By Leah Coppella
Photos by Chris Roussakis

A social media influencing platform, applications of the tokenization of assets process, an ecosystem that crosses country boundaries, and a worldwide soft-landing program – these are some of the entrepreneurship opportunities under development through a partnership between the MBA and Technology Innovation Management (TIM) programs at Carleton University.

The MBA-TIM collaboration matches students enrolled in the MBA program at Carleton’s Sprott School of Business with entrepreneurs affiliated with TIM who are seeking to hire and mentor interns in the summer term.

“It links the university to the external community and it creates a bond between the entrepreneurial program, which is the TIM program, and the MBA program, which cares about jobs,” says TIM Director Tony Bailetti.

Jennifer Warren, acting MBA career and internship coordinator at Sprott, finds internship opportunities for Sprott MBA students and has seen the MBA-TIM connection first-hand.

“The TIM program is a great partner for MBA internships. Their companies, being largely technology startups, provide good placements for our candidates who have minimal prior professional work experience,” she says.

“The entrepreneurs mentor our interns; meanwhile, our interns help support and grow the startups.”

Warren has supported the efforts of 24 MBA students to secure summer internships by providing career skills workshops while cultivating valuable opportunities with prospective employers.

“MBA candidates represent a wide spectrum of educational backgrounds, professional experience and career goals,” she says.

“This makes Sprott’s MBA program particularly diverse and unique.”

This summer, the MBA-TIM partnership is comprised of five projects. Dennie James is a TIM student and CEO of CatchGigs. He is working with Yuhan Zhang, an MBA student, to develop a social media influencing platform and an online marketplace to sell digital services.

Steven Muegge, a TIM faculty member, is working with Zixun Wang on applying tokenization of assets in the real estate and mining industries.

Three MBA students, Zhen Wang, Weining Ji and Yuan Zhang, are part of an international project developing a business ecosystem to increase trade and investment between Nigeria and Canada – the Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit (NCIS) project. This project includes Henry Okonkwo, a second year TIM student, two TIM alumni and NCIS staff.

Eduardo Bailetti, CEO of Growth Hub and a TIM student who is graduating, is working with MBA student Wenzhong Zhang to develop a soft-landing program to enable foreign companies enter and thrive in new local markets worldwide.

Other MBA internship employers include the Government of Canada, Saegis, Canada Post, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Invest Ottawa, IMI Logistics, CARE Canada, Ottawa Special Events, Barometer Capital Management, Carleton’s Office of the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (Academic), and the David C. Onley Initiative.

The six MBA students and TIM students interact with projects led by local entrepreneurs.

Ottawa entrepreneur Kamal Dhanoa’s team includes TIM students Surla Koritala and Sriram Narayan. They are creating a digital marketing tool with a blockchain backend that allows brands to create a digital pop-up store. Dhanoa and her team are excited about the potential of the tool.

“With an internship, there is a component of mentoring and there is this great willingness to not only allow students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the startup, but provide mentoring where needed, and help them learn and grow,” Warren says.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 in
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