The Corporate Residency MBA comes with built-in flexibility. Students can tailor their work experience and electives to their specific goals and interests, which is perfect for students with entrepreneurial spirit. If you have ever been interested in being your own boss, or working in an exciting startup environment, the Corporate Residency MBA has some great opportunities! This blog post explores some of the entrepreneurial opportunities students are exposed to in the program.
To start with, the program is ideally located: Halifax has a dynamic and tight-knit startup community. A few of my classmates are working for local startups for their corporate residencies, and I caught up with them to learn more about their experiences.
Laura Park is working as a Strategist with Affinio, a local tech company. Before coming to Dalhousie, Laura worked as Director of a Youth Entrepreneurship Camp. In this role she was immediately drawn to the passion and drive of the local entrepreneurs she met. This sparked her curiousity to learn more about startups. In her new role at Affinio, she loves the fast-paced and entrepreneurial environment. Everyone is ready to get their hands dirty and take on a new task or idea with very little direction.
In Laura’s own words, she says: “The exciting thing about Affinio is that it was founded in late 2013, and here we are in early 2015 and we’re doing business with clients all over the world. It’s really inspiring to see how an idea supported by passion and drive can come a long way in a short period of time. They really weren’t kidding when they said it was fast-paced! “
Beyond the location, the CRMBA program also offers courses designed with entrepreneurship in mind. The Starting Lean Class is a truly unique academic experience. This course is a second-year elective and is open to students across all faculties at the graduate and undergraduate level. In addition, recent graduates are also able to take Starting Lean. The result is a pool of diverse people that form teams around a business idea and work on developing a startup over the term.
The course follows the lean Launchpad methods to build a business using the business model canvas. Students are taught how to create a sustainable business model at a low cost. Each team of students is paired with an experienced entrepreneur from the broader community to act as a mentor.
Dr. Mary Kilfoil, the Academic Lead for the Starting Lean Initiative in Dalhousie University’s Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, teaches the class. Her industry-leading course has received national recognition; last year she received Canada’s Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year Award from Start Up Canada.
Two more students in the class of 2016 are working for a local startup: Chris Gallant and Chris MacRae are currently employed at Air Institutes. Air Institutes’ founder, Dr. Jackie Kinley, took the Starting Lean class, and when Chris Gallant started his residency at Air Institutes he also attended the class. Here’s a bit about his experience with the class:
“I initially audited the Starting Lean course to gain a deeper understanding of how my boss, Dr. Jackie Kinley, developed a business model and a business plan for Air Institutes. I met with Dr. Ed Leach and Dr. Mary Kilfoil, who gave me the resources to understand exactly how to develop an effective value proposition. Overall, the Starting Lean class has given me substantial information to perform in my corporate residency.”
For my own corporate residency, I am working as the Project and Communications Coordinator at Dalhousie University’s Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Kilfoil and the Director, Dr. Ed Leach, have built something truly extraordinary and very important to the student entrepreneurs at Dalhousie University and the broader community. I would encourage students from the incoming class to reach out to myself or my other classmates if they have any questions about entrepreneurial opportunities in our program!