For a Student at the DeGroote School of Business...
Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?
In grade 12, I really enjoyed taking accounting, marketing, and math courses in high school. So, I chose Business at McMaster University. After my first year in this program, I have no regrets. Before choosing this program at McMaster, I was torn between two other programs at two different schools – AFM at Waterloo University and BBA at Wilfred Laurier. Before deciding which program I would go into, I went to a few open houses and
booked a couple tours at each school. Without a doubt, Mac stood out to me. Although Waterloo and Laurier had glowing perks and advantages of their programs, the atmosphere at Mac made it difficult for me to say no. It felt like home the moment I got there. With amazing staff, students, and other faculty members, I am confident to say that the DeGroote School of Business only wants what is best for its students. There are a ton of resources including peer tutoring, one-on-one mentoring sessions, case competitions, and much more to boost and excel your commerce experience at DeGroote. One glowing advantage of the commerce program is its 12-16 month internship program. Most business schools offer a rotational co-op program with a duration of 4 months. I truly believe that a 12-16 months opportunity is very sufficient and adequate to gain the experience in your desired professional field.
How would you describe the workload and work-life balance?
The workload in my first year for business is very manageable. DeGroote’s faculty members do
everything they can to make you feel calmly adjusted and comfortable with your workload. For DeGroote’s business program, you have the option to not take a full course load. Instead of taking 5 courses per semester, I’ve taken 4 courses per semester instead. I caught up with my two extra courses over the summer. One piece of advice I would give is to do what works best for you. Try your best to monitor your study habits, when you study best, when you get the most work done, etc. By figuring out your learning style early, you can then decide how you want to stay on top of your schoolwork. A couple weeks into the semester, I typically prioritize my courses. I figure out which course I would like to excel in, and which courses I am allowed to spend less time on compared to others. By learning your priorities and figuring out your working styles, it would be much more manageable to balance your workload at school. Also, do not
procrastinate! I used to be a huge procrastinator in high school – I would study the night prior
before a test, leave my homework and assignments till the day before its due, etc. In high school, I admit it’s totally doable to achieve high marks by procrastinating. At Mac, I learned that that is not the way to go. You may not have a class for a particular course everyday, rather,
once a week. The amount of content is very heavy and dense compared to high school. The
pace they teach is very quick as well. Before you know it, it’s already midterm season! I personally like using a calendar and daily to-do lists everyday to map out which tasks I have to do. If you have a test coming up, study at least a week in advance. Got an assignment or essay due? Start on it right away. You might dread while doing it, but trust me you’ll thank yourself later!
How would you describe residence? Would you recommend someone live on-campus? If
so, what advice do you have for them?
Coming from someone who lived in one of the oldest and darkest
residences, I enjoyed it SO much. It’s all about the people! Every night after all my classes, the one thing I looked forward to everyday is having dinner with my roommate and floormates in my residence. It’s like coming home to your new family after a hard day of work. As I mentioned earlier, getting involved in clubs and intramurals is a great way to make friends. Whereas living on residence, making
friends is inevitable. You’re practically living with them! I’m so glad I chose to live in residence. It would have been a huge hassle to commute everyday. Living right on campus offers so much convenience especially when you have late night or early morning classes, group meetings, study sessions with classmates, etc. Although commuting saves a lot of money, living on residence is a one-time experience that challenges you to grow as an individual. Your parents won’t be with you telling you when to eat dinner and when to wake up for school in the morning. Inevitably, you will learn how to manage your time and be independent.
What is some advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?
Check out the campus and talk to DeGroote’s faculty members to see what they have to offer! Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with questions at a university fair or open house presentation. Been there, done that. By coming out to events, whether in person or virtually online, staff and students may answer questions you didn’t even know you had! It is crucial to learn what are the pros and cons of your applied programs. Whether that is location, internship/co-op opportunities, tuition fees, etc. Do as much research as you possible can – talk to students that are attending the program, read online comments and reviews on certain courses, visit the program website, etc. It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into!
What kinds of opportunities are there to make friends at Mac?
JOIN CLUBS! In my first year, I truly admit it that that it is very intimidating to put yourself out there. One of the many lessons I learned in my first year is that you are not going to regret the things you do, but you will regret the things you don’t. Joining clubs or sports intramurals is one of the best ways to make friends at Mac. In this way, you bond over something you’re interested in. If not, you learn what doesn’t work for you. You never know who you could meet! Trust me you won’t regret it.
A very special thank you to our interviewee...
Hi! My name is Megan Nghiem and I am currently going into my second year of Business at
McMaster University. Some of my favourite hobbies include swimming and skating. I enjoy
volunteering to make a difference in my community. I am extremely happy to be student at Mac
and I am so grateful that I chose this school. Feel free to contact me on LinkedIn if you have any
questions or inquiries!