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Best business schools in Canada

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New post 21 Jun 2013, 08:02
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As a somebody who currently works in MC in Calgary and looking to go for a Canadian MBA I'll give my thoughts and thoughts of others I've talked to while doing my research on schools.

1 - Alberta schools are not viewed to be impressive, I would not suggest these schools for MC or high finance. We do have a few local MBA grads in our group, but I would say they are the exception over the rule. After talking with people in finance, mostly PE, they have all recommended not doing a western Canada MBA.

2 - If you are looking to break into O&G, an Albertan based MBA could suit your needs. I think it could probably get you into areas like supply chain, logistics and other functions without too much strain at large O&G producers

3 - Ivey, U of T and Queens are generally viewed as the better schools here. I don't hear Sauder mentioned much at all, so I'm not sure and how it fits in but I haven't seen too many grads from the MBA program (if any?)

4 - U of T does not have a network out here, I imagine there are a few people but I cannot name one. So expect a much weaker network

5 - Ivey and Queens have the best networks in Calgary and are more respected, although I think Queens may get this reputation from having a strong undergrad program

6 - Our MC (Canada wide) practice took on 2 MBA interns this year, 1 from McGill and 1 from Booth. So no U of T MBAs got summer gigs with us and of course none from the 1 year programs
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New post 21 Jun 2013, 09:58
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CarlMtl wrote:
blah23 wrote:
As a somebody who currently works in MC in Calgary and looking to go for a Canadian MBA I'll give my thoughts and thoughts of others I've talked to while doing my research on schools.

1 - Alberta schools are not viewed to be impressive, I would not suggest these schools for MC or high finance. We do have a few local MBA grads in our group, but I would say they are the exception over the rule. After talking with people in finance, mostly PE, they have all recommended not doing a western Canada MBA.

2 - If you are looking to break into O&G, an Albertan based MBA could suit your needs. I think it could probably get you into areas like supply chain, logistics and other functions without too much strain at large O&G producers

3 - Ivey, U of T and Queens are generally viewed as the better schools here. I don't hear Sauder mentioned much at all, so I'm not sure and how it fits in but I haven't seen too many grads from the MBA program (if any?)

4 - U of T does not have a network out here, I imagine there are a few people but I cannot name one. So expect a much weaker network

5 - Ivey and Queens have the best networks in Calgary and are more respected, although I think Queens may get this reputation from having a strong undergrad program

6 - Our MC (Canada wide) practice took on 2 MBA interns this year, 1 from McGill and 1 from Booth. So no U of T MBAs got summer gigs with us and of course none from the 1 year programs


Blah23,

Thanks a lot for sharing your western perspective, I'm surprised to hear Albertan schools aren't taken more seriously. Didn't Brett Wilson get an MBA from one of those schools? And didn't he get his start in investment banking?


Cheers,

Carl


I think Haskayne does alright on the sells-side finance, assuming you had the right pre-MBA exp and are in the top students. I can name a couple ER Analysts with Haskayne MBAs but both had either o&g engineer experience or oilfield service exp prior to their MBA. I would say engineers with O&G exp can make the jump to finance with some hard work, but if you have no O&G exp it suddenly gets a lot more difficult as you just don't have the technical knowledge.

Brett Wilson did get his start in ibanking, but that doesn't impact much. If you are going after finance/MC in my opinion is better to go to an Ontario school and recruit with the large firms/banks and ask to be located in Calgary. They'll probably be happy you want Calgary, as it is sometimes tougher to convince people to come out here and it may help in the recruiting process.

If you want an O&G firm, small banking shop then go to Haskanye and network (especially for finance). If you want a big bank, consulting firm go to where the recruitment teams are actually located (Ontario).

I cannot speak for U of A, as I've never met an MBA from there and we don't even recruit there for our MC group at the undergrad level, we do at Haskanye though.

All that being said I am a strong supporter of networking on your own, and it can often get you into places where you school might not normally place.
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New post 19 Feb 2013, 08:23
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I would not rank 1- and 2-year programmes together. They cater for different people with different needs. Even more, I would even insist that if your shortlist still has programmes from both types you have not finished doing your homework.

Also, it will depend A LOT on your career goals. For instance, if you want to study in Canada, but then move to, say, Latin America, one should only get a degree from Toronto or McGill (sorry, nobody outside Canada has heard of York or Western Ontario). Similarly, you should only apply to schools in the Province where you intend to work. This is true for UBC, Memorial, and everything in between. This makes Canadian business education rather unique. On the bright side, if you know what your career goals are, your shortlist of Canadian universities will never be longer than 2 or 3 schools.

Anyway, if I was forced to give a ranking, I would say:

1-year: Ivey > Queen's
2-year: Rotman > Schulich > Desautels
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New post Updated on: 19 Feb 2013, 12:19
Ducksworth wrote:
I would not rank 1- and 2-year programmes together. They cater for different people with different needs. Even more, I would even insist that if your shortlist still has programmes from both types you have not finished doing your homework.

Also, it will depend A LOT on your career goals. For instance, if you want to study in Canada, but then move to, say, Latin America, one should only get a degree from Toronto or McGill (sorry, nobody outside Canada has heard of York or Western Ontario). Similarly, you should only apply to schools in the Province where you intend to work. This is true for UBC, Memorial, and everything in between. This makes Canadian business education rather unique. On the bright side, if you know what your career goals are, your shortlist of Canadian universities will never be longer than 2 or 3 schools.

Anyway, if I was forced to give a ranking, I would say:

1-year: Ivey > Queen's
2-year: Rotman > Schulich > Desautels


Once again, Ducksworth, I agree with you. However the temptation to clump all MBA programs together is great, even though they do not necessarily serve the same purpose. Knowing how international you are, I guess there are few better to judge what schools have the best reputations outside of Canada. I`m surprised UBC isn`t one of them, though.
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Originally posted by CarlMtl on 19 Feb 2013, 09:48.
Last edited by CarlMtl on 19 Feb 2013, 12:19, edited 2 times in total.
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New post 19 Feb 2013, 09:53
deadlycat wrote:
LOL, this is a topic that comes up with regularity and it is a testament to the strong educational system in Canada that we have so many good Universities. Personally I prefer the poets and quants rankings that amalgamate all the major ranking together to smooths out the irregularities.

1. Schulich
2. Desautels
3. Sauder
4. Rotman
5. Ivey

http://poetsandquants.com/2012/12/18/po ... of-2012/4/


Good find, Deadlycat! I've spent quite a while on poets&quants and never saw that table.
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New post 19 Feb 2013, 13:58
http://canadianmbaalliance.ca/

It looks as though the top Canadian MBA schools are coming together to form an alliance. The alliance brings together Ivey, Desautels, Queen's, Rotman, Sauder and Schulich. The idea of this alliance is to cooperate in the marketing and promotion of Canadian schools internationally. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Hopefully this will also allow students to draw on resources and networks from each of the six schools across the country. In any case, it sounds like a good time to be doing an MBA in Canada!
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New post 30 Mar 2013, 17:03
CarlMtl wrote:
Hi there ladies and gents,

I want your opinion on what the top 5 business schools in Canada are. I know every publication ranks them differently, but what are your thoughts?

Based on my research and obvious bias, I would say the following:
1. Desautels
2. Rotman
3. Schulich
4. Ivey
5. Sauder

Let the battle begin!


Interesting perspective. I only ever applied to Ivey in Canada... and was told to only apply to Ivey by someone in the industry. I would've preferred that it were a two-year program but hey. On the street there's only Ivey and Rotman. Nothing else comes close for recruiting for finance and consulting. Rotman has definitely done some amazing things in the past few years and have done really well for themselves. Ivey is the most historic brand for MBA's but their one-year program has drawbacks for career-switchers. As such, the students that attend are mostly looking to return to the same industry. The amount of people I know who have attended Schulich and regretted it are immense. The school is an ESL-fest. Rotman is in danger of going down this path as well. In their recent attempt to match Ivey's incoming student stats, which used to be the highest by a considerable margin, they've started admitting a LOT of internationals who have killer GMAT's and GPA's but aren't quite nuanced in their communication ability yet.
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New post 30 Mar 2013, 17:09
deadlycat wrote:
LOL, this is a topic that comes up with regularity and it is a testament to the strong educational system in Canada that we have so many good Universities. Personally I prefer the poets and quants rankings that amalgamate all the major ranking together to smooths out the irregularities.

1. Schulich
2. Desautels
3. Sauder
4. Rotman
5. Ivey

http://poetsandquants.com/2012/12/18/po ... of-2012/4/


I think if you wanted to go to an MBA based on ranking's published in magazines, then it's fine that one would prescribe to the above list. All I know is you go to a recruiter on Bay Street and say "I'm from Ivey' vs 'I'm from Schulich/Desautels/Sauder' and see the difference in reaction. Rotman is good too, but their class is huge so they're more ubiquitous.
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New post 30 Mar 2013, 18:49
maroliv12 wrote:
I think if you wanted to go to an MBA based on ranking's published in magazines, then it's fine that one would prescribe to the above list. All I know is you go to a recruiter on Bay Street and say "I'm from Ivey' vs 'I'm from Schulich/Desautels/Sauder' and see the difference in reaction. Rotman is good too, but their class is huge so they're more ubiquitous.

True, but once you get off Bay Street, Desautels/Rotman/Schulich (Sauder really isn't in contention imo) are far less likely to be looked at with suspicion than Ivey. UWO in general is looked at largely with contempt outside purple circles.
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New post 31 Mar 2013, 09:33
jxcho wrote:
maroliv12 wrote:
I think if you wanted to go to an MBA based on ranking's published in magazines, then it's fine that one would prescribe to the above list. All I know is you go to a recruiter on Bay Street and say "I'm from Ivey' vs 'I'm from Schulich/Desautels/Sauder' and see the difference in reaction. Rotman is good too, but their class is huge so they're more ubiquitous.

True, but once you get off Bay Street, Desautels/Rotman/Schulich (Sauder really isn't in contention imo) are far less likely to be looked at with suspicion than Ivey. UWO in general is looked at largely with contempt outside purple circles.


Yeah, I could see that being true. I'm sure Sauder is looked upon more favourably in Vancouver for instance and Desautels in Montreal.
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New post 01 Apr 2013, 00:11
I haven't looked at Ivey in detail (since I was not considering one-year programs), but my perceptions of Rotman are that it is very heavily focused on finance and consulting, and that you cannot truly gauge the reputation because of the large (and increasing) class size. I would say that if you are planning to work in MC or finance in Toronto, you will probably be okay (but will also be facing competition from peers for the same positions). Other than that, consider where you want to end up. If it's Calgary/BC, Sauder might be a better option. If it's Montreal, consider Desautels.

I would also suggest that don't go solely by what the rankings publications say. They are fairly unreliable. Consider the experience of students/alums with similar goals, and importantly, recruiters in your preferred location/industry.

Good luck!
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New post 01 Apr 2013, 21:45
westsidah408 wrote:
I would say that if you are planning to work in MC or finance in Toronto, you will probably be okay (but will also be facing competition from peers for the same positions). Other than that, consider where you want to end up. If it's Calgary/BC, Sauder might be a better option. If it's Montreal, consider Desautels.

I would also suggest that don't go solely by what the rankings publications say. They are fairly unreliable. Consider the experience of students/alums with similar goals, and importantly, recruiters in your preferred location/industry.

Having lived in Calgary before, I noticed Sauder's stepped up its marketing in Alberta in recent years but I think Rotman/Ivey and even Desautels (purely for the McGill name) have more recognition both in and outside the business community. Calgary's one of those new money places with relatively low regard for education and the lack of respect for UBC around those parts is rather shocking, considering UBC is generally respected even out East. Rotman is probably the safest bet in the Prairie provinces because of its sheer size and the UT brand. (Obviously Haskayne, Alberta, Edwards, etc. will be strongest in their local markets)
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New post 03 Apr 2013, 11:17
What about John Molson ? I am having it as a plan B . Good or bad?
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New post 03 Apr 2013, 13:21
TheNona wrote:
What about John Molson ? I am having it as a plan B . Good or bad?

Molson is respected in Montreal also somewhat in Ottawa and Toronto. It's a good choice as a backup school to Desautels/HEC.
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New post 03 Apr 2013, 16:15
Hey,

What is everyone's thoughts on the lower salaries in Canada vs the US? You need to drop quite a bit in the US rankings to find schools with the same lower salaries as Canada. I am worried about risking a salary that is close to the average at Rotman/McGill/Ivey only to end up in a different job with the same salary. I am not planning on going to school just for a salary bump, but it is definitely a factor to consider when you are playing $100k to go to school.

Are salaries just lower in Canada, or are there just a lot of MBA students who are taking jobs in lower salary fields?
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New post 04 Apr 2013, 15:44
Hmm. Those are some interesting ideas.

I do see that McGill and Rotman compare similarly to some of the lower down schools such as Mendoza and Marshall at 85-90k. Perhaps, Canada isn't that far behind. I'm not sure how comparable McGill's report is to Rotman's. McGill's seems to have a low survey response rate and also seems to be taken after more time has passed. I would like to see the standard deviation/breakdown of the salaries at each of the schools to see how clustered they are (are a few outliers inflating the numbers?).

The ROI in terms of salary increase doesn't really mean much to me. The majority of those people must be earning about $40K a year before hand or come from countries that have much lower costs of living when converted to CAD is much less. Salary increase is a very individual thing and does not really have much to do with the school and is too easy to manipulate.

To an earlier post, it does appear that signing bonuses are much rarer in Canada and for much smaller amounts. The salaries may be similar but lump sum payments are nothing to scoff at with big student loans to pay off.

Looking at Rotman, for example, it seems to have most of the same big recruiters that top US MBA schools get. That would appear to imply that they pay less and/or hire less people.

Salary isn't my biggest concern. I want to go to school so that I can learn the tools and meet the people that can foster opportunities to make a difference and make meaningful decisions. I'm sure that any of the top few schools in Canada can do that for me. Plus it eliminates the hassle of moving to the USA and worrying about getting a job down there and somehow getting a work visa for my wife.
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New post 11 Apr 2013, 08:14
Bump* I`m hoping someone from Sauder will chime in at some point.
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New post 11 Apr 2013, 17:51
CarlMtl wrote:
mistablair wrote:
Hmm. Those are some interesting ideas.
I do see that McGill and Rotman compare similarly to some of the lower down schools such as Mendoza and Marshall at 85-90k. Perhaps, Canada isn't that far behind. I'm not sure how comparable McGill's report is to Rotman's. McGill's seems to have a low survey response rate and also seems to be taken after more time has passed. I would like to see the standard deviation/breakdown of the salaries at each of the schools to see how clustered they are (are a few outliers inflating the numbers?).

I too would like to see those breakdowns, I'm a little hesitant to believe information that could so easily be manipulated, especially since every publication has different average starting salaries for McGill...
mistablair wrote:
The ROI in terms of salary increase doesn't really mean much to me. The majority of those people must be earning about $40K a year before hand or come from countries that have much lower costs of living when converted to CAD is much less. Salary increase is a very individual thing and does not really have much to do with the school and is too easy to manipulate. To an earlier post, it does appear that signing bonuses are much rarer in Canada and for much smaller amounts. The salaries may be similar but lump sum payments are nothing to scoff at with big student loans to pay off.
Absolutely!
mistablair wrote:
Looking at Rotman, for example, it seems to have most of the same big recruiters that top US MBA schools get. That would appear to imply that they pay less and/or hire less people.
I concluded the same thing with McGill. I guess the goal is to be in the top 25% of your class. I will be networking the hell out of every avenue beginning day 1 (in fact, I've already started with linkedin).
mistablair wrote:
Salary isn't my biggest concern. I want to go to school so that I can learn the tools and meet the people that can foster opportunities to make a difference and make meaningful decisions. I'm sure that any of the top few schools in Canada can do that for me. Plus it eliminates the hassle of moving to the USA and worrying about getting a job down there and somehow getting a work visa for my wife.
Completely agree! I for one am proud to be Canadian and choose to support a Canadian institution. Not to mention that our MBAs cost a fraction of what the American ones do.


I believe Mcgill includes guaranteed compensation into salary, which skews the numbers a bit....
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New post 11 Apr 2013, 19:05
maroliv12 wrote:
CarlMtl wrote:
Hi there ladies and gents,

I want your opinion on what the top 5 business schools in Canada are. I know every publication ranks them differently, but what are your thoughts?

Based on my research and obvious bias, I would say the following:
1. Desautels
2. Rotman
3. Schulich
4. Ivey
5. Sauder

Let the battle begin!


Interesting perspective. I only ever applied to Ivey in Canada... and was told to only apply to Ivey by someone in the industry. I would've preferred that it were a two-year program but hey. On the street there's only Ivey and Rotman. Nothing else comes close for recruiting for finance and consulting. Rotman has definitely done some amazing things in the past few years and have done really well for themselves. Ivey is the most historic brand for MBA's but their one-year program has drawbacks for career-switchers. As such, the students that attend are mostly looking to return to the same industry. The amount of people I know who have attended Schulich and regretted it are immense. The school is an ESL-fest. Rotman is in danger of going down this path as well. In their recent attempt to match Ivey's incoming student stats, which used to be the highest by a considerable margin, they've started admitting a LOT of internationals who have killer GMAT's and GPA's but aren't quite nuanced in their communication ability yet.



I think it's sort of sad that you have to lie about other schools in order to build up your own.
I'm a Schulich MBA, and haven't regretted it at all. You self defeat your own argument when you say Schulich is an ESL fest, then go on about international students who can't communicate but have killer GMATS. Um, isn't the purpose of the GMAT verbal to test english and communication skills? I mean really! You can't get out of a high school without speaking english in Ontario, let alone a top MBA program. Another common hoax that people like you like to spread is that you will get robbed, raped, murdered, or disemboweled if you come within half a mile of York. That's all over forums like this so let me answer that one. 80,000 people come to York every day, and come home in one piece. I'm not going to put down
Ivey. I got in there and it's a good program, but Schulich was a better choice for me. At least I don't go around slandering other school now I'm out.
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New post 14 Apr 2013, 20:19
d55 wrote:
I think it's sort of sad that you have to lie about other schools in order to build up your own.
I'm a Schulich MBA, and haven't regretted it at all. You self defeat your own argument when you say Schulich is an ESL fest, then go on about international students who can't communicate but have killer GMATS. Um, isn't the purpose of the GMAT verbal to test english and communication skills? I mean really! You can't get out of a high school without speaking english in Ontario, let alone a top MBA program.

I know plenty of kids who graduated high school in Canada from China/India/etc. who have shockingly poor English skills and managed to get into UBC, U of T, etc. Also, Asian students tend to have sickeningly high Q scores (usually 47+) but could get V scores in the 20s or low 30s. On top of that, just being able to pass English in high school, have conversations in English and getting a passable V score on the GMAT do not guarantee that someone can have complex, academic conversations about business. Is Schulich the only ESL fest in Canada/North America? Absolutely not, and it's far better than most European schools in this regard. But it's a huge school with a lot of international students (and it markets itself internationally more than the likes of Desautels or Queens) so it's bound to have lots of students with less-than-desirable English skills and the reputation is there, like it or not, and imo it is at least partly deserved.
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