It’s hard to believe how fast the first semester of Queen’s Commerce went by. Exams finished yesterday and I am back at home for a restful holiday break. Being finished gives me one of the first chances that I have had to reflect on the past three months at Queen’s. It has been an absolutely incredible experience. From the school, to the city, to getting involved in extra-curriculars I have been having a great time.
One of the things that I have really enjoyed about my first semester at Queen’s is all the tradition and camaraderie that exists within the school an especially in Commerce. One example is the commerce leather jackets which I and many other students proudly purchased and wore home after their final exam.
I remember a year ago being in the same position as many of you. Uncertain about what the future is going to bring, excited about what could happen and nervous that things might not work out. My advice would be to stay calm, work hard and remember to enjoy your time before university. When worrying about what university you are going to go to it easy to overlook the fact that the high school chapter of your life is coming to an end. Think hard about the decisions that you are faced with but remember to enjoy your time at school.
If any of you have questions feel free to post back and I’ll get back to you. Have a great break! I know I will!
Whew. So I’m blogging as I return home back to Toronto – I’m very lucky to be done early! In comparison anyway. It was definitely a new experience for me this year – I’ve never had that many open-book exams before (don’t let it fool you – I barely had time, if any, for the COMM163/Business Decision Models course) and even an open-internet exam (COMM190/MIS), although before you get too excited, there’s no email or MSN or anything like that. And it’s not that useful. But it was definitely a new experience and I’m glad they’re over. I pretty much spent all my time (or most of it anyway) at Stauffer library.
I noticed some other bloggers talking about house-hunting. I myself live with four housemates off campus, about seven minutes from Goodes, and honestly, it’s not that hard to look for a house at all! Lots of my friends found really awesome (and cheaper!!) houses in March. Supply > Demand (I know, I know, econ.) in Kingston, so there are definitely some desperate landlords late February. So don’t worry too early! There are always people looking for that extra one or two people too.
On the other hand, most of my old floormates and a few of my friends live in res this year too, and they love it – especially those of them that are dons/social facilitators/discipline facilitators. So I know it’s not talked about, but that’s definitely also an option. But it’s definitely something fun to think about (I had a great time house hunting!)
Last but not least – happy holidays everyone!
Posting here feels really weird, as I remember reading this blog at around this time last year when I was looking at the pros and cons of different schools. No school is perfect, but I can definitely tell you that I am confident with my decision. Commerce has allowed me to take interesting (though difficult) classes, stay involved, and meet some incredible people.
There are many great business schools out there, but what sets really sets Commerce apart is what it offers beyond the classroom. You can do well academically while having a pretty amazing social life. The extracurricular opportunities are vast, and I strongly encourage everyone who comes here next year to get involved right away.
As for what’s on the docket: house-hunting, and four finals (ECON 110 – Economics, COMM 161 – Business Calculus, GPHY 102 – Earth System Science and COMM 111 – Financial Accounting). We just wrote our COMM 103 (Business Management & Communications) exam last Wednesday and it was decent. I didn’t properly budget my time, but first semester is a learning experience more than anything so I’m not going to get down on myself for it. It’s a very busy time of year and I can’t wait to go home, but I’m honestly wondering where this term went. I opened my accounting textbook (which I am currently taking a break from) today and couldn’t believe that the course was pretty much over. Many things at university are fast-paced, but you can always find time for yourself.
You guys can check out my bio and if you have any questions send me a comment and I’d be glad to get back to you. I know you won’t start receiving decisions for quite a while but I hope to see a lot of you guys around next year – it’s a great place to be.
Right now I’m enjoying a week-long break from exams. I decided to stay at Queen’s to study, but I’ve spent most of the past few days house hunting. It’s really exciting, but a pretty stressful process. My future housemates and I have decided to try and sign a lease by Christmas, missing the hurricane of first years that flock to the student ‘village’ surrounding campus in the first few weeks of January. I thought originally that it would be hard to find a place, but now I’m realizing that there are plenty- the real challenge is choosing the right one. Of course Queen’s does have some houses that are in pretty rough shape, but for the most part the ones we’ve seen have been pretty nice. It’s an important balance of finding a place with the right location (close to Goodes Hall is a plus!), the right price, and a reliable landlord. So far there are a few front runners, but we haven’t made any decisions yet.
About a week from now will be crazy- I have four exams in a seven day period. I’ve been doing my best to keep on top of each subject and not neglect any of them, but it takes a lot of self-discipline. One thing that I’m really loving in Goodes Hall is the breakout rooms which you can book for group projects or study sessions. Almost all of them have a big screen that you can use to project professor’s slides and for some reason I seem to get a lot more work done there than in my res room. Another awesome little thing about Queen’s is the waterfront running trail, which I have been using almost every day lately when I need a break from studying. It goes right along Lake Ontario from campus to downtown, and although it can be a little windy, it’s a really beautiful route. Campus seems pretty dead these days, with a bunch of people going home to study and some lucky people who have already finished. That being said, finding a seat in Stauffer library is almost as much of a mission as my house hunting efforts!
To ease my brain from finals studying, I thought I would write something for all you prospects out there. So if you have not seen, the Queen’s MBA program was ranked number one (outside of the US) in the world for the third year in a row. See that here: http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/ So what actually makes the Queen’s School of Business number one and what does that mean for the undergrads?
The first and most obvious is our caliber of professors. All of my professors this year are also teaching in the MBA program. That it is not just for third years either. Back in second and first year, the professors teaching us where the same ones teaching in the MBA program. To me that speaks volumes to the importance that the business school puts on the undergrads. They really do care about us!
I like to think the next reason has to do with the teaching methods, and specifically the variety of teaching techniques. Learning in the Queen’s school of Business is not limited to just reading a text and attending a lecture. We have group projects, case studies, interaction with real businesses in the community, lectures, lots of class discussion etc. Trying to teach your undergrads entirely with case based learning, or entirely text based, leaves a lot of room for improvement in my opinion.
Some of the other factors that, for me, really made coming to business school an easy choice were the small classes, beautiful business building, the close Queen’s community, and the incredible caliber of my fellow students I would be studying with.
With that, I will get back to learning about forward exchange contracts…..
Enjoy your Christmas holidays.