UTM offers new business minor program

Sarah Jane Silva

Business Minor

Undergraduate science students attend first introductory financial and managerial accounting course offered through the Minor in Business, Science & Entrepreneurship program (photo by SJ Silva).

The appetite for innovation and leadership on campus is palpable.

More students are seeking business education, so adding an undergraduate business minor to the University of Toronto Mississauga’s curriculum was a no-brainer.

“The Minor in Business, Science & Entrepreneurship program really highlights UTM, the Institute for Management & Innovation (IMI), and the Department of Management’s remarkable ability to converge different areas of study into a unique learning opportunity for students,” said Lavan Puvaneswaran, sessional instructor and UTM alumni.

This was no more apparent than last Thursday night when students attended the first introductory financial and managerial accounting course that took place in one of UTM’s active learning classrooms – a space designed for students to get plugged in, flip open laptops, interact freely with each other and professors, and absorb information from smart screens.

The new set of fall 2017 courses marks the first time that UTM’s undergraduate science students will have the opportunity to take core courses specifically tailored towards those seeking fundamental business knowledge to complement their science education.

In attendance at the inaugural class was Professor Soo Min Toh, IMI’s Director, who welcomed and congratulated the first cohort, commending them for showing great foresight in taking advantage of the opportunity to step outside of their primary disciplines of study and to broaden their analytical perspectives.

“While termed a ‘Minor’ in Business, its impact on these students’ transformation in the next few years at UTM will be far from trivial,” she said.

Toh also acknowledged the active support of the campus and Professor Ulrich Krull, Vice-President and Principal of UTM, as well as Professor Louis Florence, the former Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Department of Management, for the creation of the Minor in Business program.

“Quite the personification of someone who takes major leaps across disciplines, Professor Florence was trained as a mathematician who started and sold a successful IT training business, completed a PhD in education, and now teaches finance.”

Puvaneswaran, who also had a key role in designing the curriculum, believes that the combination of deep knowledge in a science discipline, coupled with a broad set of business skills will provide these students with a distinct and compelling competitive advantage upon graduation when they seek employment or launch entrepreneurial endeavours. 

“It’s been a thrill working with these students thus far,” he said, adding: “Their enthusiasm for wanting to learn more about the world of business and how it could be tied back to science-oriented careers is very exciting to be a part of.”