Student and Alumni Testimonials
Who are Telfer Master of Science in Management candidates? They come from various places, have diverse backgrounds and enjoy a wealth of different life and academic experiences.
Yet they all have several key characteristics in common. All are excellent communicators and hard workers. All show initiative. And all use creative approaches to tackle research challenges.
They are also all great researchers in the making. Indeed, our students have used the Telfer Master of Science in Management to begin meaningful careers as research professionals in governments, public-sector organizations and private consulting firms. Others have taken advantage of our program to move on to doctoral programs at prestigious universities—a key step on the road to careers in academia as teachers and researchers.
Find out for yourself. Read about the backgrounds, achievements and plans of some of recent alumni—six great researchers in the making.
Intrigued by entrepreneurs
What makes people want to become entrepreneurs? Are they generally happier for their decision? And as an extension, are people in regions, countries and continents with higher levels of entrepreneurship happier than people in other regions, countries and continents? Elliott Bourgeois is going to find out.
"I've always been intrigued by entrepreneurs," says the 26-year-old Telfer MSc in Management student. "In particular, I'm curious about exactly what drives them to assume the risks and workload required to give birth to and sustain profitable enterprises."
Elliott has come to the right place to satisfy his intellectual curiosity-for three reasons. First, the Telfer MSc in Management emphasizes entrepreneurship-an area of study that can be examined from a wide variety of management perspectives; second, Dr. Mark Freel, one of Elliott's professors, is among the freshest thinkers when it comes to understanding entrepreneurship; and third, the program is a perfect academic home for students who are unafraid to ask penetrating research questions.
"Throughout my academic career, I was unsatisfied with being told how things were done," says Elliott, a finance undergrad. "I want to uncover why things are done certain ways. The Telfer MSc in Management is the ideal program to get the tools and access the resources I need to put my inquisitiveness into action."
Bringing out the best in leaders
You think you need to be a business student to get the most out of the Telfer Master of Science in Management? Think again. Nicholas Bremner used our program as an unconventional springboard to pursue a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology at the University of Western Ontario.
“The Telfer Master of Science in Management simply made the most sense for me,” says the 24-year-old native of North Bay, Ontario. “I’m convinced no other program could have equipped me with the business knowledge and, even more importantly, the research skills I require to be successful in my future studies and in my career as an industrial and organizational psychologist.”
Nicholas has already put his top-flight research skills to energetic use. He has explored the concept of meaningful work, examined occupational burnout and uncovered ways to measure personality characteristics in the workplace. His primary research focuses on developing and refining a theoretical model of how the behaviour of employees as groups can empower their leaders.
“It seems that more and more industry leaders behave unethically,” he says. “I want to find out exactly how employees can positively influence their managers’ behaviours and bring out the best in them.”
Understanding the dynamics of innovation
Does innovation in Canada’s wine industry differ from region to region, or do influences other than region have sway over innovation in that burgeoning industry? Evelyne Lord Tarte is searching for the answer to this two-pronged question.
“I’m investigating the extent to which innovation dynamics differ among Canada’s primary wine-producing regions: British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec,” says the Telfer Master of Science in Management student. “This industry is one of the few that operates in three distinct areas of the same country. At the same time, it has undergone profound changes recently in terms of product demand, key actors and management strategies.”
The Telfer MSc in Management is proving to be the perfect environment for Evelyne to carry out her research. In particular, she believes that the small size of the program’s cohort produces strong ties between students and professors, and makes it possible for budding researchers to generate exciting results—including her own.
“Early indications suggest that innovation in Canada’s wine industry varies little from region to region,” she says. “Instead, the age and level of development of a winery appear to be the most powerful drivers of innovation in the industry.”
Passionate about marketing
Ever have something important in life come together for you perfectly? Alex Mitchell knows the feeling.
“I entered the Telfer Master of Science in Management because I’m passionate about marketing,” says the 32-year-old from Kars, Ontario. “It turns out that my program supervisor, Dr. Judith Madill, is a renowned expert in the discipline, and she introduced me to an exciting new field of study—social marketing.”
Alex wasted no time in taking full advantage of his stroke of serendipity. Through his research, he developed a model that represents the prevailing marketing strategy for enterprises that strive to achieve both social changes and financial goals. Perhaps most notably, his model identifies a number of what he calls tensions that influence how these social ventures employ marketing methods.
“All these tensions go the very heart of social ventures,” says Alex. “Yet four stand out: how these enterprises finance their social missions, plan expansion, balance a desire to cooperate with a need to compete, and manage stakeholders that represent ventures’ social ambitions and stakeholders that represent financial goals.”
On the right path
A primary attraction of the Telfer Master of Science in Management is the wealth of academic and career opportunities the program presents our students. Among the many possibilities is the pursuit of a doctoral degree. That’s exactly the path François Neville is taking.
“I want to have a career in academia as a researcher and professor,” says the Telfer BCom graduate and now PhD student at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. “The Telfer Master of Science in Management—specifically, the guidance provided to me by my thesis supervisors—has been the ideal preparation for my current studies, which is an essential stepping stone on my career path.”
That preparation is paying off already. The 27-year-old Sudbury native used his Master’s thesis to delve deeply into the performance and growth of immigrant-owned firms that export. In doing so, he has filled a yawning gap in business knowledge, and revealed vital intelligence for entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and other researchers.
“No one had studied carefully whether ventures owned by immigrants outperformed firms owned by non-immigrants,” he says. “Through my research, I found that firms owned by immigrants neither outperformed nor underperformed. However, immigrant-owned firms that export grow much faster than all other firms, including other exporters.”
How do businesses and organizations foster, manage and exploit innovative products, systems and processes? That question is a focal point of the Telfer Master of Science in Management. It’s also the centre of interest and activity for Weiwei Wu.
“Coming to the Telfer School made perfect sense for me—for two reasons,” says the 26-year-old native of China. “First, I focused on innovation management in my undergraduate studies and it’s a core strength of the Master of Science in Management program. And second, the program’s class sizes are pretty small, which gives me plenty of opportunities to work closely with my classmates and professors.”
One of those professors is Dr. Margaret Dalziel, perhaps Canada’s most renowned expert in innovation intermediaries. These organizations, which are usually supported by national and regional governments, help firms create, manage and commercialize innovative products, services and systems.
“I want to use my time in the program—and what I learn from it—to understand more about the organizational actors that serve as innovation intermediaries,” says Weiwei. “Even more, I’d like to reveal new insights into the actions, influence and impact of these organizations and the activities they perform.”