February 19, 2013 - 9:06am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Students in Vancouver Island University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program will be out at grocery retailers and other venues this Saturday (Feb. 23) raising funds for the Pacific Salmon Foundation and sharing information about Nanaimo Airport Commission’s environmental projects.

It’s all part of the annual MBA Business Challenge, a friendly competition where three teams of 30 are vying for the coveted Mann Cup trophy, named after retired VIU Dean of Management Mike Mann.

“We built this competition into the MBA program to give students real world experience developing, managing and executing a major business project,” explains David Woodward, internship coordinator for VIU.

“It’s a win-win-win. The business challenge gives students a chance to develop their skills, network with the local business community and raise awareness and funds for a good cause.”

“We are so pleased to be this year’s sponsor of the challenge,” says Mike Hooper, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport. “It gives us a chance to support students and builds awareness of our environmental projects. We selected the Pacific Salmon Foundation as this year’s charity as they are a partner in our ongoing fish habitat work on Haslam Creek.”

Woodward and two other MBA internship coordinators, John Woychuk and Nattalle Tessier, are team coaches “so this is a friendly rivalry between students and instructors.”

Woodward adds that the business challenge requires MBA students to juggle their regular course work with the pressures of organizing a major event.

“It’s a good simulation of what they will face in the real world once they graduate and find employment. As future managers, they will have to know how to multi-task and manage several projects at once.”

VIU’s MBA program was established 10 years ago. The 14-month program is a unique Canadian/British partnership between VIU and the University of Hertfordshire (UH) in the United Kingdom. Last year, the program attracted 150-plus students from 23 countries. For more, go to


ABOUT VIU: Vancouver Island University is Canada’s west coast university. Known as a centre of excellence for teaching, learning and applied research, VIU offers a diverse range of certificate, diploma and undergraduate and master degree programs to more than 18,000 students on campuses in Nanaimo, Powell River and Cowichan, and at the Parksville-Qualicum Centre. For more information visit


Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6288 E: Twitter: @VIUNews

Mike Hooper, President and CEO, Nanaimo Airport P: 250-716-6625

Tags: In the Community

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email