Rotman School of Management

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Business Edge

Your Future Awaits

Business Edge is a unique education program for ambitious internationally educated professionals who are determined to leverage their full potential and take their careers to the next level.

Visibility is key to success in Canada. This insight gave me the confidence to turbo-boost my career - Miguel Abascal.

Designed by the Rotman School at the University of Toronto, the program offers you tools and strategies needed to break current communication barriers and adds value to your organization, helping you advance your career.

Through a combination of classroom sessions, one-on-one coaching, and customized e-learning, participants develop a thorough understanding of Canadian workplace culture and the unwritten rules that govern it. They learn the skills needed for professional confidence, organizational visibility and effective communication to build networks critical to their career success. Business Edge participants master the ability to present, negotiate, influence, and lead.  Program graduates emerge with a clear understanding of their personal brand and organizational value – and how to capitalize on both.

Program Themes:

  • Advanced Communication
    How does one appropriately disagree with an idea proposed in a team meeting? How can one suggest an organizational change, make appropriate small talk, or deliver an engaging presentation? These are situations where stakes are high and nuance is everything.

    In a knowledge economy, communication skills are paramount and go beyond understanding a language and its grammar. Effective communication is about using culturally appropriate language for handling specific business situations. Business Edge devotes extensive time to advanced communication in both classrooms and coaching sessions.

  • Canadian Workplace Culture
    Adapting to working-life in Ontario would be simple if there was one type of organizational or workplace culture, but there isn’t just one. A multitude of factors make every organization different. 

    Business Edge participants are taught to become ‘cultural detectives.’ They develop an in-depth understanding of five key dimensions of culture. They are taught to look closely at how each dimension affects the workplace and how to navigate difficult situations when they arise.

  • Leadership Skills
    Great leaders have high levels of emotional intelligence: they work well with others, take responsibility for their own actions, give constructive feedback and appreciate the same. They solve problems, influence others and drive change.

    In Canada, leadership characteristics are expected of all employees – especially those who want to advance. Business Edge enables a recalibration of leadership skills for the Canadian market.

  • Career Management
    Managing one’s career is about thinking beyond securing a ‘better job.’ It is about active and strategic career self-management on an ongoing basis.  It is about being clear about goals.

    Business Edge participants work with a dedicated career coach to develop a personalized career management plan. These plans help participants understand their value, clarify their goals, and transform their ideas into action.

Business Edge begins October 13, 2018

The program schedule includes:

  • Class on every Tuesday evening, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Class on 13 Saturdays, 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Total of 6 hours of peer coaching on Tuesday evenings
  • 6 hours of personalized, one-on-one coaching on weekday evenings by appointment only

Ann ArmstrongAnn Armstrong, Phd >>

Lecturer and Academic Director, Business Edge
Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Terry ComptonTerry Compton, B.A., TESL, M.Ed >>

Business Communication Coach, School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto

Instructor teaching in the Business Edge programRayna El-Farnawani >>

Coach, Speaker, Facilitator

Tony FongTony Fong, M.A., Ph.D. >>


Instructor teaching in the Business Edge Program Michael Kobrin >>


Geoffrey Leonardelli Geoffrey J. Leonardelli, PhD >>

Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour & Human Resource Management
Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Ross MacphersonRoss Macpherson >>

President, Career Quest

Carolyn MeacherCarolyn Meacher >>

Leadership Coach and Consultant, Carolyn Meacher Leadership Training and Coaching

Business EdgeKathryn Meisner >>

Sarah NevilleSarah Neville >>

Founder and Principal, Open Line


Jane ReidJane Reid >>

CPCC, CHRL, Career Transition Coach

Shannon ThompsonShannon Thompson >>

Career and Business Coach

Associate Professor, Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology Centre, University of Waterloo

Glen WhyteGlen Whyte, PhD >>

Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management CCMF Chair in Integrative Thinking, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto


The Business Edge Program is open to men and women in all professions who meet the following profile:

  • Highly-skilled immigrant professionals who are determined to take their careers to the next level
  • Have 1+ years professional experience in Canada and are struggling with under-employment
  • Currently unemployed or underemployed - working, but in a role that is not commensurate with their skills and education
  • Highly advanced in verbal and written English skills - Canadian Language Benchmark Level 8+
  • New to Canada within the last eight years
  • Highly-educated - bachelor degree or professional designation assessed as a Canadian equivalent
  • Minimum of 5 years work experience in their country of origin
  • Aspiring to advance their careers
  • Ready to fully commit to this rigorous and challenging program


Eligible applicants will be invited for a 25-minute in-person interview with the screening committee and must bring originals and photocopies of the following documents to the interview:

  • Proof of immigrant status (landing documents, P.R. card, Citizenship Card)
  • Credential/degree evaluation report from any of these agencies:
  • World Education Services (WES) Canada
  • Comparative Education Services (CES) University of Toronto
  • International Credential Assessment Service (ICAS) of Canada
  • Original University Degree and Official Transcripts*

*Please note that certified translations are required for non-English documents

  • Results of English language proficiency, if completed*
  • CLBPT (Level 8)
  • CLBA (Level 8)
  • TOEFL (paper test, 580; computer-based, 237; internet-based, 93; Test of Written English [TWE], 5.0)
  • IELTS (7.0)

*Please note that only language assessments completed within the last two years will meet application criteria.


$2,060* plus HST


  • Tuition
  • All Program materials and supplies
  • Completion certificate

Scholarships are available to all participants. Scholarship eligibility criteria are based on family income and number of dependents. The value of the scholarships ranges from $500 to $1500 and will be assessed on an individual basis. For more information about financial support, please contact Valerie Gow at 416-978-6803.


Applicants must complete the following Application Form


Please review the full version of our Application Policies >> for cancellation information.

I just arrived in Canada, and I am looking to start my career. Is Business Edge the right bridging program for me? Business Edge is a program designed specifically for skilled immigrants who have had at least one year of Canadian work experience. They have, however, not been working at a level commensurate with their education and experience; and they are struggling to advance in their careers. Therefore, if you have recently arrived in Canada and do not yet have any work experience, there are other bridging programs that are better suited to your particular needs. Please visit for a comprehensive list of bridging programs available in Ontario.

If I completed my university degree in an English speaking country, do I still need to submit a language test? Yes. We require all participants to complete a language test and submit their scores. This is to ensure that the application process is the same for all applicants, and that each applicant’s language skills are being objectively evaluated by a third party.

I do not currently have a language assessment or a credential (degree) evaluation. Can I still apply for the program? Yes. At the time of applying, you only need to submit two documents: your resume and your letter of intent. You may submit your language scores and your credential evaluation after the fact.

My undergraduate degree is from a university outside of Canada, but I have a graduate or post-graduate degree from Canada. Can I still apply to your program? No. Applicants who hold degrees from Canada are no longer considered to be internationally educated and are not eligible for government-funded bridging programs.

What is the process after I submit my application? After you submit your application, it will be reviewed by a program administrator to determine whether you are eligible for the program. If you are eligible, you will be invited for an interview. If you pass the interview and submit all your supporting documents by the deadline, you may be granted an offer of acceptance.

Is the program for women only? No. The program is open to both women and men.

Is financial support available? Yes, bursaries are available to those who qualify on the basis of financial need. Our policy is to ensure that fully-eligible students in significant financial need receive the support necessary

"Business Edge is a powerful program that helped me to better understand and navigate the Canadian workplace and be a better leader - and most importantly - it taught me how to take control of my own career. It allowed me to leverage my career experiences and polish many of my skills. By participating in the program, I gained the confidence to pursue my dreams.

I found a safe place where real and honest conversations happened about the unwritten rules in the workplace. Highly competent instructors and coaches provided me with invaluable feedback, advice, tools, and information that has benefited me and will continue to do so throughout my entire professional and personal life.”
- Renata


"Business Edge is an excellent career advancement program that helped me to take my career in Canada to a senior level. The program significantly increased my awareness of Canadian business culture and my understanding of the unwritten rules of a typical Canadian workplace. The program is taught by experienced instructors who understand the nuanced cultural differences between Canada and other countries. I highly recommend this program to the experienced senior professionals who are ready to establish their career in Canada and achieve success." - Ashraf


"Business Edge creates an environment where educated and established professionals are comfortable to open up without fear of being judged. That trust evolves into a transformative learning experience resulting in a clear strategic direction towards a desired future. Business Edge offered me alternative resources to re-frame my understanding of effectiveness and competitive success while exploring career advancement opportunities." - Armine


"For me, the Business Edge program was a daring professional and personal adventure. I learned to uncover and analyze some of the behaviour, values, attitudes, and emotions that had previously held my career back. The feedback, the coaching, the collaborative discussions – each of these had a huge impact on my ability to navigate the Canadian workplace and to define and articulate my personal and professional goals. More than anything, Business Edge gave me a new appreciation for my capacity and potential as a leader." - Luz

The Impact of Business Edge

Business Edge: For internationally-educated professionals

Next Program Offering

April 2019

The application is currently closed. To be informed when it reopens, please email
Find out if you qualify for the program »

Information Sessions

Come to our information session to explore Business Edge and get your questions answered.

Thursday, January 17, 2019
6:00 – 7:30pm (Toronto)

Register Now

Contact us:

Phone: 416 978 6803

Funded by:


© Rotman School of ManagementAASCB