Andrea (Year 2)
What did you wish you knew before going to your university? What made you choose this institution over all others? What are advantages and disadvantages of your institution or campus? List any advice for incoming first-year students about your university.
Every time someone talked to me about university, they would mention the experience I was going to have, and all the people I would meet, but no one really talked about the work. It was almost like university was just a fun chapter that was about to come, to the point where I almost forgot that there was work involved. When you get to university, there is a lot to do for each class, and while it is fun, it's also hard. It's ok not to know what you want to study, but having an idea of what you like is good, because it ensures the classes you are taking are enjoyable, and the work you put in will get you to your goal. Looking at the classes you need to take and their descriptions is a good way to see if you are really passionate and excited about what you will study.
When I was looking over my final two choices, what pulled me towards UTSC was the program. In the MIB program, I am able to work and study both in Canada and abroad. As an international student the opportunity to explore new places, while studying with a global perspective was very appealing to me. Reading over the courses and seeing the approach in which they teach the content helped me make my decision. This added on to the opportunity to gain a year of work experience before graduating was what made me decide to study at UTSC.
What did you wish you knew before choosing your specific program? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your program? List any advice for incoming first-year students about your program of study.
While going into co-op give you a great opportunity, it also means that your schedule is packed most of the terms you spend studying. I knew that being part of a co-op work term was going to be beneficial for my future but I was unaware that it also meant taking full course loads in all semester I spend studying as well as some summer semesters if I want to finish within 4 years. Moreover, work terms can often cause delays on graduation due to the length of employment periods. While I am still glad I am part of a co-op program, some people might value summers, or having more flexibility over working, thus I think it's an important factor to be aware of before deciding whether to participate in a co-op program or not.
What was your favourite experience at university?
One of my best experiences at UTSC was being able to join the Rise Dance Company. I've been dancing since high school, so being able to continue doing this throughout university made me really happy. In the team I was able to meet a lot of new people and make friends from different disciplines and universities. We spent the semester getting to know each other and preparing for competitions which brought us closer together. Being part of a team doing something I enjoy made my first year all the better.
What was your least favourite experience at university?
During first year, I stayed at the university dorms, through this I met a few friends but I also had some problematic roommates. Being stressed and tired from university and then going back to the dorms where things were tense was not a pleasant experience. It happens to everyone, but being able to set rules and talking about issues when they happen (rather than letting them pile up over time) can help lessen the conflict.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome these hardships?
One of the hardest aspects of the management program is time management, but if you are able to stay on top of your work it becomes very manageable. Having five classes means a lot of work can accumulate quickly, so doing each assignment on time and reviewing often (especially if you don't understand something) will make navigating the year a lot easier. This also eases off the stress around midterms and finals week when a lot of tests and sometimes assignments are piled together over three or four days.
I would say one of the best ways to prepare and study for tests are doing practice tests and making study groups with friends. Teachers usually upload practice tests from past years which are very similar to the term test you are about to take. This helps you familiarize yourself with the format of the test (which removes stress and nerves during the test), and helps you see which areas you need to review more. Finding friends to study and do assignments with can also make going through classes a lot easier. You can help each other understand difficult questions, and prepare for tests together. This can also make it more fun and less stressful. Joining messenger groups made for each class can also be very helpful.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that the first year is always going to be more difficult because we are all getting adjusted to university and the new amount of work and difficulty that comes along with it. The first semester also usually includes more tutorials so balancing time can become more difficult.
If you were able to take electives, what was your favourite elective? If you were not able to take electives, what was your favourite course and why?
The MIB program does not have a lot of space for electives in the first couple of years due to the co-op work terms and the study and work abroad portion of the program. The space for electives that we have can be used in the later years when you choose a stream.
From the courses I have taken so far, a few of my favourites have been Foundations of Business Management (MGTA05), and International Marketing (MGIA01H3). The foundations class is relatively easy and the professor keeps the class interesting. It is a great introductory class which is great to transition from high school to university. I liked the international marketing course because the professor is really fun and tries to be more involved with each student. This course is also very applicable to real life and often brings up class discussions which are very interesting and thought-provoking.