Meet the Queen's Commerce Bloggers

Several participants have agreed to chronicle their time in the Queen's Bachelor of Commerce program. View each blogger's profile and follow along to experience a year in this exceptional program. The views expressed here are those of individual students. They do not necessarily reflect the views or objectives of Queen's School of Business.

Volunteering and Queen’s Commerce

Posted By: Kat Wong Too Yen on November 27, 2011

One of the best ways to get involved with the Queen’s Commerce Society (ComSoc) in first year is to volunteer at one of the 14 student-run conferences or competitions. Volunteering is an easy way to meet other students, add experience to your resume, and to experience the event and talk to executive members on the organizing committee. If you’re interested in applying to be part of a committee, volunteering shows your interest and gives you a first-hand understanding of what the organization is all about – which is a lot better than just reading a description off their website. When I was in first year, I volunteered for the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition (the QEC) which led me to be hired as their Events and Logistics Coordinator for the following year. 3 years later, I am now co-chairing the entire competition!

Another great thing about volunteering is the low commitment aspect. As a first year student, it can be hard to manage your work-life balance. Volunteering will typically include taking part in a training session and then attending the event weekend itself, rather than a year-long commitment if you are on the executive. You can volunteer in as many or as few ComSoc conferences or competitions as you would like – just be sure that the events are not taking place simultaneously. As a volunteer, you get to experience the fun parts of an event, like the socials, wine and cheese receptions and dinners as well as network with keynote speakers and/or judges and sponsor reps who attend the events.

There are conferences and competitions to suit a lot of varying interests, such as Queen’s Business Forum on the Fashion Industry (QBFFI), Queen’s Finance Association Conference (QFAC), Queen’s Marketing Association Conference (QMAC), and Queen’s Sports Industry Conference (QSIC), to name a few. If you’re a first year student, or if you’ll be joining the Queen’s Commerce family this fall, make it a priority to volunteer for a ComSoc event!

Until next time,
Kat Wong Too Yen, BCom’12

Tags: Uncategorized — Kat Wong Too Yen @ 8:05 pm

Lessons from QFAC 2012

Posted By: Zeya Yang on November 22, 2011

This past weekend, I attended the Queen’s Finance Association Conference for my second time. Between the two experiences, the biggest difference from a personal perspective was what I planned on taking away from the conference. Last year, I was pretty set on going into investment banking, so I saw the conference primarily as a networking outlet for potential employment. This year, I’ve switched over to consulting, so I saw the conference more as an opportunity to hear what the speakers had to say about the current state of the industry, as well as talk with the company reps at a more personal level.

There were some interesting themes prevalent throughout the weekend that gravitated about the idea of pursuing a career in the finance industry. What I found was that many of these themes are directly relatable to the university decisions process. At the core of it all is the idea that you shouldn’t be doing something simply based on how others will perceive your actions (ie. don’t pick a university because all your friends and people in year above have gone there).

Here are some takeaways from the speakers, and my adaptations for university selection:

  • You have to love what you’re doing. You should enter a program of study that you’re really going to enjoy. Whether this means choosing between sciences or business, or choosing between finance or accounting, you have to find something that you’re going to have fun doing. If you don’t know what you love yet (which is likely the case), you should set yourself up with the opportunities to explore a diverse range of studies to figure out what you really enjoy.
  • You have to enter a career for the right reasons. You should choose your program of study for reasons that are important for you, and not for your friends or parents. A criterion that one person finds important may be immaterial for someone else, so make sure you’re not lying to yourself to try and rationalize something that’s not right for you.
  • Innovation is needed in the finance industry. This is less directly related, but essentially it means you do something different. When it comes to university applications or job resumes, the truth is that a lot of people have similar profiles because they pursue extracurricular activities they think will “look good”. You want to “look different” by doing something that makes you stand out.
  • Hard work trumps dependence on innate talent. This is the cookie cutter perseverance lesson, but I’ll offer a twist. If you work hard and you’re good at what you do, you don’t have to follow some “predetermined path” to be successful.

On a different note, just over 2 months until I leave for exchange!

Zeya Yang ‘13

Tags: Uncategorized — Zeya Yang @ 8:11 pm

Food Adventures at Queen’s

Posted By: Jawwad Siddiqui on November 19, 2011

So, what can you expect when you come for a meal at Queen’s dining halls? Well, you will be surrounded with appetizing items like tandoori chicken pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, noodles, stir-fry of your choice, and steamy soups – just to name a few!

To satisfy your cravings further, dining halls also offer nutritious salad bars, grab-and-go sandwiches, daily hot soups, and Ontario’s fruits and vegetables. And oh! Who can forget the welcoming smiles of the hospitality staff, eager to serve you!

If you have alternative dietary needs, Queen’s got you covered! Halal, Kosher, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose free and other special dietary offerings are available especially for you. Check out the mouth-watering menu to see what’s cooking today! Furthermore, for your convenience, each food option is labelled with its ingredients and allergy precautions. Yes, at Queen’s Dining Halls, there is something new daily to surprise your taste buds.

Other than the three residence dining halls, there are numerous retail dinning locations as well. These include Pizza Pizza, Tim Hortons, Booster Juice, Teriyaki, and Ignite Grill all in once convenient location, Queen’s Centre. As a commie, you will find yourself grabbing coffee and snack-to-go from Goodes’ Hall Cafe. For a full list of places to grab a bite from, check out the campus food location map.

Lastly, I cannot help but brag about the friendly service of Queen’s hospitality staff. Their awards speak for themselves, so instead of me bragging about them, I encourage you to read the awards section of hospitality services website.

I encourage you to visit the newly launched hospitality services website to further explore food adventures at Queen’s. If you have any questions regarding the hospitality services, you can skim through the FAQ section or contact them directly.

- Jawwad Siddiqui, COMM’ 15

Tags: Commerce Life, Queen's Life — Jawwad Siddiqui @ 8:00 am

Exchange Application Process

Posted By: Danielle Lucchese on November 15, 2011

Hi everyone,

Things have been so busy with midterms and group projects that I haven’t had the chance to post a blog in a while. On top of that, the date for second years to submit their international exchange applications is fast approaching! By the beginning of December, I have to rank my top choices and complete an application consisting of essay-type questions explaining where I want to go and why. I’m hoping to head to Europe – specifically France or Belgium.

Here are a few of many factors second years consider when going on exchange:

1. Location: Some students choose to study in a country they’ve visited before and love, others choose to go somewhere totally new. I narrowed my location down to central Europe so I can easily travel when I don’t have class.

2. Reputation: The Commerce program has affiliate partnerships with some of the world’s most popular and prestigious business schools, such as HEC School of Management in Paris and ESADE in Barcelona.

3. Culture: This is definitely an exciting factor to consider. Whether it’s living in an old historical city in Europe, on the beach in Barbados, down under in Australia, or in a fast-paced city in Asia, every student will have the chance to experience a culture change coming from Canada. Furthermore, some students have studied languages within their time here at Queen’s that they hope to put to use in their country of residence overseas next year.

4. Cost: The great thing about the exchange program at Queen’s School of Business is that we don’t pay international student rates while studying abroad. In fact, tuition cost oversees is exactly what we pay in Kingston. The difference is the cost of living, which varies depending on where you want to go and how much you travel. Keep in mind, there are some exchange bursaries as well.

There are over 80 partner schools in 30 different countries to choose from! With all these options, many students turn to the Centre for International Management for individual advising appointments to get more detailed information and further solidify their decisions. Check out their list of all the partner schools at:

- Danielle Lucchese, COMM’14

Tags: Uncategorized — Danielle Lucchese @ 4:16 pm

COMM401 – 4th Year Business Policy

Posted By: Kat Wong Too Yen on November 10, 2011

Hey everyone! It’s been awhile since my last blog post, and that’s because I’m absolutely swamped with school at the moment. It’s a bit of a crunch time right now for a lot of students because of assignments, conferences, and case competitions that are currently going on. Nevertheless, I wanted to take some time to talk about COMM401, which is one of the courses that I’m taking this semester.

Every 4th year Commerce student, regardless of specialization, is required to take COMM401 – Business Policy. While this course is particularly heavy in terms of workload, it is also one of the most relevant courses you will take while at Queen’s. Taken directly from my course syllabus, “COMM401 is positioned as a capstone course which integrates the functional knowledge which students have developed over their undergraduate tenure into discussions surrounding the development of business strategy.” In other words, this is a course where you can directly apply your knowledge learned over the past 3 years to business concepts covered in class.

One of my favourite parts of this course is the Capstone Simulation. To give you a bit of context, as a 1st year Commerce student, you complete a simplified version of the simulation, called Capsim. 3 years later, Capstone gives you the chance to complete the simulation again. Doing the simulation the second time around allows students to learn from their previous mistakes and to make more informed decisions. In the simulation, you compete as part of a team to improve your company’s financial position within an industry, comprised of other companies run by your classmates. You are given the opportunity to make key business decisions, from deciding when to produce or upgrade new products, invest in TQM (Total Quality Management) initiatives, and determine your marketing budget and sales force. All of these decisions impacts your profitability and market share, and directly affects your company’s position in a competitive industry. With Capstone, decisions become increasingly complex, from making ethical choices, to dealing with labour negotiations and wage hikes. As a team, you quickly learn how to “specialize” in an area, like R&D, Marketing and Sales, Human Resources, Production, or Finance in order to make smart business decisions and to anticipate moves from your competitors. The simulation allows us to collaborate and work with students in different business streams, interpret data, review financial performance, and to build and revise business strategies.

While this is by far one of the more challenging and time-consuming courses I’ve taken at the Queen’s School of Business, I can definitely see the real-life applications and value of the concepts covered in class.

Until next time!
Kat Wong Too Yen, BCom’12

P.S. Just a reminder that the Queen’s Fall Preview is taking place this Saturday, November 12th! For a schedule of all the events happening on campus, click here. It’s the perfect chance for you and your family to take a tour of Goodes Hall and visit the student residences.

Tags: Uncategorized — Kat Wong Too Yen @ 4:31 pm
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