Six students from Ivey’s MBA and MSc programs got to experience a different role in the classroom and gain a glimpse of life half way around the world as volunteer teachers for the Ivey China Teaching Project.
Carolyn Burns, an MSc 2012 student who is graduating this fall, and five members of the MBA 2012 class that graduated in April – Alex Lau, Donna Tin, Wei Lin, Mike Bell and Myra Khanna – participated in the Ivey China Teaching Project from May 7 to June 8. The student-run initiative enabled them to teach a case-based course to undergraduate business students at the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade and Jinan University in Guangzhou.
In addition to honing their teaching skills, they gained valuable international experience and an understanding of the cultural differences between Canada and China.
The experience helped Tin, who hopes to become an adjunct professor for an MBA program, to confirm that teaching is the route for her. In addition, as a Canadian of Chinese descent, she was eager to learn about the culture in China.
“I had visited Shanghai before this program, but living there and having a daily routine is very different compared to being a tourist there,” she said. “Learning from the students and understanding how life is in China has given me a different perspective on how I view life and honestly makes me appreciate everything I have to date. I was also grateful that I was able to share my experiences with the students and maybe in the future will be able to help them with their future goals.”
Burns said she was eager to share the Ivey case method of teaching and see how it fared in another country.
“I was interested in the opportunity to live out the Ivey mission of giving back to the community. I wanted to share abroad what I had learned at Ivey,” she said. “We learned in class that companies that are multinational can’t take one product and expect it to work exactly the same in another country. I saw that here. The students were very nervous at first and we had to spend some time doing soft skills seminars so they could learn presentation skills before we really got into it.”
For more information, please see Ivey China Teaching Project.