September 5, 2013 - 7:03am

Students from countries around the world, including China, Mexico, Russia, the Philippines, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, and Spain received a warm welcome at an orientation session for Vancouver Island University’s master in business administration (MBA) program Tuesday, Aug. 27.

There are 90 students and all are looking forward to starting their program and beginning life in their new community.

“The community of Nanaimo has warmly embraced VIU’s international students, and provides a friendly and supportive environment,” says Dean of International Education Graham Pike. “I am certain that our new group of international MBA students will also find many opportunities to get involved and learn more about a culture they are new to, and to share their own culture.”

Students in VIU’s dual degree MBA program choose from options that include a finance, marketing or general theme; the latter focuses studies on international business. MBA students who begin classes Sept. 3 will graduate in January 2015 with two degrees awarded through a partnership with the University of Hertfordshire (UH) in England -- an MBA from VIU, and a Master of Science in International Business (MScIB) from UH.

Vijay Bollini arrived from southern India to begin his MBA program. He has already launched a business in India manufacturing “green” lithium batteries that are in high demand for use in products ranging from cell phones and laptops to electric cars.

“It will be a great opportunity to learn some skills in business,” he said. “This will be a great opportunity to help us as we grow our company.” Bollini, who plans to return home to India with his completed MBA, is partnered with his brother in the green battery company, and also has 70 acres of chickpeas planted as another business enterprise.

MBA program director Brock Dykeman encourages students to work hard, find a balance in their lives through activities across VIU and in the community, and give some serious thought to what kind of business or industry they would like to work in once they have attained their degrees.

“That’s what employers are looking for – graduates with a passion for their industry or company.”

MBA students will have the opportunity to put new skills to work in internships that comprise the final semester of the program. Businesses interested in providing a placement for a VIU student intern are encouraged to contact Internship facilitator Dana Sirri at (250) 740-6548.

Along with three internship coordinators working with MBA students, Sirri hosts networking events, a speaker series, a career fair in conjunction with three other post-secondary schools, and events where students can practice their interview skills.

In addition to MBA program students arriving from many countries, more than 300 students from around the world have also arrived at VIU for English as a Second Language classes, academic programs and the Study Abroad program.

For the first time this fall, a group of nine German students will take part in VIU’s Study Abroad semester, joining MBA students for one term.

Sonya Schlomach, a German student currently studying at the University of Hamburg, is looking forward to her semester of study in Nanaimo, where she plans to immerse herself in the cross-cultural learning environment, and enjoy hiking and skiing in Western Canada.

“I chose this program because I wanted to do one semester abroad, improve my English, and gain some experience,” Schlomach says.

In Germany, she has been studying supply chain management and human resources, and has undertaken internships at Airbus and the Dr. Oetker food company.

“The international connections for MBA students at VIU, and in the Study Abroad program are invaluable,” says Dykeman. “Not only do our students find themselves part of a global community represented here on campus, they also network and learn from many different perspectives that will help them launch successful careers throughout the world.”



Shari Bishop Bowes, Communications Officer, Communications & Public Engagement, Vancouver Island University

P:250.740.6443 E: T: @viunews

Tags: In the Community

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email