New Dean welcomes Beedie graduate studentsSep 02, 2014
As the first day of the new academic year heralds the start of a journey for students beginning their programs, this year also marks a landmark for the Beedie School of Business, as it finds itself under the tutelage of a new Dean.
Blaize Horner Reich began her first day as Dean of the Beedie School of Business by welcoming the new cohorts of graduate students in the full-time MBA, MSc in Finance, and Management of Technology MBA programs to the School.
In an engaging speech at the Segal Graduate School, Reich identified three stages in the life cycle of a graduate student: fear, immersion, and transformation – a cycle that she remembers all too well from her own experience as a graduate student.
After the initial trepidation, she explained, the students will begin to tie what they have learned in the classroom to their business experience. Utilizing an economics term, Reich compared the decision to undertake a graduate program as their “opportunity cost”. She encouraged the students to move from their comfort zones, in order to obtain the highest level of payback from their studies.
“It won’t all be fabulous, but like anything in life worth doing, 90 percent of it will be perspiration,” she stated, eliciting laughter from the audience.
At the transformational stage, Reich continued, students will begin to speak a new language – one that is often mocked by satirical cartoons such as Dilbert, but that is in reality an invaluable shorthand method of explaining complex realities.
The work the students will undertake during their graduate programs will result in them obtaining new perspectives – they will find problems, as well as solve them, but will be able to take a step back to understand the context of the issues facing them before offering their opinion.
Eventually, they will be perceived as being different – but this perception will offer them new opportunities and challenges that were not possible before. As such, the graduate programs at the Beedie School of Business are not just about group projects and examinations, but are about personal transformation.
Reflecting upon the cycle she had described, Reich admitted to empathizing with the students as they entered the first stage. “Today, I also have my doubts and fears – this is my first speech as dean of the Beedie School, and I hope that you will find it encouraging,” she said. “Enjoy yourselves. We’re here to help you on your journey.”
For more information on Beedie School of Business graduate programs, visit http://beedie.sfu.ca/graduate/