UQAM’s School of Management Sciences is officially celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. This young institution, which has been developing since its foundation in the shadow of the great schools like HEC and McGill, has not been able to achieve full recognition of its contribution to the Quebec community in general and to the business community in particular.
ESG has existed in its current form for 30 years, but since the founding of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), more than 50 years ago, the institution began to graduate graduates in administration, with the result that the ESG now claims more than 100,000 graduates from its programs, the highest cumulative number of graduates of any business school in Quebec.
And this, even if HEC was founded in 1907 and has a much longer and richer history, just like the Faculty of Management of McGill University, which has existed since 1906.
It is the dean of the ESG, Komlan Sedzro, who revealed this astonishing statistic to me to illustrate the misunderstanding that one may have of the extent of the influence of the institution of the UQAM campus on Montreal life and Quebec.
We have an impact on economic and social life in Montreal and Quebec. We train 20% of all management science graduates in Quebec. These people hold important positions and are active contributors to their community.
Komlan Sedzro, Dean of the School of Management Sciences at UQAM
Especially since according to the statistics that Komlan Sedzro gives me, 90% of ESG graduates will stay in Quebec after their studies to pursue their careers there, unlike other management schools where many students leave, a after graduation, to work outside the country.
Komlan Sedzro is coming to the end of his first five-year term as dean of the faculty and he wanted to take advantage of the 30e anniversary of the ESG to take stock of the progress made and shed some light on this school which does not share the fame of HEC or McGill.
A word about Komlan Sedzro’s career. Of Togolese origin, Mr. Sedzro studied economics at the University of Clermont-1, in France, before coming to do a doctorate in finance and insurance at Laval University in 1992.
After teaching at Laval, then at the Université du Québec en Outaouais, Komlan Sedzro joined UQAM in 1997 as a professor of mathematical finance.
He set up the graduate diploma specializing in financial derivative instruments, in collaboration with the Montréal Derivatives Exchange. “It was not just necessary to develop products for the 1%, but to develop an ecosystem in which Montreal would play an important role”, specifies the dean.
out of the box
Since taking office as Dean of the ESG, Komlan Sedzro realizes how urgent it is for the institution to take a place that fully corresponds to the impact that the School has in the community.
“We are still a young institution, but the ESG has always stood out because it seeks to develop minds that think outside the box. We don’t train robots and we don’t want to train people who will leave school with “outdated” baggage. We want to teach our students to learn.
“We were the first to include social innovation, sustainable development and corporate social responsibility in our programs. It has now become the norm. We have more than 300 professors and 450 hyper-competent lecturers who are continually solicited by the media to share their expertise,” explains the Dean.
Unfortunately, this growing notoriety does not yet generate the corresponding financial benefits which benefit the major schools of administration which succeed, year after year, in attracting tens of millions in donations.
However, the ESG has contributed and continues to actively contribute to shaping Quebec inc. that we know today. Laurent Ferreira, new CEO of the National Bank, Alexandre L’Heureux, CEO of WSP, and Finance Minister Eric Girard, in particular, are all ESG graduates.
“We have to show better what we do well, and that’s why we’re organizing next week [le 26 octobre] the Décadra event at the Palais des Congrès, a happening that will replace our former annual Gala and will take place during the afternoon and evening.
“We are going to have presentations on different themes such as social responsibility, sustainable tourism, ESG governance with specialists, and in the evening, it will be the gala. We want to get out of the box, it’s an event for the school community and for our graduates”, explains Komlan Sedzro.
One gets the impression that the ESG has difficulty attracting the interest of large private donors because the institution is affiliated with UQAM, a public university financed by public funds. Is this the case?
Dean Sedzro nods with a bit of annoyance. “Yes, it’s true, but people forget that the schools at HEC, McGill or Laval are also publicly funded. We have to show our good moves better, ”he decides.