Coffee, donut and an M.B.A

Early morning M.B.A. classes at the University of Calgary accommodate people with jobs and night lives


This summer, the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary announced a program for the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Slated to start in January 2011, a new morning M.B.A. class will run three mornings a week, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“We already had the evening program,” says Robin Hawes, administration officer at the Haskayne school. “It seemed like a perfect complement.” The difference is that the morning classes will be held in the new downtown campus, instead of the main grounds outside the Calgary core. “It’s literally a five-minute walk from the downtown companies,” says Hawes.

The Haskayne school is one of just two schools in Canada that offer the early bird option. The other is the “Morning M.B.A.” at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. The program graduated its first class of students this June.

“The morning seemed like a completely untapped market,” says Kimberley Neutens, director, M.B.A. program services, who helped conceptualize the 32-month degree. Most students are about 30 years old with six years of work experience. “They want to go to school,” says Neutens, “But don’t want to give up soccer games or family dinner.”

The morning classes see a different sort of M.B.A. student than the usual type-A personality.

“The fact that everybody already has a job means it’s not as cutthroat,” says Jaime Stein, a recent graduate from the Rotman program and a manager at the Canadian Football League.

Stein says he found an unexpected support group in the class. “There’s a baby boom going on,” and many of his classmates have young families. “All my friends were single,” says Stein, whose wife is expecting their first child. “Now I have all sorts of people giving me advice on strollers.”

Today, with the morning and evening M.B.A. programs running at Rotman, the school is virtually open round the clock. Neutens says she refuses to get up earlier than six in the morning. But, she says, “We joke about a midnight M.B.A. every once in a while.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.