Canada is sometimes seen as just the US’s chilly, backwater counterpart. Although the sub-zero temperatures, hockey obsession, Tim Hortons, government-subsidized healthcare, and compulsive apologies are more than just stereotypes, anyone familiar with Canada will tell you there's a lot more going on.
From a business perspective, proximity to Canada could prove fruitful for MBAs—2017 saw the country's unemployment plummet to the lowest it's been in 40 years.
Many of its major centers boast thriving and multifaceted tech industries too. Its largest city, Toronto, was cited as last year's fastest-growing tech market in North America, adding 22,500 new tech jobs across 2017.
Proximity to the Canadian border then, is an attractive proposition for US business schools looking to launch their MBA graduates into a market of opportunity. On that note, here’s four of the best-located US business schools for students looking to tap into Canada’s business boom:
1. SUNY Buffalo School of Management
Buffalo, New York, is perched right up against Canada's densest region—Southern Ontario, home to one third of Canada's 36 million-odd residents. Providing you hit The Queen Elizabeth Way highway at the right time, you can reach Toronto in under two hours.
The school’s Social Impact Fellows program is a shining example of Buffalo’s forward-looking pedagogy and strong ethical schooling. Master’s of Social Work students are paired with MBAs, and the teams collaborate with community organizations, formulating interdisciplinary solutions to real-world issues—from housing, to economic issues, gender equity, and more.
Their Corporate Champion initiative also ensures that MBA students are bolstered by contact with members of the business community from day one.
2. University of Detroit, Mercy's College of Business Administration
Detroit also sits directly adjacent to Ontario, more specifically to the west of Windsor, Canada's southernmost city.
Detroit Mercy's MBA program is consistently ranked highly among Midwest schools for cost-effectiveness. More notably, perhaps, the school's general populous is overwhelmingly female—64%.
The school's religious roots seem to translate into a curricular focus on community outreach. For Joseph Eisenhauer, the college's dean, this has interesting ramifications when paired with Detroit's recent resurgence. “Many students enroll at Detroit Mercy to be part of the resurgence of Detroit itself,” he says.
“All of our business students perform service-learning, using the skills developed in the classroom to benefit our community, and this emphasis on social responsibility has a strong appeal among the current generation of millennials, both Canadian and American.”
3. University of Vermont's Grossman School of Business
With its acclaimed Sustainable Innovation MBA (SIMBA), Vermont's Grossman School has a strong green focus. Their flagship program aims to fully integrate sustainability concerns into business practices, rather than treating it as a peripheral appendage.
Burlington, Vermont, isn't exactly a border-town, but it's the closest major American city to Montréal, Québec.
Montréal is the second largest Canadian city and the cultural epicenter of French Canada—arguably even that of the whole country.
Its notoriously inexpensive real estate, and European ties, make it conducive to a vibrant arts community that's both intensely local and exported worldwide.
4. University of Washington — Seattle's Michael G. Foster School of Business
The Michael G. Foster School of Business MBA is one of the best programs in the US, albeit a competitive one—only around 0.9% ultimately enrol from a pool of over 1000 applicants. The fact that it's situated in a market teeming with global firms is certainly advantageous, and over 85% of full-time grads are employed by the time they finish.
There’s opportunity aplenty for MBA grads over the border in Vancouver—only two-and-a-half-hours away from Seattle, Washington. Lower rent and favourable immigration policies, alongside a boom in tech, make this a startup’s dream.
The nearby provincial capital Victoria is smaller but no less appealing. Take time out and immerse yourself in copious natural island beauty—a must-visit spot for those seeking a less conspicuous tourist destination.