First Master in Management grads excel in senior roles

Darren Lodge and Shelly Plett ©UWinnipeg

The first cohort of graduates from The University of Winnipeg’s Master in Management (MiM) program are calling the educational experience unlike anything they’ve done before.

Introduced in 2017, this one-of-a-kind graduate-level degree focuses on developing innovative, critical thinkers at a senior management level with a specialization in technology, innovation, and operations management.

Darren Lodge and Shelly Plett are two of the program’s first alumni, and great examples of students coming from two very different backgrounds. Lodge, who had been in business for more than 20 years, wanted to add a master’s degree to his resume, as did Plett, who finished her four-year Bachelor of Business Administration degree before starting the program.

“It’s a very multidisciplinary program,” said Plett. “You will learn finance, technology, project management, and overarching strategies that will result in a very well-rounded individual that can be competitive in the job market.”

Darren Lodge ©UWinnipeg

“It taught me things I didn’t know and it confirmed some things I learned during my career,” said Lodge. “But it also showed me, by comparison, things I was doing that weren’t correct and how to correct them.”

The program, which is a 30-credit hour degree spanning two years, features three modules.

Module 1 is a two-week intensive, in-person introduction to the degree in August with two 3-credit hour courses. In Module 2, the core part of the program, six 3-credit hour courses are delivered in an online format. Module 3, which features two 3-credit hour courses, concludes the program and is also delivered in an intensive two-week capstone session.

“When the MiM was designed three years ago, the vision was to create an innovative program that would attract a diverse group of professionals who had a desire to further their careers through a shared learning experience,” said Hugh Grant, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics. “The graduating class of 2019 is a realization of this goal. To accept into the program such a capable set of students, and to see their development over their two years of study, has been incredibly gratifying.”

During the course of her studies, Plett was able to continue working at 24-7 Intouch, where she had been since finishing her BBA.

Shelly Plett ©UWinnipeg

“I’ve actually moved into a higher-level role with the company,” Plett said, noting she’s now their director of solutions. “I attribute that success directly to the confidence and perspective I gained through this program.”

In addition, she said the diverse instructors, who have backgrounds in both academia and industry, really challenged her scholarly thought and business sense throughout the program.

Small class sizes allowed for more one-on-one time with the instructors and Plett said it also created bonding among classmates, leading to “relationships that will carry us forward in our careers.”

Lodge, meanwhile, had already been a senior executive for more than a decade, but said he was given even more opportunities for growth within his company thanks to the program.

“During the time we went through this program, we actually acquired another company and created a management administrative parent company to run it. I’ve actually moved into the same role, but overarching through a group of six companies,” he explained, adding he’s now the vice-president of business development at the Nordstern Group.

Even though they’ve moved on from UWinnipeg, Lodge and Plett want to give back to a program that’s given them so much. Both have volunteered themselves as partners for the current cohort of students who are looking for advice.

To learn more about the MiM program, visit: https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/master-in-management/mim-admission.html. The deadline for the next student intake (August 2020) is February 1, 2020.

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