One way to describe Julie Beauchamp’s leadership at the Algonquin College School of Business is right on time.
After nearly 25 years as a faculty member, program director, and vice-dean of programs at the University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management, Beauchamp joined the Algonquin School of Business five weeks before the pandemic put the province into its first lockdown.
Relying on the resiliency of the faculty and its dedication to students, Algonquin College’s School of Business strived to remain open in any way possible during the last two years.
“The pandemic has changed how we look at business education and forced us to move in the direction of instructional delivery, design, and the use of technology,” says Beauchamp.
Since her appointment to the School of Business in 2020 – a role that quickly grew to include acting dean for the School of Hospitality – Beauchamp’s commitment to launching students’ careers has helped position Algonquin as a source for talent during one of the biggest worker shortages in recent memory.
Training students today to be the talent businesses need tomorrow
While adapting to lockdowns and restrictions was necessary to manage the pandemic, the programming also had to keep up with the way businesses across various industries were evolving.
“I want us to be seen as the go-to place for job-ready graduates,” says Beauchamp. “Whether it’s the School of Business or School of Hospitality, I want our community and industry partners to know we’re giving our students the education and skill set the industry needs.”
To make that vision a reality, Beauchamp is committed to expanding the Faculty’s partnerships with local industry leaders to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities that leverage the school’s learning enterprises, while also gaining feedback from business leaders on programming to ensure each student is fully prepared after graduation.
It was the college’s existing commitment to connecting students with industry leaders and Faculty members who bring real industry experience to the classroom that first attracted her to the role, Beauchamp says.
Having access to business leaders within the Ottawa region is what helps ensure the schools’ programming not only remains responsive to industry trends, but helps faculty members like Beauchamp continue to focus on local industry needs and labour market demands.
“We want to be an impact force in terms of meeting the needs of local businesses by training our students the right way,” says Beauchamp. “We’re bringing applied and experiential learning to life in the classrooms so that our students can hit the ground running.”
Currently, the Algonquin School of Business and the School of Hospitality offer students experiential work and integrated learning opportunities in several business sectors including hospitality, retail, tech and legal.
The student experience is also elevated through various networking events, and opportunities for prospective graduates to showcase their skills, knowledge and abilities at a variety of events and competitions.
“The applied learning and training at Algonquin are foundational to what we do,” says Beauchamp. “We are committed to creating talent who will contribute the moment they set foot in their organization.”
Meeting the needs of our community
The Algonquin College School of Business and School of Hospitality also adopted a very entrepreneurial mindset during the pandemic. Regardless of the challenges, the faculty and staff have remained committed to creating programming that meets industry needs, driving the school to be adaptable with its offerings.
“Our portfolio of programs stands by itself as a comprehensive offering for both students and marketplace demands,” says Beauchamp.
With an arsenal of new degree programs in marketing (with a strong focus on digital marketing), strategic HR management, culinary science, events management, as well as graduate certificates in business development and sales, strategic global business management and financial services, both schools are aiming to be seen as a partner in not only recovery from the pandemic but sustainable growth for the city.
Three years into her role as dean, Beauchamp hopes the Algonquin School of Business and School of Hospitality will continue to build its reputation as a responsive community partner and develop deep relationships with local industries.
With the upcoming merger of the two schools under a single leadership, the intersection of business and hospitality positions the college to further refine and align programming to provide businesses with the talent and skills they need, right now.
If you’re an Ottawa-area business who is struggling to find the kind of talent you need, the Algonquin College School of Business and School of Hospitality partnerships might have arrived right on time.