UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA

The sage of the west, University of Manitoba is the oldest western Canadian University, having been founded back in 1877 [1]. The school has two campuses (Winnipeg (main), Bannatyne Campus), 104 offered programs, and over 29,000 students enrolled, also making it one of the largest universities in Canada [1]. Having been established so long ago, they’ve had time to incorporate numerous faculties, like: agriculture, architecture, art, business, education, engineering, education, graduate studies, a plethora of medicine and health sciences, pharmacy, kinesiology, law, science, social work, and more [2]. Manitoba Bisons’ mascot is the simple symbol of the bison [3]. The University of Manitoba Students’ Union realizes the importance of clubs, and supports them through various forms of aid; this is even more significant when you realize the sheer number of clubs [4]. Ranging from faith, to athletics, to recreation, to academics, there’s probably a club for you [4]. UManitoba is located on traditional Anishinabe and Metis land; furthermore, they boast a large indigenous staff, as well as 2,000+ indigenous students [1]. As well, UManitoba stimulates more than $1.8B in economic activity within Manitoba [1]. Lastly, being the oldest University in the west, and one of the oldest in Canada, UMantioba has garnered many affiliations: IAU, CARL, CVU, ACU, and more [3].

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For a Nursing student at UofM

2

How would you describe the workload and work-life balance in your program?

It can be challenging at times to maintain a balanced lifestyle.  Nursing is definitely a strenuous program and requires a significant time commitment.  Between three days a week in the classroom and two in the hospital, paired with the added expectation of studying and completing assignments, it can be overwhelming.  The key to an appropriate work-life balance in nursing is to adapt studying methods that promote efficiency in order to spare time for yourself.  It is easy to forget the importance of self-care, but this balance is integral to your wellbeing.  Each student experiences the stresses of a rigorous program differently but collaborating with classmates and sharing strategies can help you identify individualized approaches to facilitate a well-rounded lifestyle.  Although overwhelming at times, it definitely is possible to achieve this balance!

What’s your favourite class/elective and why?

My favourite class was “Palliative Care”.  This course stood out to me because of my initial misconceptions surrounding this method of care.  Without writing an essay on the course concepts, the main reason I found this class interesting was because although palliative care is a specialized area, the core competencies associated with it can be applied, not only to all areas of nursing, but to life in general.  I learned the importance of empathic communication and how to appropriately support people experiencing hardships in life.  This class also focused on the significance of being inclusive of family members to promote a more holistic approach to care.  I probably apply these course objectives to my life each and every day, and that is why this class was my favourite.

1

Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

Nursing is a unique undergraduate program because of its career-oriented focus.  After two years of studying science, I realized that my main interest was human physiology.  I decided I wanted to continue my studies with a degree that concentrated on these concepts and facilitated real life application of course objectives.  Unlike most undergraduate programs, nursing cohorts are small and every student within the program takes the same courses.  In my opinion, this facilitates a more cohesive, supportive learning environment.  Various course concepts complement each other and are enhanced by involving a practical learning aspect.  Clinical experience is introduced at the beginning of this program and allows students to apply textbook concepts to real life scenarios

What is some advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?

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The nursing program at U of M is interesting because students must complete a year of prerequisites before entering the faculty.  Some students complete these course requirements in one year, but many decide to take two or more years of introductory courses before entering the nursing program.  Neither one of these approaches is superior, but my advice is to make sure you take electives that you find interesting alongside the faculty requirements!  University is a great time to be autonomous over your schooling and choosing classes that pique your interest is so important.  Being well rounded and having a broad range of knowledge will help you connect with future team members and patients and will definitely benefit you as a nurse!

QUESTIONS

JUICY

 
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A very special thank you to our interviewee...

MAYA GOLDBERG

Hi! My name is Maya, and I am in my final year of Nursing at the University of Manitoba.  Before starting university, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to study beyond my general interest in healthcare.  Without really knowing what being a nurse entailed, I decided to give it a shot and I’m so happy I did!  There are so many opportunities for nurses, and I am excited to try out different areas.  Wherever I work, my goal is to promote patient advocacy and health education!

3

For a Global Political Economics student at UofM

2

How would you describe the workload and work-life balance in your program?

I am extremely fortunate that I am able to have a solid work-life balance in my program. Undoubtedly, GPE requires a lot of hard work and there are some days (or weeks) where the workload is heavier than others, if, for example, I have three papers due within a couple of days or two midterms back-to-back. I strongly believe, though, that you have to create and enforce a balance for yourself. For instance, no matter how much I have coming up in my courses, I force myself to run twice a week in the morning before I do anything else. I also have some days where I do not set a limit on the amount of time I spend on coursework, so I might be working from 10 am to 12 am, but others where I tell myself I am not allowed to work past 5 pm, and then stick to it. I have found that setting those types of boundaries for myself can be extremely beneficial to maintaining that balance.

Do you feel there's a good support/transition program for freshman students?

Yes! The U of M has an excellent First Year Planning Guide, which is updated annually and is an excellent tool to help freshman students select their courses and plan their degree. It also has a number of useful supplemental resources, such as academic writing tutors, library assistants, and mental health workshops. Ultimately, though, I believe the ease of a student’s transition from high school to university depends significantly on the development of their own solid habits prior to entering university. If you get in the habit of coming to every class, taking detailed notes (I cannot overemphasize the importance of effective notetaking!!), doing the readings for your classes in advance, and communicating well with your teachers in high school, you will be well equipped for a smooth transition to first year in the GPE program.

1

Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

Prior to entering my first year at U of M, I considered Global Political Economy (GPE), Economics, and Business as three possible avenues of study. I ultimately chose GPE because of its interdisciplinary nature (it incorporates courses in Economics, Politics, History, Anthropology, and Sociology), because it is much more unique and less well known than other Arts programs, and because I knew several students who had previously completed it and could speak to its merits. I am someone who has always enjoyed seeing the different sides of any issue and having my preconceived notions of the world questioned. GPE forces you to do these two things. I am currently in my fourth year of the Advanced degree, which allows you to complete a final year research paper on a Political Economy topic of your choosing with the guidance of an advisor with expertise in your area of research. Learning how to properly conduct a formal piece of independent research is a hugely valuable skill, and one that I am sure will serve me well in the workforce or in grad school.

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What is some advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?

Success in the GPE program is largely contingent upon students’ ability to think critically, to engage in discussions with peers, and to write well. Applying for or entering the program, then, I would advise high school students to make sure they are comfortable contributing to conversations about current events and the systems that govern our society. High school students should pay particular attention to the skills they are developing in their English, Geography, Economics, History, and other Social Science classes. They should start to think about the neoliberal iteration of capitalism and the conditions it creates for different demographics. In their first year of the program, I would advise students to not be afraid to be wrong and to ask for help when needed. Get to know your classmates, your professors, and upper year students. GPE is an extremely small program (there are only seven of us in our final year of the Advanced degree this year), and one of its best features is that it allows you to connect with like-minded individuals as you progress from your first to last year.

QUESTIONS

JUICY

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What extracurriculars did you do during your high school years? Did you win any awards?

Throughout high school, I participated in debate and public speaking, election campaigning, yearbook committee, community service club, model UN club, commerce club, cross country running, and track and field. I competed most intensively in debate and public speaking, while the rest I did mostly for fun. I was extremely fortunate to be able to travel across the country for debate and public speaking, and win several awards along the way. These included making the octofinals and placing in the top 10 individually at the Queen’s High School Debate Tournament, making the quarterfinals at the Pan American Debate Tournament, and placing in the top 15 twice at the National Public Speaking Championships. I use the skills I gained from debate every day to research for papers, contribute to class discussions, and deliver presentations.

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A very special thank you to our interviewee...

KATHERINE BURLEY

Hi! My name is Katherine Burley and I am a fourth year student in the Global Political Economy (GPE) program in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Manitoba. For the past two summers, I have conducted research with several of my Economics professors, funded twice by the U of M’s annual Undergraduate Research Award (URA). No matter your faculty, I encourage you to check out and apply for the URA, here. It is a fantastic opportunity to involve yourself in research with a professor of your choosing at an undergraduate level. If you have any questions about the U of M, feel to connect with me by email at katherineburley@gmail.com, Instagram, or Facebook.

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For a Double Major of Psychology and Religion at UofM

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What advice do you have for high school students applying to your program?

Create your own luck! Opportunities and good grades don't just fall in your lap - you have to make it happen. Sometimes, that means being creative, and almost always, it means putting your ego aside. First, the University of Manitoba is full of resources to help students across campus improve their skills. For example, the Academic Learning Centre offers resources on academic citations, how to effectively read academic journals, and write academic papers. Not to mention, free writing tutors and presentation tips! Take advantage of these - no matter how big or small your question. Poorly done citations, or a subpar thesis statement could cost you a whole letter grade. For the math-heavy courses, there are also plenty of help centers, tutoring, and extra review sessions too. Second, don't let yourself be a number. Introduce yourself to your prof and visit their office hours to ask questions. These are among the most knowledgeable people in their fields - it's worth getting to know them. And finally, join student groups or councils on campus! This will be your first taste of learning outside the classroom, and nothing can quite provide the same experience.

What is the class environment like?

The classroom environment is very different in my two majors. Religion classes tend to be smaller and more intimate, with plenty of opportunities for class discussion. Psych classes are massive - and hard to get into if you don't register early. However, as a rule, my classes are highly engaging, with subject matter constantly being related to real-world scenarios, which brings the topic to life.

1

Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

My post-secondary journey is interesting. Spoiler alert, I actually transferred programs in my second year! After high school, I knew I wanted to go to law school, but since there isn't a standard "pre-law" program at most universities, I struggled to decide between business, arts, and science. After gaining admission to all three programs at the U of M, I simply chose what seemed to be the 'safest' option: business. However, I soon discovered that my passions reside elsewhere. Now, I am completing a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Psychology and Religion. I ultimately transferred into my program because the subject matter fascinates me. In addition, I receive exposure to a diverse range of scholarly works, some emphasizing scientific methodology, and others, the nuances of historical and textual analysis. This diversity not only keeps things interesting, but helps craft a well-rounded LSAT test taker. Ultimately, my program is unique to me because even within my majors, I have the power to focus on sub-disciplines that interest me. For example, I will be working in a personality psychology lab this summer, and continue to deepen my understanding of Western religions by tailoring my courses accordingly.

4

How would you describe your first-year experience?

Success in the GPE program is largely contingent upon students’ ability to think critically, to engage in discussions with peers, and to write well. Applying for or entering the program, then, I would advise high school students to make sure they are comfortable contributing to conversations about current events and the systems that govern our society. High school students should pay particular attention to the skills they are developing in their English, Geography, Economics, History, and other Social Science classes. They should start to think about the neoliberal iteration of capitalism and the conditions it creates for different demographics. In their first year of the program, I would advise students to not be afraid to be wrong and to ask for help when needed. Get to know your classmates, your professors, and upper year students. GPE is an extremely small program (there are only seven of us in our final year of the Advanced degree this year), and one of its best features is that it allows you to connect with like-minded individuals as you progress from your first to last year.

QUESTIONS

JUICY

5

What’s the biggest change from high school to university/college work and classes?

The workload is up a lot, and there is a lot more resting on you, the student. No one is checking if you completed the readings, or watched the videos. And since profs know not everyone will discipline themselves, the content being tested will almost always feature questions from the self-directed portions of the class. Going to university is a full-time job (and more). So, you should treat it that way. Keeping track of due dates and planning ahead will be essential. Leave one week for assignments, and at least two weeks for major essays and finals!

 
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A very special thank you to our interviewee...

KRISTIN SMITH

Hello! My name is Kristin, and I am a third-year Arts student at the University of Manitoba double majoring in Psychology and Religion. I enjoy tackling challenging questions through debate, and hope to attend law school after my degree. Currently, I am serving as Vice-President Advocacy at the University of Manitoba Students' Union, also known as UMSU. In my role, I represent students in disciplinary hearings, sit on the Board of Governors of the University, and lobby the provincial and federal government on issues that impact the post-secondary sphere. I couldn't live without my faith, my family, and my friends!

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For a Major of Genetics and A Minor of Business Student at UofM

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What advice do you have for high school students applying to your program?

My biggest piece of advice for high school students applying to a Genetics program would be too not let your future goals hold you back from exploring all that university has to offer. There are so many amazing attributes to studying a science program in University. These programs were established so that you could dive wholeheartedly into the world of science. This also means that the course load can be heavy. Moreover, you may be entering into sciences with the hope of one day studying medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy. Do not let any of this stop you from taking advantage of all your university offers, both academically and socially. Join student clubs, take some electives in arts, politics science, or business. These decisions may delay your degree plans slightly, but the value they add to your university career will be invaluable.

How would you describe the workload and work-life balance in your program?

Genetics is an extremely difficult program that entails 5 years of a heavy workload. In addition to academics, there is also an emphasis on gaining guidance/advisor experience throughout the program. Despite all of this, I do believe that a work-life balance is extremely doable. Moreover, it is something I would highly encourage. I do not believe that work and social life are mutually exclusive. In fact, I believe that they are directly related. A healthy social life leads to a healthy mindset, which in turn leads to a more beneficial academic experience and approach.

1

Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

I chose my program because I felt it allowed me to to explore my interest in science, but also my passion for ethics and humanity. Enrolling into university as a Genetics Major you have the unique opportunity to study a field where the ethics are just as important as the scientific theory and the innovations. Geneticists are forced to not only ask themselves, as scientists, how something occurs, but they must ask themselves, as human beings, if they have the right to tamper with it. Moreover, I love that my major can be used to not only help people today, but also help people in the future. Many professions in the field of science are based on treating patients who are currently suffering or performing research to help avoid future suffering. Genetics allows you to analyze patients who may be in need of help today, but also guide and assist new generations.

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What’s the biggest change from high school to university/college work and classes?

I believe the biggest change from high school to university work and classes is the lack of guidance you are handed by academic staff in University. In university, you are not told how to take notes, when to do what, or what specific details are of importance. That being said, this is not something you just have to accept and suffer through. Take imitative. Attend office hours, ask your professors questions, reach out to students older than you for insight. The transition from high school to university is challenging, but it is not impossible!

QUESTIONS

JUICY

5

What do you think is special about your university’s campus life?

I am so appreciative for the platform my University has provided me with over the past 3 years of my undergraduate degree. The list of qualities I admire of the University of Manitoba is abundant. I think the two aspects I value most are the degree flexibility, and the community. In the past 3 years I have joined 5 different student association, started my own student club, and currently hold a spot on the university’s senate. This can only be credited to the open-minded and accepting nature of all staff and students at my campus. Moreover, since beginning my Genetics degree I have been given the opportunity to explore other interests and passions of mine. This has led to a major of Genetics with a minor in business and management. I am grateful that the University of Manitoba has provided me with a campus environment where I feel safe and secure in building new relationships, learning from mentors, and exploring unconventional academic paths.

 
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A very special thank you to our interviewee...

EMILY KALO

Hello! My name is Emily Kalo and I am a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Manitoba pursuing a major in Genetics and a minor in business. I am currently involved in the University Senate, Science Students association, Commerce Students association and other student clubs on my campus. I have gained so much value from information and advice I have received from students older than me or further along their academic careers. My hope is that the insight I have provided Project Uni will do the same for younger aspiring students. Please reach out via LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook if you have any questions!