Not business as usual: Honours Commerce at Marianopolis
In addition to being excellent preparation for a career in accounting, finance, marketing and international business, the Marianopolis Honours Commerce profile is incredibly innovative. Just consider the Business Case Studies Seminar course that Honours Commerce students take in their final semester.
“Every year we focus on something unique,” says Peter Elenakis, a former advertising company executive who teaches the seminar. “Last year, the students pitched their ideas to entrepreneurs as part of Concordia University’s District 3 Innovation Center.”
Professor Elenakis uses a novel teaching approach that mirrors what will best serve his students at university and in the business world. For example, he helps students hone their presentation skills – a crucial asset in their future careers in the business world – by having them study improv theatre and story-telling.
“I always say that this class is about making business matter, about bringing the real world to the students and putting the students in the real world.”
In addition to working directly with a business incubator and beefing up their presentation skills, Commerce Honours seminar students have interned for local non-for-profit organizations, recommending and creating various social-innovation projects, from helping to establish a social media presence to planning events. Immersion in the non-profit world fits perfectly both with Marianopolis students’ expressed desire to be engaged in their community and with the College’s Mission, which aims to prepare students to “make positive contributions as citizens of a complex and changing world.”
“The seminar itself was the internship this past semester,” said Professor Elenakis. “It’s the only course of its kind for college students. It was just like working at a consultancy.”
For École secondaire Saint-Maxime graduate Kriti Jain interning at the Montreal Children’s Library “was a great way of stepping away from books to get a first-hand experience of working in the real world. Working for a non-profit organization gave me an opportunity to make a difference and learn at the same time.”
For Amra Kubat, who came to Marianopolis from St. George’s School of Montreal, the seminar was “a unique opportunity at the college level to go out into the real world and acquire skills and experience that will, without a doubt, be valuable in my future endeavours.”
Mariam Mohamed, a graduate of École Jeanne-Mance, said that the seminar and particularly her internship at the Amal Foundation, which helps children and youth deal with long-term physical and mental health challenges, allowed her “to experience the real business world outside of the regular classroom.”
She said, “I have learned to be more professional, committed and build on my time-management skills. I have understood the real definition of business.”