Queen's School of Business Delivers Innovation
An Interview with Shannon Goodspeed
Associate Director of Queen's School of Business
About Queen's School
Queen's School of Business is internationally recognized as a leader in business education. Attracting top students from all over the world, the school's reputation rests on the high quality of its students, its strong record for delivering innovative excellent programs, and its expert faculty drawn from around the world.
Could you give us a brief overview of your MBA program?
Queen's has a 12-month fulltime intensive MBA program aimed at people with a background in technology or the sciences who want to move into management positions in any field.
The program is small and elite, with a maximum of 78 students admitted each year. A core element of the program is the emphasis on teams. Everyone is placed in a team of five to six fellow students at the beginning, and they work together for the entire 12 months. Teams are created to maximize diversity – educational and work background, gender, nationality, etc. – which Queen's has found maximizes the learning and output of each individual, and it mimics the way workplaces operate today.
The small class size delivers an intimate environment where students, professors, recruiters and the administrative team get to know each other well.
What are the characteristics you are looking for in a candidate?
We're looking for a candidate who is knowledgeable about the Queen's program – and about themselves. They understand why they're doing an MBA, although they don't necessarily know what they will do with it. We like people who have an open mind about where they will go after graduation. For example, a student could enter the program saying they want to be in high tech, but then go into investment banking. We think that's great. They're here to think about their future, plan for it, work hard throughout the year, take full advantage of the services from the career placement office, talk to professors – all geared to molding their re-entry into the workplace.
We also look at a candidate's ability to work in teams. They need to understand that they will take on different roles in their teams throughout the year – from leader to follower.
What makes your MBA stand out from programs offered by other business schools?
First of all, every student has an academic or work background in engineering or the sciences. They come to Queen's with strong quantitative skills, so we can move them quickly into the higher-level areas like strategy and leadership.
At Queen's we pay incredible attention to the details of students' learning. We don't just pay “lip service” to “customer service.” We have dedicated team rooms, so students never have to look for a room to have a meeting. Every student has their own desk and telephone in their team room, and their name on the door. We deliver all their materials right to students – there is no searching online for books, or standing in line at the campus bookstore. We've given every piece of this program careful thought – small details that make it a great experience. And that experience stays with graduates forever. I just heard from an alumnus who graduated six years ago who is an investment banker in Boston. He was just married, and every member of his MBA team flew in from around the world to attend the wedding. That example gives a sense of the strong bonds students develop, and how powerful the team experience is.
Could you describe the structure of your program?
Queen's MBA for Science & Technology is divided into four carefully designed stages. We start with management fundamentals, then move to business functions, then drill down into strategic integration, and finally offer the management concentrations, where students pick from a number of options to round out their year. Those options are marketing, finance, new ventures or strategy.
Following each stage we have a “CAP” Week – Career Advantage Program – which assists students with everything from resume writing, to networking, to mock interviews, to industry research, just to name a few.
What business areas do your students generally enter after graduation?
Although students share a common background in engineering or the sciences, there is a wide range of areas they go after graduation: finance, new ventures or entrepreneurial pursuits, high tech, biopharma, and marketing.
About Shannon Goodspeed
MBA for Science and Technology, Kingston, Canada. Shannon Goodspeed is the Associate Director of Queen's MBA for Science & Technology. She is responsible for recruiting and admissions to Queen's MBA for Science and Technology program, as well as the ongoing administration of the class while they are at Queen's, including their extracurricular activities.