Jason (Year 4)
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.
In general, Western is known for being a school that offers a great social atmosphere along with academics that will prepare you for your future career. Prior to starting school at Western, I heard Western was a top school for business and the social life was great. Luckily for me, both were true and I found out that Western actually gave an edge in recruiting as well. In terms of career path advantages, I think Western has strong alumni in many fields, which will give young students an opportunity to learn from these alumni’s experiences and explore different career opportunities, it’s extremely important to reach out as much as possible to upper years or alumni because I personally found that very helpful. Another academic advantage is the atmosphere established by the collection of high achieving students in Western’s top programs (ex. Business, Med Sci, etc), which will push you to work just as hard. In terms of social life, Western has a lot of great clubs on campus — there’s a club for every hobby and everybody, so I really want to urge you to join as many clubs as possible because you’ll meet a lot of people through clubs!
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.
To clear the air about program selection, if you make a mistake in selecting a program, it’s not the end of the world... at all! I know of a lot of people who started off in a certain program and ended up graduating with a totally different degree! For me personally, I was pretty happy with my program — I wanted to do business and I think Western & Ivey both do a great job in preparing you for recruiting and work life. Something I wish I knew was to be more open-minded about different programs and opportunities. When I was selecting a program I completely shut out certain programs because I “didn’t like them”, but in hindsight I was naive to limit myself without fully knowing about certain programs. In terms of benefits for being in MOS, it’s a great way to get integrated with the business students and it’s not the most workload heavy program in the first couple of years. However, a negative aspect of my program would be the competitive atmosphere of the students. Make no mistake, it’s not toxic but it’s competitive — meaning there’s a lot of comparing and distorting how you see “success”. But at the same time, that can be a good thing because it’ll push you to work hard and match the work ethic of others.
What was your favourite university experience?
As someone who had little friends going into university, I benefited from the extremely inclusive environment of Western. The clubs at Western really made my university experience, I met most of my friends through clubs and most of my favorite memories came through being involved in club events.
What was your least favourite university experience?
Everyone will face adversity and challenges in university, I think the key is developing a positive attitude to any and every situation. My worst experience was probably a failure that I experienced and that’s pretty normal in university, but like I said, it’s all about the mindset to get over initial disappointment!
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
I think an important thing is to work hard and be proud regardless of how you do. Most people will realize the marks they’re getting in university aren’t the marks they got in high school, and it’s a hard reality check that you have to face. Regardless of how you do, as long as you study and try your best you will naturally adapt to the courses and learn how to study. Studying habits depend on the person, but it’s extremely important to develop good time management. You’ll realize pretty quickly that your time is very valuable, because you’ll be busy with clubs, friends, and recruiting on top of school work.
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?
My favorite courses were probably my electives, it’s fun to learn about topics you’re interested in, without any academic pressure. I really loved Geography courses so Geography of Canada and Geography of Hazards were very fun courses! GEO2010, GEO2152