Ambrose Business Students on Their Industry-Focused Experiences

Ambrose Business Students on Their Industry-Focused Experiences

Ambrose Business connects students to industry through events, classes, and assignments. From guest speakers, to off-campus tours, to industry-focused assignments, students get the chance to see what it is like to be working in the corporate world. This exposure to real world professionals prepares students for many different job opportunities. Check out some of our 2019-20 activities and what students had to say about their experiences. All activities from March onwards were virtual.

Q&A with Business Leaders & #GolderLife… 

Every January, Ambrose classes are cancelled for a day and each program designs their own program day. In Business, we typically have a panel of guest speakers and then do industry tours. Our business panel this year included Joel Armitage at Stantec, Larry Koop at ProAll Manufacturing, Chantelle Little at Tiller Digital (also an Ambrose business alum), Dale Meister at PwC, Chidinma Thompson of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and Lori Caltagirone of Sunesis Consulting. Following this, one of our industry tours was with Golder Associates, where Claire Serfontein and her team hosted us at their offices and talked with us about the #GolderLife story. It was a great opportunity to take our classroom learning into a real-life context!

Different than the Movies…

One of the assignments in the Business Law class is to attend Provincial Court or the Queen’s Bench Court in Calgary for a morning. This is simply so that business students “experience” court and get a sense of the workings of our justice system. Later in the term, students had to substitute Supreme Court of Canada recordings, but early in the term, several students ventured out and here is what they had to say:  

“My overall impression of the experiences was that real court was quite a bit different than what is shown in movies. I found it very interesting that everyone wore the formal gowns. Overall, I enjoyed watching the cases and they were very interesting”. 
- Deion Adams

“I found the court experience to be very insightful, and it was really interesting to see what happens when you go to court to fight your traffic ticket. Since we were watching traffic violations, it wasn’t as intense and formal as I would imagine the other court trials are, yet at times I could still feel some tension in the room. I didn’t know what to expect at first, but overall I enjoyed visiting the court”.
 - Noemi Krizaic

“Witnessing the way in which a courtroom actually operates, for the very first time, was a significant eye-opening experience. My expectation for the way in which a hearing would take place was based solely off of the courtroom dramas that I have watched on the big screen. Thus, my first impression of the courtroom was how slow and methodical the dynamic was between the justices and lawyers”. 
- Taran Romain

Understanding Consumer Behaviour… 

Instructor Joni Avram believes in the importance of our students meeting business professionals, networking, and learning first-hand what it means to be successful. She brought several guests in her consumer behavior class.

Madeline Quinlan of Salient advised us on experimental research in behavioural science. Leger’s Edwin Sheppard shared with us on the importance of audience segmentation. We went deep with Mark Szabo of Anstice on the meaning of marketing. We all checked our social media platforms after Communicatto’s Doug Lacombe shared the latest on online reputation management. Finally, executive coach Ernest Barbaric provided us with some great insights on the future of marketing in the digital world.

Do I want a Career in Corporate Finance…

Our Corporate Finance class welcomed Jeff Klaus from Boardwalk and Derek Beatty from BMO to speak about how they have seen corporate finance work in their careers. They discussed what it is like to be a financial professional and the importance of finance departments, even if you are not directly connected with them at your organization. One of the goals with career-oriented class visits is helping students think through what careers might, or might not, be for them. Some student reactions to these conversations:

“This session really made me realize that I do not want to be stuck behind a desk for my career and that I don't want to have conventional work. God bless Jeff for wanting this sort of position, but for me when he talked about his role in business development, it really made me happy I wasn't doing his job. …I think often, people see landlords as the bad guys and that they just get to sit back and make cash. Listening to Boardwalk's structure re-affirmed to me that the rental business is a hard one and not just easy money.”
- Michael Baldwin 

“It was reassuring to hear Jeff talk on the applicability of finance in the industry because it provided some perspective on how important it is to have even a basic understanding of finance and accounting. It can be difficult sometimes to understand how what I am currently learning will be applied in my future careers (especially when some of the concepts can seem confusing and abstract), so I was encouraged to hear how important it is in all business sectors.”
-  Alexandria Leskow-Hicks

“One of the best pieces of advice Derek gave us was to start asking finance people specific questions about their job positions and not to be afraid of meeting them. As business students, it is necessary to do it beforehand without trying to get a job because the purpose is to understand what they do. At some point, we will have to move from the academic world to the real world, and we need to be prepared. More importantly, it is not all about getting a job and maximizing your income.”
- Rob Rayas 

While some found a calling into finance and others not so much, all of our students learned valuable lessons about corporate finance, its importance and how to understand some of the in’s and out’s of the business.  

Live Case Studies and Marketing Projects…

Our Advanced Strategies course does a few case studies out of the textbook, but the exciting ones are when we move outside of the classroom. For the assignment on Vermilion Energy, students did their own research and then did presentations on recommended strategies to a panel including Krista Moroz from Vermilion. Just a little intimidating, but the students rose to the occasion! 

The class went on the road for another case study assignment. Nicholas Svensson and Robert Pettigrew hosted us at Smart Technologies and answered our questions on sales, market segmentation, strategy, and future direction. 

Elsewhere in the city, students in the Marketing Communications & Social Media class spent time with organizations learning about and offering ideas for their corporate social media platforms. Companies included Clearsmith International Inc.CPHR AlbertaRange Mobility Inc,, SafetyVantageLevellingUpRazerLiftSMARTACCESSCAUSE & Nicerr

View some student reactions.

Ambrose Business so appreciates the time and efforts of the various individuals and organizations that support our program. It makes such a different for our students!