Robert H. Lee Graduates School

Facilitating Higher Quality Recruitment

What should a 21st century MBA look like?

No one will ever forget the 2008 sub prime mortgage crisis and the impact it had on the global economy, especially new graduates of MBA programs around the world. It took years before things started to recover yet many schools were still not adequately preparing their graduates for the new business climate. To most, it was still business as usual.

In 2010, Sauder decided to completely redesign its MBA program from the ground up to ensure its graduates were prepared to not just enter, but lead and innovate in this new, globally interconnected world.


  • Engineering
  • Front-end development
  • Back-end development

  • Branding
  • Competitor Research
  • Industry Research

Opening Doors

The Sauder School of Business is one of the world's leading academic business schools.

Located in Vancouver, North America's gateway to the Pacific Rim, Sauder provides business leaders with a unique international perspective of the global business environment.

With a focus on experiential learning, global immersion and personalized leadership development, graduates come out with the confidence to innovate on the world stage.

When it came to recruiting applicants for the first cohort of the new redesigned MBA program, Sauder had a serious challenge. It did not have a platform through which it could adequately communicate the innovative new qualities of the MBA program.

Ideahack was approached to create an online experience that would engage users and effectively communicate how students would grow and transform through the redesigned curriculum.

How do you make someone believe that the Sauder MBA program will transform their life?

1. Holistic branding experience.

We conducted extensive research on other top business schools, and realized that we would need to create a completely new way of communicating the Sauder MBA program as the status quo was simply insufficient. We wanted people to feel what they would experience and a typical website would not cut it. We had to redesign their approach entirely.

2. Communicating transformation through time.

Working with the MBA program designers we came up with the concept of an interactive timeline. The goal was to allow a user to see the entire curriculum in a single snapshot as it unfolded over time and be able to explore each element further in more depth by diving into specific content elements. This would enable potential applicants to see how they would transform over time as they progressed through the curriculum.

3. Get buy-in, move quickly.

Simple sketches and wireframes would not be sufficient to communicate our ideas so we decided to use our unique prototyping process. We created an animated high fidelity mockup in the form of a souped up powerpoint deck (download below) that mimicked real time interactivity. This enabled us to communicate our vision and got us the buy-in that we needed to make the project move forward as quickly and smoothly as possible.

The Results

As we had expected, users were interacting with the timeline, and those who visited the timeline spent twice as long on the overall Sauder website as before.

What we didn't expect was how this project catalyzed a sense of unity and pride amongst Sauder's stakeholders. Everyone in the Sauder community had to rally to get behind this project in order to see it through. As a result, we were all part of its success.