Benefits multiply for dual degree student

Cindy MacDougall

When Shauna Steed Leblond joined the Master of Global Management program, she was looking to increase her international business skills. So when she heard about an opportunity to take a second, European-based degree at the same time, she was intrigued.

 “If you’re inside of Canada and you want to go outside, it only makes sense to understand from both North American and European perspectives,” says Steed Leblond, who works for international helicopter firm CHC Heli-One.

Steed Leblond is one of two Master of Global Management students participating in the first cohort of the dual degree program between Royal Roads and Management Centre Innsbruck (MCI), a highly-regarded Austrian post-secondary institution focusing on business and entrepreneurial skills. Both Royal Roads and MCI students can earn a Master of Global Management and a Master of Business Administration from the dual degree program.

Both schools use blended models for the master’s degrees, partnering online course work with residencies. Dual degree students take courses from and attend residencies at both Royal Roads and MCI, ending with a research paper for MCI.

“The dual degree program is key for our students to give them more international opportunities,” says Professor Charles Krusekopf, director of the School of Business at Royal Roads. “Because they are working full-time, it can be difficult for them to do a traditional international program.”

Steed Leblond attended her first Austrian residency in October, meeting her MCI cohort in person and taking classes on the Innsbruck campus for a week.

“The facility is first class and the people are first class,” she says. “I felt that the content and the research of the MCI portion of the dual program fully complemented the MGM program.”

Part of the value of the dual degree program is the interaction students have with each other, says Krusekopf, allowing them to build relationships with colleagues in Europe and beyond.

 “I loved the dynamics,” Steed says. “You’ve got people from Italy, Venezuela, Switzerland, Russia… a little bit of everything because you’re in the EU. And that again complements the MGM program, because it has a lot of Canadians who want to work outside the country.”

Professors also take part in the exchange opportunity, with one Royal Roads professor teaching an online course for Innsbruck’s MBA program, and plans for MCI instructors to reciprocate.

Steed Leblond says the breathtaking beauty of the MCI campus at Innsbruck is an added incentive for students considering the dual degree.

“I found it one of the most beautiful places I’ve been and I can’t wait to go back again, to be honest,” she says.