Special Report: Training for Marketers: Downtown Management Centre helps execs keep up

In This Report-Marketers lack sufficientknowledge about other departments to work as a team, says Weston Stanbridge of KPMG 26-Creativity training can give marketers the winning edge, says Patti Thompson of MICA 27-York Downtown Management Centre offers spectrum of short-term marketing courses...

In This Report

-Marketers lack sufficient

knowledge about other departments to work as a team, says Weston Stanbridge of KPMG 26

-Creativity training can give

marketers the winning edge,

says Patti Thompson of MICA 27

-York Downtown Management Centre offers spectrum of

short-term marketing courses 28

-New focus on practical casework and team exercises, says

Tracy Phillips of the Canadian

Management Centre 29

-Second City improv workshops help marketers think on their feet 30

The new York University Downtown Management Centre in Toronto is where it is for a good reason.

The centre, on the fifth floor of the imposing Ernst & Young building, is in the heart of the city’s financial district, close to the movers and shakers, close to the men and women who make much of the business happen in this country.

The Downtown Management Centre is in their midst to make it easier for them to learn more about the world in which they work.

Officially opened Nov. 30, the centre caters to mid-level and senior managers and executives who want to keep up with the evolving world of business.

About 80 courses will be run in 1995, each consisting of seminars over two to three days.

The list covers a wide range of management issues, including a great number of marketing courses: database marketing, marketing management, competitive pricing, sponsorship marketing, marketing for non-marketing managers and international marketing, among others.

‘We have the broadest spectrum of marketing courses for executive development virtually in North America,’ says Peter Zarry, director of York’s Division of Executive Development.

‘It’s probably our biggest area of expertise,’ Zarry says. ‘These are courses not offered anywhere else.’

The courses, ranging from two to five days, usually range in price from about $800 to $1,000, with instructors selected from the York faculty, the corporate world, and the public sector.

The division can also design specialty seminars for specific organizations and industries.

Zarry says there are a number of reasons why York opened the centre downtown, instead of continuing to offer the executive development courses at its Downsview, Ont. campus, which already houses Canada’s largest business management school.

He says the Division of Executive Development has grown ‘tremendously’ since it was opened more than 27 years ago, and the space at the university simply could not accommodate the growing numbers.

‘We wanted to run more and more courses, and we simply ran out of space,’ Zarry says.

Another reason Zarry cites for the downtown location is the school’s commitment to be close to the business community, both philosophically and physically.

‘One of the things we stress is relevance,’ he says. ‘This is a great spot to be in touch constantly and have meetings with businesspeople.

‘They are much more willing to meet us downtown than to troop up [to York.]‘

The reduction in travelling time also makes the courses much more attractive to prospective students.

Finally, Zarry says the school stays closer to valuable alumni who work in the area, as well as the advisory board of the school, which now meets in the refurbished boardroom of the old Toronto Stock Exchange.

Despite the fact the executive division is a satellite of the mba school, the downtown facility will be used primarily for executive development.

Along with the boardroom, the centre boasts two large lecture theatres, five smaller conference rooms, two lounge areas and a well-equipped computer room, connected to the Downsview campus.

The centre is undeniably well-appointed and efficiently laid out, but it is the courses that define the centre and its ‘Just in Time’ course-development philosophy.

This concept, borrowed from production cost-cutting models, is based on the idea that courses must reflect the need to frequently train and retrain managers.

The courses allow students to get a quick update in a subject area and take what they have learned back to their workplace for immediate implementation.

While the centre has been open for just a couple of months and only a few courses have been offered, Zarry says the response he has received from the business community has been ‘very positive.’

Before moving downtown, the Executive development courses had enrolments of about 4,000 annually, and Zarry says demand is expected to increase.