Transforming Business And Society: Degroote Unveils Redesigned Co-Op MBA
When it debuted in 1973, McMaster University’s MBA co-op program was the first of its kind in Canada. Today, students are able to gain valuable professional experience in the redesigned 28-month program, which remains a pillar of McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business.
Earlier this year, the co-op stream — along with all DeGroote MBA programs — underwent a number of profound changes. Five Foundation Weeks were introduced, designed to expose students to the full spectrum of business within the themes of Analysis, Data & Decisions, Application, and Reflection.
The Foundation Weeks are now followed by nine weeks of five core courses, and cohort classes are also offered during first year, running from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Co-op students like Elizabeth Van Dyck are encouraged to try a little of everything during their placements — from working in the fast-paced world of corporate finance to burning the midnight oil at entrepreneurial start-ups. “DeGroote has realized that the business world is rapidly changing. In order to effectively prepare students to be successful and confident leaders in this new environment, they need to continue to adapt as well,” she says.
DeGroote has a robust network of employer partners who are eager to hire interns and co-op students directly from the School. Over the last five years, 84 per cent of co-op graduates were employed six months after completing the program. In other words, it doesn’t take long for DeGroote MBA students to truly make their mark.
“Because students are applying to jobs two weeks into the semester, we actually start working with them before they even show up for their first day of class,” says Cynthia Bishop, Manager, Student Experience.
“We figure out where their interests align, and they can then use their work terms to get a better idea of what roles to target.
We want students to think of themselves as future leaders from day one.”