focuses on value for money, citing “a big return on investment” as the key reason Queen’s MBA secured the top spot in the 2014 ranking.

Queen’s School of Business is one of the world’s premier business schools — renowned for exceptional programs, outstanding faculty and research, and the quality of its graduates. Canadian executives regard Queen’s as Canada’s most innovative business school, offering students academic excellence and a superior overall experience. Queen’s School of Business — where Canada’s first Commerce program was launched in 1919 — is located at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. The School also delivers programs at locations across Canada, as well in the U.S., the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and China.

Young entrepreneurs make their pitch at QEC

[Queen's Entrepreneurs' Competition]
Zoe Keirstead, Com'15, and Jane Mills, Com'15, are the co-chairs for the Queen's Entrepreneurs' Competition, a student-run business plan contest. (University Communications)

Some of the top student entrepreneurs were in Kingston this past weekend to compete for the top prize at the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition (QEC).

In its 27th year, the undergraduate business plan competition receives submissions from around the world. Judges then select the top 15 teams for the final weekend to compete for $43,000 in prizes.

The student-run event is gaining more attention and competitors each year and it’s not only about the money.

“Our panel of judges is phenomenal,” says Jane Mills, Com’15, one of the QEC’s co-chairs. “The structure of the competition is a 20-minute pitch but then it’s 20 minutes of question and answer and feedback. That 20 minutes is invaluable because we have a diverse panel of judges that have experience in marketing, tech, finance, and that’s when they can provide their expertise. All of these people we have invited back as judges are industry experts as well as entrepreneurs who have been very successful. So that really is the value proposition.”

After making their initial pitches on Friday, the final six were selected by the judges. The final group then presented to a new panel of judges on Saturday, with the top three receiving prizes. The final presentations were open to the public. 

There is a wide array of businesses such as a smartphone app for restaurant-goers with dietary restrictions to a wine company to hemodialysis filters used in the treatment of kidney disease.

While submissions come from around the world, the final 15 are all from North America this year, including a team from Harvard University, another from Cornell University and five from Queen’s: SimplyFeed.me; Qbliss; Mitigating Advertising; Clutch; and Connectivity.

The quality of the competition is heightened each year as well.

“I expect there to be a lot of high-calibre business plans that are coming from people who have really thought through their ideas,” says co-chair Zoe Keirstead, Com’15, before the competition got underway.

The top prize this year was $25,000 thanks to the support of the Queen’s MBA Class of 1970, which has sponsored QEC since it started in 2011. Members also provide mentorship and act as judges.

For more on QEC visit theqec.com.


First place at the Queen's Entrepreneurs' Competition was awarded to the Harvard University team Quorum, which presented an online legislative strategy platform that uses big data to identify potential supporters by
processing and displaying 800 million points of data about the U.S. Congress.

Second place went to Queen's University's The Brockington Group - Mitigating Advertising Abuse and thrid went to Sparkgig from the University of Waterloo.

Other teams to make the Top 6 were: Clutch (Queen's University); GrooveDish (University of Alberta); and Repair Quote (Carleton University).   

Loran Scholars recognized by Queen’s

[Loran Scholars]
Queen's University recognized its Loran Scholars at a special event on Monday. This year's scholars are: front, from left, Emma Clark (Artsci’18) and  Jena Hudson (Artsci’18); back, from left, Sean Davidson (Com’18), Callen Hageman (Sc’18), Terry Zhang (Com’18) and Kit Dashwood (Sc’18). (Photo supplied by Loran Scholars Foundation)

A group of exceptional Queen’s University students were recognized Monday with a special reception that highlighted their activities.

Queen’s Loran Scholars gathered along with supporters, mentors and representatives from the university and the Loran Scholars Foundation.

Only 30 students nationwide each year are selected to receive the multi-year scholarship and of the most recent group, six are attending Queen’s for their first year of studies. Overall, Queen’s has 22 scholars covering such programs as Arts and Science, Commerce and Engineering.

More than a scholarship, the students create a bond with the foundation, the university and each other says Devon Jackson (Artsci’15) who spoke at the event.

“It is at Queen’s that we find and nurture our communities and it is through Loran that we are pushed to improve them,” he says. “While there is certainly merit in alone-time, Queen’s and Loran ingrain it in our mindset from the first September that this is the beginning of four years of partnership, not only with them, but with the people you will meet at the university. Both institutions support us, root for us, and challenge us.”

Thousands of students apply each year and scholars are based on a mix of academic achievement, extracurricular activity and leadership potential. The program provides students with a tuition waiver and a living stipend.

Loran Scholars also receive personal and professional development opportunities, participating in enterprise-related summer employment, a professional development experience (often an international volunteer experience) and an opportunity in a public policy environment.

The program also connects the students with a mentor for the duration of their undergraduate studies. The mentors are generally individuals who are influential in communities, government or various disciplines.

For more on the Loran Scholars Foundation, go to loranscholar.ca


Queen's receives Canada-China business excellence award

Queen's in the World

Queen’s School of Business was honoured as a recipient of a Canada-China Business Excellence Award, in the Educational Excellence category, at a Toronto luncheon in November. The awards, bestowed by the Canada-China Business Council, recognize organizations that play a leading and innovative role in growing and expanding business relationships between Canada and China. Fifteen awards were presented in five categories to private and public sector organizations from seven provinces and territories.

Professor Wei Wang (centre), Director of the Queen's-Renmin Master of Finance program, accepted the CCBC Award for Educational Excellence on the school's behalf.

Flags lowered for Professor Emeritus Rutenberg

[David Rutenberg]
David Rutenberg

Flags on campus are lowered in memory of David Rutenberg, an emeritus professor in Queen’s School of Business (QSB).

Dr. Rutenberg came to Queen’s in 1977 after spending 16 years at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Due in large part to Dr. Rutenberg’s efforts, Queen’s School of Business became increasingly international from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. When he first joined Queen’s, Dr. Rutenberg created courses in international business. As an educator who believed in the value of students learning and studying abroad, Dr. Rutenberg worked to increase the number of exchange agreements with business schools in other countries. He retired from Queen’s in 2001.

The family will receive friends at Robert J. Reid & Sons (309 Johnson St.) on Sunday, Dec. 21 from 7-9 pm. Visitation will continue at Chalmers United Church (212 Barrie St.) from noon until the time of the service at 1 pm on Monday, Dec. 22. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations to the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area would be appreciated.

Supporting young entrepreneurs

[Venture for Canada]
Venture for Canada is a not-for-profit organization that connects aspiring entrepreneurs and Canadian startups.

Up-and-coming entrepreneurs will have access to the knowledge and expertise of Queen’s faculty thanks to a new partnership.

Queen’s School of Business (QSB) announced earlier this week that it would become the exclusive academic partner with Venture for Canada (VFC), a growing not-for-profit that connects aspiring young entrepreneurs and Canadian startups.

“This is a great opportunity for Queen’s to contribute to new venture success in Canada,” says Elspeth Murray, Associate Dean of MBA and Master’s programs and Director of QSB’s Centre for Business Venturing. “The centre’s mission is to help improve the odds of success for new businesses — and developing young talent is part of that mission.”

QSB will deliver an intensive, five-week boot camp designed to develop an entrepreneurial mindset before participants begin a two-year work placement with a startup partner. Lectures will be led by QSB faculty with expertise in entrepreneurship and guest speakers from the corporate world.

[Queen's entrepreneur students]
Students participating in a previous edition of Queen's Startup Summit (above). Enthusiastic entprepreneurs can continue to pursue their passion after graduation by applying for a Venture for Canada fellowship.  

This year, Venture for Canada received nearly 500 applications from recent university and college graduates. Thirty-five applicants who have demonstrated a passion for entrepreneurship and leadership are chosen each year. Following entrepreneurship boot camp at Queen’s, participants are placed in a paid, two-year fellowship with one of 59 Canadian startup partners, such as Shopify, 500PX and Kira Talent.

Scott Stirrett, Venture for Canada’s founder and executive director, established the organization to address the disconnect between bright young graduates and startups.

“Elite undergraduates want to work for dynamic, emerging businesses, but startups often lack the resources to participate in competitive on-campus recruiting,” he says.

Venture for Canada is modelled on Venture for America, which has placed hundreds of recent graduates from top U.S. universities such as Harvard, Yale and MIT. VFC is guided by an advisory board comprised of members of the business and academic communities in Canada, as well as prominent Canadian business leaders, such as Annette Verschuren, Geoff Smith, John Risley, and Ned Goodman, serving as honorary chairs.

“The best way to learn entrepreneurship is through hands-on experience,” Mr. Stirrett says. “After gaining valuable skills and access to a national network of entrepreneurs and investors, Venture for Canada fellows are in a strong position to launch their own companies.”

The first Venture for Canada boot camp begins in May 2015.

Fostering the giving spirit of Giving Tuesday

With the holiday shopping season upon us, a movement now adopted by Queen’s University is aiming to prove that it is better to give than to receive.

Giving Tuesday is a self-declared movement of charitable giving and volunteering that opens the season of giving the day after the consumer-frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This year, for the first time, several Queen’s faculties and schools are taking part in Giving Tuesday. Each faculty or school has its own specific initiatives, but the central purpose is to request philanthropic gifts to support students.

The Faculty of Arts and Science is focusing on Dean Susan Mumm’s highest priority: increasing the number of admission scholarships.

This year’s goal is to offer Admission Scholarships of $2,000 to all qualified students.

“We ask that you join us to support our goal in any amount possible,” says Dean Mumm.

From small gifts to funding a scholarship yourself, the campaign is determined to make scholarships happen.

The new Admission Scholarships for the Arts will attract exceptional students to Queen’s, grow the caliber of the Arts and Science student body, and offer students new opportunities that would otherwise not be possible.

Queen’s School of Business is asking for gifts to support four separate funds for students. Donations to the Commerce Legacy Fund for Student Health and Wellness support student health and wellness initiatives like seminars, workshops and increasing the availability of individual counselling.

Donations are also encouraged to the QSB Commerce Bursary Fund, MBA Scholarships Endowment Fund, and the Dean’s Innovation Fund. Each of these funds provides assistance to students in financial need and helps recruit the brightest students.

QSB has a few twists to Giving Tuesday. First, all individual donations between $1,000 and $25,000 will be matched by the Dean’s Matching Fund. Also, any gifts in this same range from QSB alumni who graduated since 1994 – typically identified as “young alumni” – will be ‎doubled.

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is using Giving Tuesday as a way of highlighting the 10th anniversary of the Integrated Learning Centre and raising funds for the Dean’s Excellence Fund. Students are calling attention to the Centre, as home to the Engineering Society, Engineering Student Lounge and Tea Room, as a hub for student experience and learning.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is asking benefactors to support Giving Tuesday through gifts to its three Schools.

The Rehabilitation Therapy Student Experience Fund helps students cover their expenses while they learn away from Queen’s on placements. The Nursing 75th Anniversary Fund supports a variety of causes including bursaries, scholarships, equipment, and professorships. Finally, the Medical School Excellence Fund supports new educational initiatives, simulation and clinical learning, research and provides student support.

Lecture honours former chancellor David Dodge

To honour his six years spent as Queen’s chancellor, an annual lecture has been named for David Dodge. Principal Daniel Woolf announced the Chancellor David Dodge Lecture in Public Finance which recognizes the contribution Dr. Dodge, who was Queen’s 13th chancellor from 2008-2014, has made to the university and public policy and finance in Canada.

Chancellor Emeritus Dodge speaking at the "Last Lecture on Earth" series. (University Communications)

“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work with David Dodge over his six years as chancellor,” says Principal Woolf. “This lecture commemorates the exceptional service he’s rendered to Queen’s and Canada where his leadership and expertise in the financial sector have served to benefit many.”

Prior to his position as Queen’s chancellor, Dr. Dodge served in a number of public service roles including time as national deputy minister of finance (1992-1997) and as governor of the Bank of Canada (2001-2008). Dr. Dodge, whose term as Queen’s chancellor ended in June 2014, has since been appointed chancellor emeritus by University Council.

The inaugural lecture will be delivered by Dr. Dodge himself and is titled “Preparing Canada for our Collective Old Age.”

"I am honoured to have this lecture series in public finance established in my name and particularly pleased to be asked to give the first lecture" says Dr. Dodge. "The public finance implications of the aging of the baby boom generation need to be the subject of a national conversation. We need to plan for the repercussions of this demographic shift on Canadian society, the economy and public policies."

The lecture is open to the public and is being held in the George Teves Room of the University Club (138 Stuart St, Kingston) on Dec. 11 at 7:30 pm.

The Chancellor David Dodge Lecture in Public Finance has been established jointly by the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s School of Business and Department of Economics.

Adjunct professor garners top article award

When Andrew Graham, an adjunct professor at Queen’s School of Policy Studies, talks about financial management in the public sector it’s not only his students who are listening. 

Andrew Graham

His article “What is financial literacy for the public manager?” recently earned him the Alan G. Ross Award for Writing Excellence from the Financial Management Institute of Canada as the best article published in the fmi-igf Journal – Canada's leading magazine for public sector professionals involved in financial management – for 2013-14.

It’s a high honour, and Mr. Graham knows it.

“It’s kind of thrilling actually,” he says. “The Financial Management Institute of Canada is the premier organization in the financial management world, and to have gotten this award is fantastic.”

Mr. Graham says the article was inspired by work he previously did with the Ontario government and a number of senior executives who were concerned about the financial skills of their managers.

What he learned, he says, was that the managers didn’t need accountant-level financial skills but they did need to have what he calls financial literacy, such as the ability to read a financial report, to understand what the numbers mean, and that they were smart enough to ask questions of a financial advisor.

But he didn’t stop there.

“I think the big revelation that came out of the article that I think kind of moved a lot of people, because it was a bit of a surprise, was that I said it was all very well to say that the people need to have a financial literacy, but so does the organization,” Mr. Graham says. “In other words they have to take the numbers seriously, they have to actually manage their resources really effectively and create a culture that encourages all of this. The reason that was a bit of a surprise is that I basically said to executives ‘You know it’s not just you hiring the right people but you acting in the right way as executives.’”

As he explains, he wrote the article in a ‘words to the wise’ style and the message didn’t get bogged down in numbers. Communication is key and that’s something he also brought up.

“The other part of the article that I thought really landed well was that people have to learn to ask stupid questions really smartly and they have to be unafraid to ask,” he says. “If you don’t know what that number means you should not be embarrassed by that and the financial people should not throw numbers at people in order to confuse them. They have a job to communicate too.”


QIC fostering entrepreneurship

Established in 2012 by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s Innovation Connector (QIC) provides a number of programs and resources to help foster innovation and entrepreneurship at the university. With Global Entrepreneurship Week being marked Nov. 17-23, Gazette Editor Andrew Carroll sat down with QIC executive director and Special Advisor to the Provost, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Greg Bavington and Alix Murphy, Queen’s Innovation Connector Summer Initiative (QICSI) co-ordinator, to talk about the work being done and what it means for the future of Queen’s and its students.

[Queen's Innovation Connector]
Leading the way at the Queen’s Innovation Connector are Greg Bavington, executive director of QIC and Special Advisor to the Provost, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Jim McLellan, QIC academic director, professor and head of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Chemistry, and Alix Murphy, Queen's Innovation Connection Summer Initiative co-ordinator. (University Communications)

Andrew Carroll: Innovation and entrepreneurship have become buzzwords in recent years in regard to the Canadian economy and education system. Why are they important?

Greg Bavington: There is certainly a risk as trends come and go in education but I think this is really a response to a more fundamental shift in the economy. It’s been going on for quite a while and the shift is pretty deeply embedded, which is a trend to smaller companies with much shorter lifespans because of the pace with which technology replaces them. Even in the bigger companies, Google and Apple come to mind, these are companies that have gotten big because they have been highly innovative and they were founded by entrepreneurs. So they are buzzwords but they are not fleeting. The words might get replaced but the concept is going to persist and that is smaller, more agile, shorter life expectancy companies.

Alix Murphy: Even those larger companies are looking for innovation more than ever now. The innovation gap is where people high up want this and that to happen but employees don’t necessarily have the skills or experience to look outside the box. So that’s the kind of training we’re providing now, not just us but universities in general are working toward innovative programming. It’s also so prevalent at the university level because it is such a hub of talent. You have young people, eager to learn, shaping the economy for the future, so why not start at this level?

AC: Some critics argue that entrepreneurship is either difficult or impossible to teach. What’s your view?

GB: This cuts right to the nature-nurture debate and I don’t know of a single example where the person doing the study concluded 100 per cent that it is all one and not the other. It just never comes out that way. So entrepreneurship, I think, like all other things, is both. It’s not 100 per cent nature and no nurture. Our students come to us, our community members, faculty members come to us, with varying amounts of it in their nature. But there are a whole lot of skills that you need to execute on it and that is the nurture part. QIC sees itself existing in no small part to delivering on that nurturing. How do you start a company? How do you tell if an idea is possibly the makings of a successful business or just a cool idea? How do you find out who will pay you for it? How do you find out how much it costs to deliver to your customers?

AM: Many students come to us with an entrepreneurial spirit but they really don’t have the technical skills. That’s where we come in to teach it. That’s nature and nurture.

AC: What differentiates QIC from other similar programs found at the post-secondary level?

GB: There are a number of things and a lot of them are very intentional. QIC, first of all, is reflective of the career experiences of the people involved, who have come to see the value in diversity in skills. Big successful companies are not built by individuals, they are built by teams. Also we understand and recognize the tremendous diversity of the academic programming at Queen’s, which of course drives a diversity of interests, aspirations and capabilities among the student body. The breadth of the QIC has to reflect both of those things and does. We have a tremendous breadth of programs with varying financial and emotional commitment but they are all basically open to all students.

Also, the level of support students get is, I think, exceptional. In the case of QICSI, which involves a more-than-full-time commitment for an entire summer, there is financial support so that it doesn’t become something only the wealthiest students can participate in. Also because we run this program pan-university, on the university main campus during the summer, the access we have to facilities is excellent. There are large companies that would kill to have the resources that we have in terms of our ability to support prototyping efforts, bio-labs, machine shops, makerspaces, electronic prototyping areas, welding facilities.

AC: To date with the QIC, what are the successes you have seen?

GB: I think one of our dramatic successes is the number of students we are impacting now. The amount of pent-up entrepreneurial energy at Queen’s, we’ve just cracked the valve open and it’s exploding, it’s a groundswell.  We started out lurking around the engineering faculty and Queen’s School of Business with 20 students in QICSI in the summer of 2012. QICSI is still there, it’s still important, with 40 students, but we touch thousands of students through all these other events and conferences that we do. That’s absolutely a success for us. Students who have gone through some of the more intensive programs, like QICSI, have benefitted tremendously in their careers, whether it is starting a successful company that’s keeping them employed, or if they have sold for a lot of money, or allowing a company to fail and moving on to a second one or being hired by another start-up because they have learned that they love that way of earning a living. We’ve seen all those things as outcomes and I consider all of them to be successful.

AC: What are the biggest lessons you have learned regarding innovation and entrepreneurship and how these apply to Queen’s?

AM: We’re still learning and as Greg says we are a start-up ourselves. It’s still a relatively new concept to introduce this kind of a program in a university.

GB: I’m proud of what the team at Queen’s has accomplished. I’m proud of our student body. Faculty and staff have jumped right into it, making resources available as well as their own time and expertise. I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far but we’re still new at it. We are a start-up. So far a successful start-up.


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