Bill Ulrey, a part-time Lehigh M.B.A. student, was one of only 24 students chosen to participate in the prestigious Canadian Leadership Orientation Program, a week-long program for M.B.A. students from leading North American business schools.
The Association of Canadian Studies in the U.S. (ACSUS) and the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa have organized the program for the past six years.
For Ulrey, it was a chance to deepen his understanding of a place in which he has an abiding interest. His visit to Toronto as a teenager opened his eyes to the strong opinions and sentiments about the United States government—particularly resentment regarding water pollution along the border that originated in the U.S.
“Thirty years later, I was anxious to return to Canada and see how attitudes had changed and to deepen my understanding of the economic inter-relationships among Canada, the U.S. and Mexico,” he says.
Ulrey participated in visits to Canadian corporations and U.S. subsidiaries, panel sessions and briefings designed to acclimate the next generation of American business leaders with Canada, the United States’ largest trading partner.
“The Canadian Leadership Program brought together MBA students from the U.S., Canada and Mexico to learn more about Canada's government and economy, and particularly its trade relationships with the U.S. and Mexico,” Ulrey says. “The speakers—primarily Canadian business, government and academic leaders in Ottawa and Montreal—were wonderful. Our hosts from the Telfer School of Management in Ottawa did a marvelous job putting it together.
“I learned a great deal both from the formal program and by talking with the other students about their experiences and aspirations. The United States has much to gain by deepening North American trade relationships, and would substantially benefit by removing the remaining barriers to free trade between our three countries.”
This year marks the third year that the Lehigh University M.B.A. student has been nominated and selected to participate in the Canadian Leadership Program.
Andrew Ward, associate dean of graduate programs, believes that international consciousness is at the heart of a successful business education.
“It is crucial for the Lehigh M.B.A. program to provide students with international opportunities rooted in our curriculum that will give them what they need to succeed in the competitive global marketplace,” Ward says.
See a complete list of participating schools.