The Sprott School of Business says its new MSc program in Management “focuses on applied research about complex management problems in a rapidly changing and global environment.”

That’s exactly what the first two graduates from this program chose to do.

Parth Shah notes that elders are the highest risk population for COVID-19 and they are not as tech savvy as other groups. So after researching many topics, he decided to study what factors can help companies and medical practitioners understand how they can make new technological products elder-friendly and make elders more independent. This study was part of a larger study for which his supervisors were awarded Carleton’s COVID research grant.


Sophia Krystek chose to focus on how the experiences that Millennial and Generation Z cohorts share on social media affect their overall personal brands. Her research findings are useful to those in the tourism marketing industry and provide some insight into the Generation Z cohort.

Sophia K

The two soon-to-be graduates have very different backgrounds and were attracted to the program for different reasons.

During her undergrad degree in Commerce at Carleton, Krystek pursued a variety of applied research marketing courses which she says opened her eyes to the world of marketing research and to qualitative research in particular.

This helped her decide to apply for the new MSc in Management program. “One of the main reasons that I decided to apply for the program was that the Carleton and Sprott communities have always provided an encouraging and supportive learning environment. I was lucky enough to have my favourite professor from my undergraduate degree, Dr. Leighann Neilson, become my supervisor and to have her support and guidance as I pursued my research interests.”

Shah completed a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University in India. He said he knew at that time that he would have to develop a specialization in his desired field of study. Shah states: “After checking many courses in multiple universities, I found the MSc in Management to be the perfect course that I was looking for. He notes that the three things that swayed him towards Carleton were: “The reputation of the Sprott School and Carleton University for its research, its renowned faculty and the university’s location in Ottawa.” He also liked the fact that classes were quite small allowing a lot of interaction with faculty.

Both applaud the MSc program for what it taught them. Krystek completed two internships at Connected Canadians as an Outreach & Partnership Coordinator working under the Connected Canadians Co-founder and CEO who is also a PhD candidate. She is already working at Recollective, a Software Company based in Ottawa used by market researchers to conduct online research projects and develop ongoing research communities. “This program gave me the opportunity to further refine my research skill set and manage a long-term project. I believe the program also allowed me to further develop my project management skills and gain confidence conducting research both in person and online.”

Shah says he always planned to work as a consultant or analyst, and believes the research skills that he learned through this program will help him land his dream job.

Both acknowledge that COVID played a challenging role in their studies.

Shah said he had finished most of his courses when the COVID lockdowns hit. He noted that, due to COVID, he met his supervisor Dr. Vinod Kumar and Dr. Uma Kumar on zoom, by phone or via emails. “So our progress was slowed down a bit during the summer of 2020. Also, the original plan was to visit senior care homes to gather the data for the study. But since visitors in senior homes were banned, we contacted elders staying at home, alone or with their children.”  Shah notes that he appreciated all the help his supervisors gave him especially with his thesis, as well as for the financial help from the grant funds.

Krystek says: “As my research had a tourism focus, I had to adjust certain aspects of my thesis to align with the constantly changing COVID-19 restrictions. For example, I originally wanted to interview respondents regarding only international tourism experiences, but due to the pandemic, I shifted my requirements to include local tourism experiences such as trips to other provinces, as well as staycations within a participant’s own province or even their own city.”

And COVID meant that Krystek was not able to defend her thesis in Sprott’s new Nicol Building. Shah says he was “sad for sure” that he couldn’t complete his classes in the new building “but I also liked the views from Dunton Tower. I will miss watching the ​orange sky and sunset during evening classes.”

Both students finished their program in two years and graduated this fall. Carleton will be hosting a special virtual graduation ceremony on Nov. 13.


Nicol Building exterior

Nicol building - atrium

Nicol building floors

Thursday, October 28, 2021 in , ,
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