Custom MBA for TELUS

According to Uvic News, how many students can say their class project saved someone $27 million?  Moutie Wali, for one. This is perhaps the most pronounced way that Wali stands out from the crowd of gowned students at this June’s convocation, although there are more subtle distinctions, as well.

As Director of Technology Strategy for TELUS, he has a fully established career with more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. He also is one of 20 students in the first graduating class of the Gustavson School of Business’ custom MBA for TELUS program. Wali, who grew up in more than a dozen countries across Europe and Africa and has degrees in wireless communication, worked with several other TELUS students on the standout project.

“The learnings from our Operations course helped us identify the specific areas to work on, and enabled us to reach this high level of achievement,” says Wali. “We focused on improving TELUS’ inventory management, and through this project were able to make recommendations that have saved the company $27 million to date.”

Investing in Talent – Developed to integrate the standard academic rigor of Gustavson’s Sardul S. Gill Graduate School MBA with the industry-specific needs of the telecommunications titan, the customized MBA for TELUS program launched in 2015 with an inaugural cohort of 20 TELUS executives. These same students graduate this June, and their tenure at Gustavson has been starred with successes: the program has already garnered two global awards (from education accreditation bodies AACSB and EQUIS) recognizing the partnership for innovation and talent development.

Awards and return on investment are visible measures of how the new program provides concrete value to the university and TELUS as they invest in their employees’ professional development.

Myths about MBA

According to Business Because, if you want an MBA to count, you need to go to Harvard

Or Wharton, or Stanford, or even INSEAD. Wrong! Yes, the brand name is important. Typically, top-tier business schools have bigger alumni networks and can set you up for success on a global scale.

But there’s life beyond the MBA rankings. Outside the elite, there’s plenty of value to be had in doing an MBA. Take Fox School of Business at Temple University, where if you get in you can almost guarantee you’re going to get a job afterward even if you’re an international.

MBAs are just egomaniacs bound for Goldman Sachs

In April, I met with Stuart Robinson, the new MBA director at the UK’s University of Exeter Business School. Stuart spoke of MBA students building family businesses, of small-scale social entrepreneurs, of an Australian student who runs a small farm in a remote area of Senegal— there are no big-shot bankers present here.

At Lancaster University Management School, I’m told there’s only one former consultant in the current MBA class. The stereotypes around MBA programs are outdated, and MBA applicants know it.

MBA programs are too expensive

Yes, MBA programs are expensive. If you want to join Harvard’s MBA class of 2020, you’re looking at paying more than $146,000 over the two years in tuition alone.


You’ve spent sleepless nights studying after work, you’ve sweated through the GMAT or the GRE, you took the leap and quit your job, and you got into your first-choice business school. Now, you can relax; breath; smile. Success, respect, and hundreds of thousands of dollars lie in wait.

The MBA is the be-all and end-all of graduate management education

It’s the world’s foremost postgraduate management degree, but the MBA is expensive to do and expensive to run. Some business schools are shelving their MBA programs.

London’s Kings College Business School opened in 2017 with no MBA program on offer, while London School of Economics (LSE) offers an Executive Global Master’s in Management (EGMiM), marketed as the alternative to the MBA.

Online MBA is probably right for you

According to Business Because, you’ve got a two-year-old constantly latched to your side, a newly-hatched entrepreneurial venture at your fingertips, a sick relative’s needs to attend to, a volunteer commitment you’re unwilling to neglect, or a combination of several of these commitments.

Sound familiar? You’re in a position where giving up one or two years of your life to fully commit to a set schedule of classroom instruction and events is not ideal.

An online MBA offers students with significant outside commitments to continue to fulfill their obligations (and maintain their sanity!) while pursuing their studies on their own schedules.

Take the Online MBA from Birmingham Business School in the UK for example. Birmingham’s Online MBA is delivered 100%-online—no hidden residential weeks—it’s also accredited by AMBA—the first 100%-online MBA program in the world to gain AMBA accreditation—and, upon the course’s completion, students gain the exact same qualification and certificate that they would on the school’s full-time MBA,

For busy professionals, a traditional MBA simply will not offer the flexibility inherent in an online program.

It makes sense: eliminating the need for students’ tuitions to cover the cost of a physical academic presence and avoiding the cost-of-living expenses normally associated with a traditional MBA program will both dramatically drive down the cost of an MBA.

If you’re set on earning an MBA but are financially limited, an online MBA program may be a practical option to take a step forward without breaking the bank.

Students often enter an MBA program with a goal of getting to know other students and their industries, exploring options outside of their own areas, and subsequently making a career switch based on an extended exploration process over one to two years.

Exploring a significant career change can be quite difficult from an online perspective, without the presence of other students in the classroom to constantly offer their viewpoints in areas you may be newly discovering.