students assist Aborigional groups
By Megret Yabsley
with the opportunity to experience a new culture and apply knowledge
acquired in her MBA program, Mary Furey could not resist. This
past winter Ms. Furey, along with 11 other Memorial MBA students,
participated in the nation-wide program called the Canadian Executive
Service Organization (CESO) Aboriginal Services. CESO Aboriginal
Services helps Canadas Aboriginal communities achieve their
business goals by providing business advice, training and resources
through the skills and work of MBA students across the country.
by the Royal Bank of Canada, the CESO program provides a unique
learning opportunity for all participants. Once accepted to the
program, groups of four students are assigned a project and an
they travel to far areas of the country where they immerse themselves
in the culture and business problems facing an Aboriginal group.
Working with the Aboriginal group, students prepare new venture
plans and financing plans, in addition to providing business
training to their clients. For their work, students earn a credit
towards their degree.
the manager of information technology for the Faculty of Business
Administration, together with group members Rick Penney, Mark
Stuckless, and Gordon Kennedy, were assigned to a project in
Whitehorse, Yukon. With CESO mentor, Chris Trunkfield, the group
worked with the Kwanlin Dhn First Nations to provide recommendations
to the community on how to invest its cash portion of a $25 million
land claim settlement for long term security and growth.
we were first given the project, we thought that we would be
helping with the creation of an economic development commission,
said Ms. Furey. However, once we met with Burt Perry, director
of economic development for the Kwanlin Dhn First Nations, it
became evident that this was not the goal of the community. Clearly
the establishment of a holding company would meet their needs
of a new culture, the opportunity to apply her knowledge and
the chance to see new parts of Canada enticed Ms. Furey and her
to myself, what a wonderful chance to experience a new culture
first-hand, she said. Our involvement in CESO allowed
us the opportunity to work on a project related to the Aboriginal
land claim settlement issue. Our work has allowed us to some
degree to become involved in Canadian history.
Tami Hynes, agrees with the Ms. Furey about the lure of a new
culture. With her group, Ms. Hynes traveled to Hazelton, British
Columbia to assist the Kisgegas First Nations with a new business
venture. Ms. Hynes and her group members became immersed in the
culture when they stayed with Alice Jeffrey, Hereditary Band
Chief for the Kisgegas First Nations.
students, we take a great deal away from the project, said
Ms. Hynes. Not only do we apply the knowledge and skills
we have acquired through our education, but we learn important
personal skills such as diplomacy which are vital to our future
success. As consultants we need to be diplomatic, realistic and
attentive to our clients needs as they work towards creating
MacKenzie, associate professor at the Faculty of Business Administration
and CESO advisor, said this program allows students to use skills
acquired in their MBA program through real world applications.
they experience one of Canadas unique mircrocultures,
first participated in CESO with two teams in 1997. The program
continues to grow and for each of the past three years, the Faculty
of Business Administration has had three groups selected for
the program. The next group of students will begin work on their
projects in February 2001.