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University of Guelph: Executive On-Line Educational Programs

University of Guelph
Executive On-Line Educational Programs

By Patti Lago, Manager of Executive Programs – University of Guelph

The University of Guelph two year, on-line MBA applies contemporary management concepts and strategies to industries where the University has distinctive capability. Upon admission, participants choose to concentrate their MBA studies in one of two fields: Food and Agribusiness Management or Hospitality and Tourism Management. The University of Guelph MBA program includes a core group of courses that build and develop key managerial skills, and specialization courses that allow participants to apply concepts and skills to management situations in a particular sector. Case studies are widely used. Participants complete their program with a Major Research Project or have the option to substitute two courses for the Major Research Project.

This graduate level on-line MBA is designed to enhance management skills and knowledge in a program that is flexible enough to allow participants to enhance their managerial potential without having to interrupt their lives and careers. The innovative and interactive on-line learning experience is enhanced by three brief, intensive, in classroom programs that provide participants and faculty with the opportunity for face-to-face interaction. The program begins annually in May/June and is especially convenient for working professionals who are interested in the flexibility of being able to continue to work while at the same time advance their academic standing.

Alumni Perspective
University of Guelph MBA graduate Robert Boyer puts his love of agriculture together with a shrewd business sense to bring a much-needed harvest to struggling communities in Southern Sudan. As Chairman of the Jebel Lado Project, an initiative of the Canadian Economic Development Assistance for Southern Sudan (CEDASS), Boyer leads a team of dedicated Canadians working to develop the first mechanized farm in the region.

The CEDASS is working in cooperation with the government of Southern Sudan and local tribes to cultivate 1,000 acres of aerated land. The first 50 acres were harvested in early 2010. Boyer, who owns London, Ontario-based ON Communication Inc. made his fourth trip to the region this past September for a very successful second harvest of 120 acres. Future plans include an expansion to 250 acres next season.

"There is so much potential for growth here,” he says. “As a business owner, I'm here to get things done. I think approaching foreign aid with that kind of strategic mindset enables us to work more efficiently and to create something that will continue to develop with the local economy."

Each year, the Jebel Lado Project hires dozens of local villagers to work with the Canadian volunteers. The plan is eventually to leave the people of the region with a productive and sustainable source of food, lessening their dependence on imports from Uganda and Kenya. Though the work is hard and progress has been threatened by tribal violence, Boyer and his team are committed to reaching their goals.

“This past summer, the Sudanese Director of Agriculture visited Canada and we had the privilege of showing him around some local farms and farm businesses,” Boyer says. “He was so impressed by the sophistication of Canadian agribusiness, and he made it clear that he sees the same level of efficiency and productivity in his country's future. It's an amazing feeling to be helping them get there.”

Your career. Your way. At Guelph
“I am amazed at the contributions to agriculture made by our alumni. The sector benefits from their efforts, plus it's wonderful to see our students really reap rewards from taking our program,” states Dr. Funk when asked to describe the benefits of the MBA Food and Agribusiness program. After founding the program and being involved for over a dozen years, Dr. Funk believes one of the main advantages of doing the MBA at Guelph is the immediate credibility graduates gain. That the University of Guelph is so highly regarded in agriculture, both nationally and internationally legitimizes the credential. Funk asserts, “I believe our alumni enjoy it overall, despite it being a challenging program academically. It's where they networked with a wide variety of people from the sector and likely met some of their best friends. So many alumni have told me that they feel the investment definitely did pay off for their career.”

For more information about the University of Guelph’s Executive On-Line Educational Programs contact Patti Lago at - 888.622.2474. Visit them online

Attend a CME Executive Programs Information Session:

To have an opportunity to meet with MBA Alumni, students, faculty, staff to learn more about the University of Guelph's on-line executive graduate management or leadership education consider attending our upcoming MBA Information Session on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 commencing at 7:00 PM hosted at the University of Guelph campus.

To RSVP please visit the University of Guelph's CME Executive Programs web site at