The business school of choice for established and emerging business leaders, Sobey prepares citizens of the world to lead sustainable, entrepreneurial businesses and communities.
Students at the Sobey School of Business also get support from Saint Mary University’s Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) – a leading provider of university-based business support services in Atlantic Canada.
As a division of Saint Mary’s University, the SMUEC works to connect students and faculty to businesses, granting clients access to fresh student ideas, plus faculty’s expert opinions and leading research.
For over the 25 years, the centre has fostered creativity, innovation and disruption, working to enhance community prosperity by helping business and student leaders reach their entrepreneurial potential.
Students have a plethora of resources and opportunities to engage in hands-on learning, start their own business or participate in the wider community.
The SMUEC also hosts several events throughout the year, helping students network and improve their skills for success through conferences, hack-a-thons, networking events and everything in between.
The connection to entrepreneurial initiatives for students is a driving force behind their reasons for choosing to study Entrepreneurship at the Sobey School of Business.
Shaping future business leaders
Josh MacIntyre, Head of Special Projects at Grammarly, graduated with an MBA from the school, getting a head-start in his career within the tech industry.
In his role at Grammarly, McIntyre reports to the CEO and works with the executive team on a wide range of initiatives.
He credits his education at Sobey for preparing him for this broad spectrum of work, exposing him to all areas of business, allowing him to get hands-on experience through coursework and outside consulting projects.
He said, “I was fortunate to be enrolled in Dr. Ellen Farrell’s Entrepreneurship & Venture Management course, which focused solely on taking a business idea from thought to reality via creation of an extensive business plan and a final pitch competition in front of industry experts. We were also strongly supported post-course to pursue our projects as actual businesses and were given opportunities to meet mentors, use faculty resources, and attend pitch competitions across the country.
“This hands-on approach, along with the focus on technology-based business ideas not only taught me an incredible amount about starting and growing a business, but also started me down the path to working in the Tech industry,” he adds. “This course and the initiatives that supported it all helped me get to where I am today working in Silicon Valley.”
Supporting budding entrepreneurs
Akram Al-Otumi who graduated with a Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation, echoed his sentiments.
He is currently the CEO and Founder of Spritely Technologies Inc., also forming part of the Entrepreneurship Faculty at Nova Scotia Community College, plus CEO and co-founder of 3D Next.
He said the culture at SMU is entrepreneurially-oriented and encourages student involvement, sharing his positive experience of taking part in events.
“From the entrepreneurial Starting Point conference to the hackathons they run at Spark Zone, it’s easy to get involved at SMU. These opportunities and culture create networks and offer skill-building opportunities for students. They inspired me to continue on my entrepreneurial path after graduation.”
The idea for his current venture, Spritely Technologies Inc., began to develop during his time in the MTEI program.
“Spritely, an online platform that connects newcomers and tourists with locals to create a more personalized relocation or visit experience, matches people on language, interests and service needs. I was able to directly apply what I was learning in the classroom to my idea and connect with business leaders and mentors through the Sobey School’s wide network.
“Everyone at the Sobey School was approachable and helpful – they provided great insights as I was transitioning from just an idea to a product. That early support was key to me continuing on with the business.”
Like Al-Otumi, Christine Hamblin also graduated with a Master of Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation. She is currently the Innovation Lead and Manager of Business & Technology Integration at Accenture Inc.
With an interest in the startup scene but a lack of the appropriate educational background, Hamblin was glad to have found the graduate program, specifically designed for those interested in tech startups. She was part of the first cohort of the MTEI program.
“Finally, I had found a program that would bridge the gap between my degrees and was in an area I was passionate about,” she says. “That’s why I applied to Sobey School of Business. There’s so much on offer in addition to the guest speakers: SMU Entrepreneurship Centre, Innovation SANDBOXES like the Sparkzone, Enactus, Hackathons, trips to other Innovation/Startup communities like the Toronto/Waterloo corridor, and more.”
The School is known to keep its curriculum up-to-date and relevant to today’s business landscape.
As Hamblin explains, “They were one of the first schools in the world to have a degree in Entrepreneurship (decades before others jumped on the bandwagon), and they led the trend with Graduate programs in Tech Entrepreneurship & Innovation as well as Data Analytics, now everyone is following suit. Wouldn’t you rather go with the program and school that is leading the trends, not following behind?”
She urged students to take advantage of the many opportunities the School has to offer. “Get involved! There are so many interesting opportunities/clubs/activities on campus and in the city. Getting involved is fun, but it also helps you build a network, and that sets you up for success!”
Interested in starting your own business or becoming an entrepreneurial leader? A degree from Sobey School of Business will equip you with the ideal skills necessary for becoming a successful and driven individual in the business world.