Management: Student Testimonials

Yashvi Shah

Specialist: Management Co-op

What factors contributed to you choosing your program(s)?

For me, the main factors were the proximity to home that the university offered as well as a combination of the stellar ranking and reputation and the co-op option that this campus boasts that only a handful of Ontarian universities have. Growing up in Toronto and attending Woburn Collegiate Institute, UTSC was inevitably going to be one of my top choices. However, there has been no reason to regret the somewhat emotional decision I made. Even from a hard look at the facts, UTSC still offers a compelling value proposal. You get access to one of the top faculties in the country as well as some of the brightest students in the country, you are housed under the umbrella of one of the top 20 universities in the world and you have a year of co-op experience under your belt when you graduate. This co-op experience cannot be overstated and is worth its weight in gold considering the fact that the jobs market in Canada has gotten increasingly competitive this side of the decade. Employers are increasingly looking to cut training costs and if you can offer them that, you automatically become a better candidate in their eyes. The best thing about UTSC is that each year, it churns out 400 of these types of candidates.

Can you describe your program(s)? What is it actually like?

The program offers a good mix of the soft and technical skills that you need in order to be successful as a business leader in this day and age. As a modern leader, it is no longer sufficient to be proficient at just one field (such as accounting, marketing etc.). The new age CEO has knowledge that spans various branches of business. In that regard, the introductory courses in all these branches of business that are available in first year serve to consolidate your foundation knowledge before you branch out into a specialist industry. In terms of the co-op aspect, the program offers a fantastic level of support in the job search process. There is a business-specific mandatory course that has to be taken in first year before any seeking commences. This course is designed to help the student improve their cover letter and resume writing knowledge, but also builds skills and provides opportunities in networking and interviewing - vital aspects key to secure a job. If I had to describe the overall culture at UTSC Management, I would say "open". Everyone from the professors to fellow students are extremely open to helping out and providing you with the resources to succeed whether it be in the form of past materials, textbooks, notes or even writing help. It is this collegial atmosphere combined with the right degree of academic rigor that makes UTSC Management a definite top contender for aspiring business graduates.

What tips/advice can you provide to students just starting or considering this program(s)?

The first tip would be to walk two steps ahead of time. As clichéd as it sounds, there is no substitute for time management in university. You can only cram so much content and delay so many of the secondary tasks that you have. It seems easy enough coming in, especially given the fact that you aren’t attending classes for 7 hours a day like high school. But university is a whole different beast and once the downslide into procrastination starts, it never really stops to be very honest. Another piece of advice would be to learn outside of the textbook. It’s okay to not know what to do coming in, but I’d urge you to start figuring it out because the faster you do, the more concentrated your efforts can be. Once you figure it out, go outside the classroom to meet with people, read up on the industry and just absorb as much information as possible. This puts you a mile ahead of most of your peers and at the same time, allows you to enter your career with a good idea of what to do to succeed. The last tip that I have to dispense is to have in mind a role model or at least the type of person that you would want to be 10 years from now. It is certainly important to create your own identity, but having a role model instils in you a discipline and a work ethic since your role model is the type of person you aspire to become.

What will you do with your degree after graduation?
 
With a UTSC BBA degree, there are several doors open for you upon graduation. Through my own experiences as well as experiences of my friends and peers, I will attempt to outline a few. Most people that I know enter the workforce either going back to their previous co-op employer in a full time role or to another career of their choice. A lot of students use the co-op experience (1 full year of work experience) as a head start into their MBA requirements (which are typically 2 years of work experience). However, besides MBAs, some other advanced degrees that BBA students pursue are Masters of Finance/Accounting, L.L.B (law) and even designations such as the CPA or CFA. Last but not least, a few enterprising classmates have gone on to create their own business and become their own boss using the knowledge they gained from UTSC to develop their own niche and service our community.

What has your academic journey during your time been like as you progress toward graduation?

So far, each of my four years has given me an entirely new set of experiences which together have created quite the spectrum. First year was largely about getting settled into this new way of life where a lot of your work becomes autonomous and you learn to take accountability of your own life. However, as easy as it is to get caught up in the lifestyle change, it is also important that you get involved on or off campus with clubs or hobbies. This has a three pronged advantage: it gives you something outside of school work to do, you build a professional network and it is also a great resume booster. Second year is equally, if not more, important in terms of academics as any advantage that you may have had coming in from high school courses is more or less neutralized by the end of first year. Therefore, focus hard in second year, keep getting involved and network at every opportunity. Third year is where the program steps up a gear as you add job seeking to your list of items to juggle. Your time is now split between your academics, your extracurriculars, job seeking and your own personal life. At times, it can and will get overwhelming. But as Muhammad Ali said “Get through this and live the rest of your life as a champion.” In the last year, you will largely be focused on full time job seeking and finishing up your degree requirements. Again, it may be a little stressful as the pressure is definitely on, but the UTSC degree gives you the advantage of a full year of experience that not many graduating students can boast of. Keep your head in the game at all times and it is an incredible learning opportunity and also a reflection of how far you have come.

Crystal Sun

Specialist: Management Co-op

What factors contributed to you choosing your program(s)?
 
My family supports.

Can you describe your program(s)? What is it actually like?
 
It is a program combines professional business knowledge with practical social skills.

What tips/advice can you provide to students just starting or considering this program(s)?

Be active and try to love it.

What will you do with your degree after graduation? (Future plans?)

I plan to get a finance job.

What has your academic journey during your time been like as you progress toward graduation?

There is a lot of social events with big firms.