COMM 483 - Leadership and General Management (formerly COMM 486R)

COMM 483 is modelled after Harvard's first year MBA program and is led by Professor Bob Elton, a previous CEO of BC Hydro and CFO of Eldorado Gold. The class develops leaders through the study and discussion of business cases, great leaders, guest speakers, and current global issues in a team oriented and open environment. Students can expect to learn about finance, social entrepreneurship, accounting, marketing, OBHR, leadership and a range of other topics. Learning is accomplished through case studies, a learning format that demands real world solutions that take into account each aspect of a business.

Students last year learned directly from guest speakers including Tamara Vrooman, CEO of Vancity Credit Union; Paul Clinton, founder of Everything Wine and former CEO of Diageo North America; Ken Sim, entrepreneur and founder of Nurse Next Door and Rosemary Rocksalt; and Suzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw, Co-Founders of Lunapads.

The true value of the course comes from the students who take part in it. We are looking for UBC Sauder's most imaginative, ambitious, hardworking people who will be in their third year or above in Term 2 of the 2018/2019 Winter Session. Students who believe they offer something 'different' are encouraged to apply. The class covers a wide range of business topics and will be balanced with students from each of Sauder's disciplines. There is one off-campus class retreat and an active social aspect to the course.

COMM 483 is worth six credits and is taught over six weekends in Term 2 of the the 2018/2019 Winter Session (January to April 2019). Over the term, you will be required to read and analyze approximately 40 cases, write a 10-page self-reflective essay, complete 4-5 group assignments and actively participate in the class discussions. This summer, you will also be required to read 6-8 books on leadership. The course has a heavy course load, something that is required to offer the opportunity to learn from the best of the Harvard Business School MBA program. We encourage you to seek out students who have taken COMM 486R before to ask them about the course.

Learning objectives

The objectives of this course are:

  • to integrate and apply knowledge gained from previous business courses to business cases.
  • to learn how to quickly absorb and analyze information to make business decisions.
  • to improve verbal communication and presentation ability.
  • to become self-aware of and develop one’s leadership ability and style.
  • to improve one’s ability to work with, motivate and lead people.
  • to actively learn from the experience of other classmates and community leaders.


To apply for COMM 483, complete the online application form by Saturday April 21, 2018 at 11:59pm. Through the application, you will be required to upload a copy of your resume (document should be in pdf format, titled "Firstname_Lastname_resume").

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About the professor

Professor Bob Elton is the former CEO of BC Hydro, a former CFO of Eldorado Gold Corporation, and holds a number of current positions including the Chair of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC, and the Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for the New Energy Architecture.

Note: COMM 483 was formerly numbered COMM 486R. The two courses are equivalent. You may only receive credit for one, not both. Three of the six credits for COMM 483/486R can be applied to the Year 4 capstone requirement (one of COMM 486M, COMM 491, COMM 492, COMM 497, COMM 498).

Course credits:

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