David Cray BIB Bursary

The rundown

Carleton’s Bachelor of International Business (BIB) program is the most comprehensive international business degree program in Canada requiring students to become proficient in an additional language as well as spending a year abroad engaging in academic, linguistic and social activities. While the experiential component of the BIB program is priceless, the travel costs associated with going abroad can be challenging for some students especially if unanticipated circumstances arise. As BIB graduates will tell you, the firsthand the life lessons they learn during their year abroad are irreplaceable in advancing their comprehension of cultural differences and how they can be overcome as well as helping them to understand their own identities. The year abroad is one of the most distinctive and rewarding aspects of the BIB degree; this bursary is designed to make sure that all students are able to complete it successfully.

Renamed in 2016 in honor of David Cray, one of the founders of the Bachelor of International Business program, the David Cray BIB Bursary will help students entering their mandatory year abroad, who have demonstrated financial need, to help offset the associated travel costs.

Background

The Sprott School of Business’ Bachelor of International Business is a four-year Honours degree program that equips graduates with specialized business knowledge, fluency in a new language through both intensive courses and an immersive experience, cross-cultural skills, and first-hand international experience.

The hallmark of the BIB remains the year of study abroad.In the third year of their program students attend one of our 40 partner institutions in a country where their new language is spoken. During this year students develop their cultural awareness and an international perspective through their experiences in living and travelling abroad. Their interactions with domestic students, staff and international students from other countries provide an ongoing basis for increasing their appreciation of the diversity that permeates international business. Many of these relationships persist far beyond their time in their host country. Students become more adaptive, resourceful, and better communicators as a result of their year abroad.

Graduates will also tell you that it is the compulsory exchange component to the program which gave them a competitive advantage in the job market:

“The BIB program allowed me to build my tenacity to operate in highly dynamic and complex environments. Since graduating, I’ve learned the nuances of business abroad and acquired sales for a software company owned by one of the original BIB alum. Through this experience, I was led me back to China where I fully apply my language skills and degree to co-develop a department for The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai to support bi-lateral trade still in operation today. Upon completion, I returned to Canada and found a company that required my language skills and experience in China. I now manage Global Operations for this fabless semiconductor company in Ottawa” – Chia Lian BIB/10

Rollout

We have already raised $22,000 and hope to double that amount over the next few years. At the moment we are trying to raise $3.000 in the next few months. If we are successful, your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar (to a maximum $5000) by Carleton University. Once the current goal of $25,000 is reached, the David Cray BIB Bursary will become endowed and distributed annually in perpetuity.

Alumni of the Bachelor of International Business program will be encouraged to support the David Cray BIB Bursary through crowdfunding, email and phone outreach and will be encouraged to reach out to other BIB graduates to participate.

Impact

Once the David Cray BIB Bursary is endowed, it will produce at least $1,000 each year for bursaries which will directly affect BIB students embarking on their year abroad.

“BIB set me on a global path that has winded around the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean, among other places. My skills – in particular management, strategy, and communication, across languages and cultures – were first instilled in me at the BIB. As for all BIBers, the friends I made are the most lasting impact of my year abroad, in life but also my career. The two men by my side at the altar on my wedding day are from my time abroad, and my business trips regularly feature lunches with contacts from BIB years”. – Peter Holland BIB/98

“Of my professional accomplishments the one that I most treasure is helping to found the BIB program. When we first discussed the structure of the program we considered sending students abroad for a semester as most exchange programs do. We decided that three months was not long enough; students needed time to move beyond the status of a visitor and become a real part of the local culture. In talking to hundreds of BIB students and grads over the years I have been convinced that we were absolutely correct in our assessment. When I retired and the Sprott School named the BIB bursary in my honour, I was deeply touched not just because of the recognition, but also because my colleagues could not have done anything that would have pleased me more” – David Cray

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