When “shopping” for an MBA, Niki da Silva, from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, says do your research.

“Start with defining: What are my must-haves? What must this program do?” said the director of MBA admissions and recruitment.

Whether it’s program length or learning reputation, it’s important to begin with a list of priorities, da Silva said.

Then try to narrow down, from the hundreds of options, to a more manageable shortlist of programs.

The Richard Ivey School of Business, for example, may be a good choice for those interested in being business managers in the health-care field.

A new building, the Ivey Centre for Health Innovation and Leadership is under way, making the school a great choice for health-sector MBAs.

Ivey may also be right for candidates looking to accelerate their leadership potential, said da Silva.

“There is a unique set of — we call them leadership essentials — at Ivey,” she said.

“It certainly does set the school apart in terms of outcomes and a very tangible skills set upon graduating from an MBA program.”

At the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business, whose MBA beat out other Canadian programs in London’s Financial Times rankings this year, an innovative approach built on integrative thinking sets it apart.

“Integrated thinking looks at different decision making models and provides different choices to them (the students),” said Richard Powers, associate dean and executive director of MBA programs at Rotman.

“Our students, being trained in that, are able to come up with unique solutions to very difficult problems.”

York University’s Schu­lich School of Business, also part of the Times’ top 50, finds its strength in diversity, says Charmaine Courtis, executive director student services and international relations.

“Students not only come from different parts of the world, they come from different sectors (private, public and not for profit),” she said.

“With each of these comes a different way of looking at things and multiple opportunities to learn to solve problems and create interesting management solutions.”

Additional high-ranking MBAs in central Canada include McGill’s Desautels School of Management in Montreal; Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ont.; and HEC Montreal.



Correction - February 3, 2010, 5:30 p.m. EST: A previous version of this story incorrectly said the Ivey Centre for Health Innovation would be housed in a new $100-million building. In fact, the funds were used across the school, not just for that building.

 
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