All About the Ivey School of Business MBA Program

Are you considering pursuing an MBA? If so, there’s a lot you need to know about the different MBA programs in order to help you identify which one is the perfect fit for you. Today, our goal is to help you start your MBA research by providing  you with everything you need to know about a world renowned program: the Ivey MBA program.   

We’ll walk you through the specifics of the Ivey MBA admissions process, their curriculum, and the class profile of this year’s graduates to give you an idea of what it takes to get into this program. We’ll also go over the employment report of the 2020 graduating class to give you an idea of the various employment opportunities awaiting you post graduation. 

Ivey has two MBA programs – a full-time program and an accelerated one . The latter can be pursued alongside full-time employment, which is preferred for many working professionals. For today, we’ll focus on the full-time program. 

Let’s start by looking at the Ivey MBA class profile of those who started in 2021 and who graduate in 2022 . 

Class of 2022 Profile 

In 2021, Ivey’s MBA program accepted 161 students, which fits the program’s typical average of 160 seats. The class’s average age was 28.5 years old with a range from 24 to 35 years.

Ivey’s MBA program requires successful candidates to have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience to draw upon. This is partly because the program places a lot of emphasis on the practical applications of their content; they want their students to immediately take what they learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. To give you an idea of how important this application element is, the class of 2022 had an average of 5.5 years of work experience. 

Part of Ivey’s admissions process also requires applicants to take the GMAT or the GRE (there are a few alternatives but we’ll get into that later). The class of 2022’s GMAT scores ranged from 520 to 760. This is a fairly competitive range of scores as the highest possible score is an 800 and most people who take the GMAT end up with scores between 400 and 600. We’ve previously written about the GMAT in greater detail. Give it a read if you’re preparing to take it some time soon!

There’s no one specific undergraduate degree, college program, or work experience that you have to pursue before applying to Ivey’s MBA program. This is reflected in the background diversity of the 2022 class; 33% of this class completed their undergraduate degree in business, 25% completed theirs in engineering, 16% in the sciences, 14% were from  an arts background, and 12% were from other varied backgrounds. Whatever educational background you come from offers a unique perspective that would be of value to an MBA program. 

One of the benefits of attending Ivey’s MBA program is the employment opportunities they facilitate. For example, employers upload job postings to Ivey’s career management portal that  MBA students can apply to. Many alumni end up finding their first post-MBA position through the school. Let’s examine the Ivey MBA employment report from 2020 to better understand the opportunities that Ivey can prepare you for. 

2020 Employment Report 

The class of 2020 was made up of 169 students between the ages of 24 to 35. 77% of these students had an offer of employment by September of 2020. By December 31stof that year, that number had increased to 90%. Of the students who accepted their offer of employment, 63% of these offers were facilitated through the school, either through Ivey’s career management services, networking events, or alumni/classmate/or faculty referrals. 

This class’s post-Ivey areas of employment are incredibly varied. While 42% of graduates ended up accepting consulting positions, others accepted offers in…

  • Financial Institutions 
  • Information Technology
  • Consumer Packaged Goods
  • Real Estate/Property 
  • Restaurant/Food Services 
  • Wholesale/Retail 
  • Automotive 
  • Chemicals/Plastics 
  • Electricity/Gas/Water
  • Government 
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing 

How could a single school prepare people for positions in so many different industries? Let’s take a look at the MBA curriculum to better understand how this happens. 

Ivey Curriculum 

Ivey’s full-time MBA program runs for a full year and starts every March. There’s also an optional two weeks of classes you can take in February to familiarize you with some business basics. These courses are beneficial if you don’t come from a business background or if you’ve been out of school for a while. If you’ve been working full-time for the past  few years, it might take some time to get back into the swing of university life, refamiliarizing yourself with your old study habits and figuring out how to approach the course content. These courses would give you a chance to do that before the program starts. 

Year-round, Ivey facilitates many career-related opportunities such as networking events, panel discussions, and information sessions. These give you the chance to meet potential employers and get a head start on the next phase of your career. They also help you build your social skills, social network, collaboration opportunities, and so much more! 

The program is split up into three modules. We’ll go through each module in detail. 

Module #1

The first module of the program covers six months (March to August). It’s all about building a strong foundation of business essentials. You’ll also explore how these subjects overlap and relate to one another. During this period, you’ll take the following courses: 

  • Accounting and Control for Managers
  • Managing Operations
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Leading People and Organizations
  • Macroeconomics for Business Decisions
  • Developing and Executing strategies
  • Leveraging Information Technology 
  • Decision Making with Analytics 
  • Marketing Products and Services 
  • Managing Financial Resources 

This first module also includes Career Management courses, which are designed to prepare you for long-term success in your career. They start with the basics, including how to effectively  prepare your resumé and cover letter. They also give you top-notch networking and interview tips. Additionally, you have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a career advisor to help you set goals and develop a plan for your career. 

Module #2

The courses you take from September to February are all about giving you opportunities to explore your interests. You have to take a minimum of nine electives and a maximum of twelve. To prepare you for whatever industry you plan to work in, Ivey offers elective courses in the following specializations:

  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Corporate Strategy & Leadership
  • International Management 

One thing that makes Ivey’s MBA program stand out from others such as the Brock MBA or the Ryerson MBA program is the way they approach these specializations. Most MBA programs have pre-made modules that you have to complete in order to specialize in a given subject. While Ivey has pre-made modules that you can pursue, they also allow you to create your own module that is best suited to preparing you for your specific career goals.  

These months also focus on presenting real world applications of the material you’ve been learning through two different avenues. The first is an optional exchange term in which you get to apply your skills in China, Eastern Europe, or a country in South America. In these regions, you can either pursue an exchange term, teach in one of these regions, or provide business consulting to an organization.  

The second way you deal with real world applications of course content is through the Ivey Field Project, which is a part of the curriculum whether you choose to go abroad or not. You have two options for this project. You can either work with an existing organization to study a cross-enterprise issue or you can develop your own venture. If you’re working with an existing organization, your goal is to apply the skills you’ve gained in the MBA program to develop a plan outlining how the organization should address a specific  issue they’re dealing with. If you choose to develop your own venture, you have to research your idea in detail, write a business plan, and present your plan to an external review panel. 

Module #3

The last month of the program includes a shorter module that brings together everything you’ve learned from your courses and your exploration of real-world applications of your course content. This last month asks big questions such as…

  • Who leads best and how do they do it? 
  • How are great leaders developed?
  • What are the major forces and trends that will affect business in the 21st century? 

Now that you know all about how the Ivey MBA program prepares you for your career, let’s take a look at the application process.

Ivey MBA Admission Requirements 

Ivey’s admissions committee looks for a specific student profile. The first thing they look for is whether or not your application shows that you possess leadership skills. There are a number of ways you can demonstrate these skills, including but not limited to your extracurricular activities, career success, or volunteer initiatives. This is where effective strategizing, storytelling and compelling writing come into play. Your application must showcase these qualities that you possess in a way that’s clear, effective and speaks to the committee members.

They’re also looking for people who demonstrate academic aptitude. This is why their applicants have to take the GMAT or the GRE. If, for whatever reason, you can’t take either of these tests, they will also accept your scores from the following assessments: 

  • LSAT score of 160+
  • CPA Canada Certification

Since so much of Ivey’s MBA program is about practical applications of course material, they’re looking for applicants who can add to class discussions based on their own professional experiences. To make sure that their candidates all have something valuable to add, they all need to have had at least two years of full-time professional experience. 

Ultimately, while all of these factors are important, the admissions committee looks at your application from a holistic perspective, meaning they are looking at your profile in its  entirety and seeing what value you would add to their program based on all of your academic and life experiences. 

While the admissions committee has a student profile they’re seeking, there are ample ways that your profile can reflect this. Two applicants can come from entirely different backgrounds and both gain entry into the program. So, as long as you can demonstrate that you bring value to the program and you meet the entry requirements, you have a chance of getting in! 

Not Sure If This is the Right Program For You? 

You can find out if this program is the one for you by going through Ivey’s quick profile assessment process. You’ll have to fill out a form with your information and they’ll let you know if they think you should apply or not. And then, with that information, you can consider whether you want to pursue this opportunity or a different one. Another great way to get to know the program better and to find out whether it’s a good fit for you is to attend one of their admission events where you can talk to faculty, staff, and alumni about their experiences. 

Submitting Your Application

Once you’ve determined if your background and experiences fit the profile that they’re looking for, you now have to start assembling your online application. You’ll have to submit…

  • Two Written Essays
  • Two Video Essays
  • Academic Transcripts
  • GMAT, GRE, or Other Equivalent Test Scores 
  • Resumé
  • Two or Three Professional References 
  • Application fee of $150 CAD

If you’re looking to apply for the 2022 start date, keep in mind that the final round of Ivey’s MBA  applications ends January 10th 2022. They have six rounds of applications every year. For 2023 admissions, the deadline for their first round of applications is January 31st 2022. Deadlines for the proceeding five rounds fall two or three months apart.  

Ivey reviews your application as soon as they receive it, so you don’t have long to wait before hearing back from them. If your application is successful and they want to learn more about you, they’ll invite you to an interview about two weeks after you submit your application. You’ll generally only have to wait another 2-4 weeks after your interview to find out whether or not you’ve been accepted. 

Remember, the key to getting into any professional school is preparation and planning. Ivey’s MBA program is no different. You need to put thought into the way you format your resumé and essays and into who you select as your references. Your application should highlight your unique qualifications and also appeal to the applicant profile they’re looking for. 

If you need help putting your application together or preparing for your interviews, I Got In has you covered! We offer application support and interview preparation to help you build the confidence you need to wow your interviewers. Book a free consultation with one of our specialists today to find out how we can help you meet your goals. 

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