Graduate program allows students to bolster themselves

Capilano’s joint graduate program with the University of Hertfordshire is now more accessible to students from other fields

Justin Scott // Managing Editor

While Capilano University is largely known for its undergraduate degree and diploma programs, unbeknownst to most, the Graduate School of Business also offers Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Diplomas, including a joint Graduate Program in International Business. The program, which is jointly run by CapU and the UK’s University of Hertfordshire (U of H), is a one-year program that provides students with a Graduate Diploma in International Management (GDIM) from CapU and a Masters in Science (MSc) and International Business from U of H.

The program sees students complete one five-course semester at CapU, followed by a four-course semester at the U of H, which is located just 20 minutes from London’s iconic Kings Cross train station. Once the two semesters of school are completed, students must complete a final project to finish the program. “It’s about an eight-month commitment for classes and then you have about four months to write the final piece,” explained

program graduate Sarah Hannah.
After graduating from CapU with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Hannah knew she wanted to continue her education, but wasn’t sure where. When researching possible options, Hannah kept three main factors in mind – time commitment required to complete the programs, its financial requirements and the end results. She quickly realised that CapU and U of H’s offering was an easy choice. Hannah went on to start the program in September 2014, complete the class component in the UK in May of 2015, hand in her dissertation that September, received her MSc in October and finally her GDIM in June 2016.

While it may seem strange to some to pair an MSc and a GDIM in the same program, Hannah explained it actually makes perfect sense. “In North America, we’re more familiar with the MBA, but the true definition of the MBA is, and what it was created for, is for people from other faculties who need the management or executive skills,” she said, “For students doing a BBA, an MBA is a little redundant, whereas a Masters of Science shows a research ability.”

Although the program is no longer in its infancy, it’s still growing. One of the most recent changes it has undergone is its ease of entry for non-business students. The program has always allowed students from CapU’s various programs to apply, although there was a complicated administrative process in the past. Formerly, CapU students from outside of the Business and Professional Studies faculty needed approval from the U of H to enter the program. Now the requirement is gone for Communication and Tourism Management students, which Hannah credits to the high-quality work produced by the programs’ students. “It’s become seamless. We’re now allowed to accept Tourism students and Communications students without prior approval from U of H,” she said.

The program’s only starting date is in September, so students interested in it will have to wait until next year. According to Hannah though, it’s well worth the wait. Not only is it a once-in-a-lifetime academic experience and a resume booster, it also allows participants to travel. After completing her time at U of H, Hannah completed her dissertation in Russia and visited 22 countries in Europe before returning home. But for her, the strongest aspect of the program is the diversification it offers its graduates.

“I’ve come to the realization, as much as I would’ve fought this when I was 18 entering Cap, that education is really a life-long process,” she said. The way Hannah sees things, today’s university graduates are equivalent to high school graduates from her parents’ generation, so students should be doing everything they can to diversify themselves and enter the workforce one step ahead.

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