Simon Fraser University

Grad combines business with art of technology

Oct 03, 2002 , vol. 25, no. 3

By Diane Luckow
Strategic business decisions are a lot easier now for Stephen van der Mescht, a producer with Vancouver video game company Radical Entertainment.

Van der Mescht recently completed his management of technology (MOT) MBA and will convocate this month after 20 months of part-time study learning about the business of technology.

A recent arrival from South Africa, Van der Mescht at first considered a master's of fine arts degree to complement his undergraduate degree in English and legal theory from South Africa's Rhodes University. Once he heard about the MOT MBA, however, the former creative director changed his mind. “I wanted to balance my creative side with the business side to make myself more marketable in challenging times,” he says.

One of the few students in his class with an arts background, Van der Mescht feels he added a unique touch to the class of technology geeks and business suits - and vice versa. “I provided a different perspective,” he says. “Most of my classmates were all about black and white decision-making. I'm into a lot more colour. I probably also challenged their ideas of what passes for acceptable business attire.”

Now that he's a producer and has completed his degree, van der Mescht says he takes a wider perspective when evaluating project opportunities.

Instead of just helping to nurture new ideas creatively, he can evaluate their sales potential, make market comparisons and write a business case.

“I feel more confident moving into this new job of producer,” he says. “I know I'm better able to manage projects - including timing, budgeting, scheduling and I'm still able to achieve my creative goals around overall product quality.”

“The program has made me a better thinker and decision maker.”