From donuts to improv: 5 unique courses offered at UBC Sauder School of Business

Apr 10 2017, 8:24 pm

As a university student, you’re going to spend many hours in class, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired at the same time.

UBC Sauder School of Business offers courses that blend the best of both worlds – challenging the limits of traditional business courses with exciting results.

What’s really cool about this is that classes can push students out of their comfort zone to realize new ideas and levels of creativity, while still having the potential to open up impressive futures in business. To give you an idea of what we’re talking about, we’ve compiled a list of five unique courses you can study at UBC Sauder.

Creativity in Business

UBC Sauder recognizes the need for creativity in contemporary business. This unique course helps students see problems clearly and develop creative solutions that others may not think of.

Creativity in Business aims to help students develop their leadership skills, take risks, and bring their left and right brain to the table.

Jordan Cash, founder of Cartems Donuterie, benefitted from this course when he attended UBC Sauder for his MBA. “We were tasked to do something outside our comfort zone, but related to creativity or marketing in some way. That was my first foray into testing the donut market, and it was then that I started realizing that my idea was a legitimate one,” he explained.

Improvisation for Leaders

Totally unique in its approach and content, this course teaches business students how to use aspects of improvisational theatre to improve their leadership skills by learning to quickly adapt to changing environments and situations.

You’ll have the chance to hone your leadership and presentation skills while collaborating with different teams throughout this course.

UBC sauder

Improv for leaders/UBC Sauder School of Business

“Students obviously need a strong business acumen to succeed, but sometimes this can overshadow other important job skills like listening, collaboration and creativity. Leading corporations like Google and Pepsi Co. have already begun to recognize that improv is a great way to teach these ‘soft skills,’” said adjunct professor Andrew Chen.

Creative Destruction Lab West Venture Program

If you’re interested in entrepreneurship and the start-up world, UBC Sauder’s Creative Destruction Lab West venture program is perfect for you. This course pairs students with highly talented science and technology-focused start-ups to help them scale up their enterprises.

During this immersive course, students support customer development, market analysis, and financial analysis among other areas of early start-up management.

UBC sauder

Creative Destruction Lab West/UBC Sauder School of Business

“The program’s mentors have helped me leverage the knowledge and expertise I’ve gained in my BCom in order to benefit high-potential startup companies,” says Bachelor of Commerce student John Najafi who is assisting UBC Sauder alum, Ryan Smith (above), founder and CEO of FTSY, an online company that helps customers find the perfect shoe fit.

New Venture Design

Think and act like an entrepreneur with UBC Sauder’s New Venture Design program, which lets you gain knowledge and experience about businesses from a hands-on perspective.

Pairing UBC Sauder students with those from other UBC faculties, the program aims to equip students with the skills and support to produce viable product prototypes and business plans.

Over the last few years, New Venture Design student teams have excelled in competitions like CBC’s Dragon’s Den, New Ventures BC, and Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition in Singapore.


New Venture Design/UBC Sauder School of Business

UBC Sauder graduate Charlie Shi drew on this experience when co-founding his virtual reality gaming company, Univers with his partner and fellow UBC Sauder grad Alexander Chua. “I knew the school would give me the knowledge and experience I needed to further pursue gaming as a career,” he said. “I know a lot of potential competitors with great ideas, but they just don’t have the business acumen to get that idea into the marketplace. When we graduated from UBC Sauder, we were able to literally hit the ground running with Univrs.”

Impact Investing

This course provides students with an introduction to the emerging sector of impact investing. This new billion-dollar investment capital industry is all about blending investing, philanthropy, and social innovation. Lecturers advise you on the common obstacles faced by investors who are searching for meaningful, impactful investment opportunities.

“[Students today] want a job where values are front and centre, and they want to be able to make sure that their own money is invested in ways that align with their personal values. However you draw the boundary around millennials, this more recent generation cares a lot about that,” said James Tansey executive director of UBC Sauder’s Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing.

For more information about the variety of courses on offer, check out UBC Sauder School of Business online.

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