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The following is an excerpt from the full article published in the Globe and Mail on May 23, 2014.

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Think of a typical MBA class. Does your mind’s eye see a class of smart, intense men? Well, you’d be wrong – if you were at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. This year, the full-time MBA program – that classroom you were thinking of – is comprised, more than half, of females. (Who are equally smart and equally intense.)

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Beedie School of Business MBA student Alannah Cervenko has accomplished a lot in the last year of her life. But as she prepares to move on from the MBA program to one of the world’s largest mining companies, she intends to use the experience she has gained from it in order to accomplish even more in the future. Cervenko graduated from UBC in 2006 with a degree in Psychology, before going on to work as […]

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Two graduate business students at Simon Fraser University are putting their business acumen to work for the benefit of young women hoping to make positive strides as future leaders, managers and entrepreneurs. Alannah Cervenko and Alice Longhurst, graduate students in the MBA program at Simon Fraser University, created the Graduate Business Women’s Council for the Beedie School of Business in 2011. To date, their primary focus has been raising awareness amongst the membership about upcoming […]

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Students in SFU’s Full-Time MBA program at the Beedie School of Business have garnered real-world marketing lessons that have taken them from social agencies in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to a hospice society in Pitt Meadows to a seniors wellness centre in North Vancouver. In the process of helping these groups raise awareness or operating funds, they have enjoyed early-stage support from the likes of celebrated author Margaret Atwood and Vancouver hockey star Roberto Luongo.

The community interactions are part of the marketing class Business 702, taught by SFU marketing professor Leyland Pitt. Within the class, students are challenged to strategically design a social media marketing program for not-for-profit organizations in Metro Vancouver.

By working outside of the classroom with social agencies and community groups, the students have been able to broaden their perspective around business and society – and further integrate social entrepreneurship and sustainability into their marketing coursework.

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Last week, when Cervenko was invited by a friend to a private “Cocktails with the Canucks” function in downtown Vancouver, she hastily grabbed her playoff towel on her way out the door not knowing what to expect of the event.

In the back of her mind, she had big plans for the white space on the towel. A Simon Fraser University MBA student, Cervenko needed some star power for a social media project.

The assignment: partner with a local non-profit and create a social media strategy with the objective of raising financial support or awareness for this organization. Cervenko and her group chose The Dugout — a drop-in centre on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that hosts one of the longest-running Alcoholics Anonymous programs in Vancouver.

“The reason I thought about The Dugout was because in the 1970s and ’80s it would stay open late so that their clients could have a warm and safe place to watch the Canucks games,” says Cervenko. “But because of a lack of funding they don’t have the resources to stay open late anymore.”

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