‘Top Talent’ from UNB MBA Program Leads Growth Initiatives At Local Companies

‘Top Talent’ from UNB MBA Program Leads Growth Initiatives At Local Companies

ARTICLE DATE Dec 17, 2019

SAINT JOHN – The Canadian Health Food Association trade show in Toronto in September was the biggest event of the year for Saint John-based Millennia TEA. Founder and CEO Tracy Bell didn’t have to do anything in advance but board a flight to get there because of the work done by Tiphaine Morin, an MBA student from the University of New Brunswick in Saint John.

Morin researched the journalists, nutritionists, naturopaths and influencers that would attend the Canadian Health Food Association event, reaching out in advance to educate them about Millennia TEA, a flash-frozen tea line that best preserves its antioxidant qualities.

She assembled everything Millennia TEA would need for its booth, and then attended the event to make sure everything went smoothly.

“She was our key person on the ground making connections, bringing people by the booth and doing all of the good things helping us maximize the traction for that really key event for us,” says Bell. “She did everything to prepare us.”

Morin, who came here to study from France, worked with Millennia TEA earlier this year on a Business Consulting Project (BCP), a component of UNB Saint John’s MBA program that places students with local companies to help them advance business development goals with short-term projects.

Small startups like Millennia TEA and larger, established businesses like J.D. Irving, Limited have brought on MBA students to lead critical initiatives that include: exploring new business development opportunities; reviewing project management practices and methodologies for improved effectiveness; conducting market feasibility studies; and preparing human resource management policies and procedures.

There are 93 students in the program this year looking for placements in the spring or summer for nine weeks. Jackie Campbell, business liaison at UNB Saint John and coordinator of the program, says the students are true assets because they’re already highly educated with years of experience in the workforce.

“There may be something in the “parking lot,” something you don’t have the resources to get to, that one of our students could carry forward,” says Campbell. “You’re bringing in someone who can put strategic thought to a project, someone with experience who won’t need hand-holding and can drive the work forward.”

Bell can certainly attest to that. She says Morin took on many projects and delivered with minimal supervision. In addition to organizing Millennia TEA’s participation in the trade show, she did things like research and recommend a new packaging line for the tea products.

Morin would typically research an idea and then give 10-minute presentation to Bell on a recommended course of action.

“I would give her a project or an idea and she would run with it,” said Bell.