NEW (BIZ) KID ON THE BLOCK

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By Eric Lam

Western University’s Richard Ivey School of Business has just opened a new campus, and it’s right in Ryerson’s backyard.The Ivey School’s new Toronto Campus, located in the Exchange Tower at the corner of York and King streets, will be the new home for the Ivey Executive MBA program, according to the school’s official website.

The Ryerson Business School, which moved into its new Bay Street building in September, was just getting comfortable with its business district bragging rights — something the Ivey school is promoting.

“Location, location, location,” Kevin O’Leary, CBC television host of O’Leary Live and an Ivey graduate, said in an interview conducted by the school.

“It’s absolutely critical that the school have a presence in the middle of one of the world’s … business hubs.” He said not having a presence in Toronto would be a critical mistake, labelling the expansion a “must-do move.”

But Mary Foster, interim MBA director for Ryerson’s Faculty of Business, said the new Ivey campus doesn’t pose direct competition. “The Ivey program is an executive MBA program and we have no executive MBA program,” Foster wrote in an e-mail.

Plus, a little friendly competition isn’t such a bad thing, she added. “Competition has to come from somewhere. If (Ivey) opens a new campus, it opens new doors,” said Sonal Bahl, a third-year information technology management student.

“There’s already quite a lot of competition, from Queen’s, York and U of T. This basically gives students more options,” he said. This need for increased competition was echoed by Jon Yau, a first-year hospitality and tourism student.

“Maybe (the competition) will make Ryerson try to improve its own program,” he said. Bahl said he was planning on pursuing an MBA, but was hesitant to commit to Ryerson because the school’s MBA program is quite new.

He worried that studying at a new school, Ryerson or Ivey’s downtown campus, would make him feel like a “guinea pig.” “(Ryerson’s business school) just needs time to establish itself. I think it just takes time, but you have to start somewhere.”

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