BUS 450 Managing Emerging Opportunities

  • Certificate Course
  • 1 Semester
  • Spring Semester
BUS 450 Managing Emerging Opportunities (3)

The course is focused on consulting and involves three-week long innovation consulting projects with three mystery clients. In the first week of each of the projects, you’ll meet your client, receive the project brief, and have an opportunity to ask them questions about their requirements. Working in teams, you’ll then have three weeks to work on the project before presenting your analysis and recommendations back to the client on site at their offices. 

There will be various flavours to these mystery projects, but all will be within the innovation and entrepreneurship space. For reference, the clients from previous courses have included large companies such as EA, Pearson and Visier, along with local start-ups, Advisor Flow, APOLLO Insurance and Silver Homes. Working with these three clients, teams needed to deliver recommendations on topics including customer needs, customization, market trends, and marketing and distribution strategy. 

In other sessions of the course, you’ll be introduced to a range of opportunity identification and evaluation tools that you can use as consultants, as well as hear from guest consultant speakers who will talk about what they do and the skills necessary for effective consulting. Previous courses have involved visits to EA Advisory and KPMG, with guest speakers from Slalom and boutique consulting firms.

Key Benefits

You’ll gain real experience of working on consulting projects and developing your interpersonal skills during client engagements. You’ll be able to include these experiences in your resume and draw upon them during future hiring.

“BUS 450 has taught me how to engage with clients, understand their problems, and develop comprehensive strategies. This course has had the largest impact on my education to date, and I know I will leverage every lesson in my future career as a consultant.”

Kyle Pratt, Business Analyst, Deloitte

Spring 2024 Professor

Dr. Simon Ford

Dr Simon Ford’s mission is to create memorable learning experiences for students. Teaching within the innovation and entrepreneurship concentration, his courses are highly experiential and project-based, and involve students developing solutions to real-world problems. He brings the business world into the classroom and his consulting-oriented courses have involved the participation of EA, EY Advisory, KPMG, Pearson and Visier, as well as a number of Vancouver-based ventures including Blume, Spexi Geospatial and Voltsafe. He has also developed two serious games for teaching innovation and teamwork: Delivery Drones, an in-person simulation using Lego Mindstorms, and the online simulation Lights, Camera, Action! 

Outside the classroom, Dr Ford is the current Academic Director for the CaseIT International MIS Case Competition and has co-authored cases on Arc’teryx, EA, Mojio, Spexi Geospatial and Visier for that competition. He was the Faculty Advisor to the SFU JDC West team that won School of the Year in 2019 and he is active in supporting several student organizations at SFU including Axis ConsultingBASSEnactus SFU, and SFU Aerospace,

Dr Ford has been recognized for his teaching and student engagement. He was the 2019 recipient of the TD Canada Trust Distinguished Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and was on the FBA Teaching Honour Roll in 2018 and 2019. For his contributions to the student community, Simon was awarded the 2019 BASS Faculty Impact Award and was also honored to be selected to deliver the Faculty Address at the Spring Convocation 2019.

Beyond teaching, Dr Ford is the Academic Director for the Business Minor, and is an active researcher. He has published work on topics including industrial emergence, innovation management and technology acquisitions. His most recent research focuses on the impact of 3D printing on society.

Before joining SFU in 2018, Dr Ford spent 11 years as a researcher at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge. Prior to that he completed his PhD in Technology Management, MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development, and MEng in Information Engineering at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. He has delivered executive education courses at Atos, BP and Technical University of Denmark and is a Visiting Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

If you’re interested, you can see Simon talk about 3D printing as part of Beedie’s Inside Innovation series; read his research papers on ResearchGate; laugh at him in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 SFU Faculty Smackdowns; and connect with him on LinkedIn.


“BUS 450 is by far the most rewarding course I have taken at SFU Beedie. Students who are considering a potential career as a consultant should definitely add this to their list of must take courses at SFU.”

Joe Chinn, Business Major in IB, OM and Strategic Analysis

“BUS 450 was probably one of the greatest learning experiences I had in my time at SFU. Working and engaging with real clients made the experience feel really meaningful and provided an opportunity to form professional connections outside of SFU.”

Amy Morris, I&E certificate, who after graduation became a 
Sales Development Associate at course client APOLLO Insurance

“If you have ever thought about consulting as a career path, this is the course for you. One of the biggest benefits of this course is the amount of hands-on work with clients. You work with real clients and provide deliverables that help the decision-making of multiple companies.”

Dakota Jaggs, Business Major in Marketing and OM

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