By Ashwin Joshi, Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of the MBA Program

“My thanks to the Dean and the Associate Deans for championing this initiative, to my incredibly gifted colleagues for their enthusiastic participation, and to the students, alumni, and friends of Schulich, for their engagement and participation. I look forward to seeing this initiative develop in exciting new ways over the course of this academic year.”

– Ashwin Joshi, Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of the MBA Program

A Bit of Background

Schulich’s new online course, “Leading Through the Pandemic: Insights From Individuals, Organizations, Governments, and Societies” evolved from an original Schulich Webinar Series focused on the Indian business and government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has disrupted the existing social order across various social groups, but the impacts have not been uniform. Within each social group, stories of resilience through the pandemic have surfaced, creating many potential learning opportunities. Bringing together insights from “eminent corporate leaders among the School’s India Advisory Board, spanning the worlds of finance, technology, manufacturing and the service sector; they draw on their experiences and offer reflections in a moderated discussion with the participants” (Schulich Webinar Series, 2020). With such a positive response to the webinar series, the concept quickly evolved into Schulich’s first-of-its-kind inter-disciplinary online course, with shared interest from faculty, staff, and students alike.

Launch and Engagement

Schulich’s Leading Through the Pandemic course successfully launched on September 12, 2020 with a current total of over 300 registered participants! Of these, 257 are students from various programs across Schulich, while other participants include staff, faculty, and alumni. Enrollment is open to York University students and employees as well. All requests to join can be directed to the Canvas course syllabus page from which participants may choose the appropriate enrollment button.

Initial Classes and Student Participation

Launching the first class with Professor Matthias Kipping, students learned insights on ‘Previous pandemics and their lasting impact: From individuals to geopolitics‘. Approximately 60 questions were posed during the recorded webinar, followed by another 20 in-depth comments on the Canvas course discussion board. In the following class, led by Professor Russ Belk, students delved into ‘Consumers, Businesses, and the Economy after COVID-19‘ with comparable participation results.

Schulich students are engaged with world events and committed to building organizations that foster positive transformations in the world. The depth of student engagement during these initial webinar topics, and their enthusiasm for this course, bears testament to their commitment to learning more about the world in order to make it a better place.

Additional Course Information

As the course moves forward, students will continue to have opportunities to interact with eleven of the best minds at the School and benefit from sessions led by different instructors from a variety of disciplines, while learning important personal, organizational, and societal leadership lessons. They also have opportunities to connect and engage with students across different programs and careers, and have their work showcased on the Schulich website.

This course remains open to students and alumni across ALL the degree programs (from BBA to Ph.D.) at the Schulich School of Business. York University students and employees from across all faculties are also welcome to join this course by registering under the ‘Participant’ study option. Visit the Canvas course syllabus page for more information, and to enroll.