For the first time since the program’s introduction, the Faculty of Management’s Integrated Management Experience (IME) is under new stewardship.
Management professor Mike Madore is now at the helm of the highly regarded experiential program, taking over after 15 years of leadership by Dan Kazakoff. Madore is energized by the opportunity.
“The entire crux of the program is giving students the opportunity to use what they are learning in the classroom in an applied fashion, in a real-life situation,” he says. “That is something I’ve always tried to incorporate in my classes. As early as I can, I try and get students out using the theory they’re being taught in class and applying it in a real business setting.”
Madore has been at the U of L since 2003, first as a sessional instructor and then, for the past eight years, as a full-time educator. Previously, he taught at the secondary school level as well as for several other post-secondary level institutions.Madore also has experience as a business consultant and worked as a commercial lender with BMO for four years. The focus of the IME program, which is built on a solid foundation of community engagement, theory and practice, mirrors his philosophy on the role of the Faculty of Management in the University and southern Alberta as a whole.
“I really think it’s important that we have a strong connection with the local business community, and I’ve always looked at ways to try and engage the community,” he says. “It’s really a win-win when you can involve students with the business community. They get an opportunity to work on real problems that businesses are struggling with and the businesses benefit because they get consulting advice from students who are being educated with the latest expertise.”
IME involves students enrolling in two management modules, Mgt 3091 and Mgt 3092. In the first semester, Madore meets with representatives from a selected community organization and gains an appreciation for a challenge they are facing from a managerial perspective – essentially a business case problem the students work to solve. The second semester sees the students coordinate a sponsorship activity that raises funds for the selected entity.
“In the short term, I’m not going to move away from that model too much because I like the concept,” says Madore. “One thing we’re trying to do with the students is add additional factors, such as social media, and take advantage of that to promote IME not only a little more internally here at the University but outside to the general public as well.”
This year’s chosen organization is YWCA’s Harbor House. Madore says that as the program continues to evolve, he’d like to keep the focus on non-profit organizations that simply do not have the funds or expertise to manage their affairs as efficiently as possible.
“Many non-profits don’t have big budgets and are run on a volunteer basis,” he says. “As IME continues to evolve, I’d like to capture some of the lesser known non-profits in the Lethbridge area and give them an opportunity.”
With a cohort of just 22 students this year, Madore says he’d like to see that number climb back to its capacity of 36. He can’t overstate the value it brings to their educational experience, and with the majority of students who participate in IME in their third year of study; it creates meaningful pathways into the business world.
“IME allows students to flex some of the theory that they have captured in class in a real world setting,” he says. “At the same time, we’re a liaison or bridge to the community and the non-profit sector. We want to make sure we do the best we can for our partners in the community.”