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Advice / Tips from a 1st Year Ivey Student

A photo of Phenon Phenon
Hello y'all,
I remember around this time last year when I went through the process of picking a university, and I'm making this post to potentially help some of you guys pick a business program, give advice regarding applications, answer questions, etc. :)

I'm going to start by giving you a little information about business programs in general. Living on rez the first year I had the pleasure of meeting a ton of people that were interested in business and are currently "AEO's". Similarly, I have close friends at Queens and Waterloo who are already studying Commerce, AFM, and have talked to them about their experiences. My biggest revelation is that "business" is something that many people study because they don't know what else to study and are now disappointed by the lack of interesting material. And that is my first major point!

1. Don't study business unless you're sure you love it.
Whenever I meet someone that studies business, my first impression is that with their major in business they concurrently study a minor in bullsh*t because of their perceived superiority. A large number of business students are attracted to graduation salaries, but forget that they'll never excel at something they don't enjoy doing. So make sure you do your research. There are too many of us that regret not being in engineering. And if you're interested in grad school, business majors don't exactly do that well. There's a reason most Ivy league schools in the US don't have undergraduate business programs. http://www.randomwok.com/career/average-gmat-score-by-undergraduate-major/ and http://www.uic.edu/cba/cba-depts/economics/undergrad/table.htm
Now that I've probably pissed you off a little if you were set on business, here's what I truly believe is the superior route.

2. Double up!
Although I'm sure many of you disagree with my first point, there is something you can do. Doing a dual degree is something employers absolutely love and is something that will make you stand out. Whether it be engineering, economics, maths, or any other science it will pay off to spend 1 extra year and get a 2nd degree. And I'm not saying to study it because you want to be a mathematician or physicist or engineer. It's because when you study a science it teaches you a very logical way of thinking that will help you in your life, regardless of what industry you work in. It will open more doors for you and when someone asks what you study, saying math or engineering in addition to business makes them go WOWWW. I know that Queens Commerce offers Economics, and Ivey offers anything really. With other business programs I don't know so do your own research. Take this into considerations! It will be VERY tough, but very rewarding as well.


That's that. Here are some tips for you, I'll add to the list if I can think of anything.

1. In your supplementary essay, be honest. But if 'honest' has a range you want to be at the peak of that range. In other words, make every little achievement sound amazing. If there's anything that doesn't sound stellar, don't mention it. If it does, talk about it with a sh*t load of detail. It's how 1/2 of people get into their programs. ;)

2. In your applications, don't talk about too many different things. Pick the major ones and go into detail.

3. Don't worry too much and apply anyways. I know quite a few people that got into Ivey without a 90. However, these guys had extraordinary EC's.

4. Uni is tough (especially if you double up). Take a language first year and continue it throughout your university life. If you already took one in high school, even better! Language courses are easy and often a easy 85+. I had a 89 in gr.12 spanish, and now have a 97 in 2nd year spanish. Employers also like it and it's something that makes you different. Differentiating yourself is KEY.



That's it for now. Good luck :)


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A photo of Topiary Topiary
Thanks for all that.

What was your grade 12 average for your top 6 courses?

I'm sure you got other acceptances, what made you pick Western/Ivey over the other schools you were given acceptance to?

Anything you wish you could tell yourself before you entered university?
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A photo of CMA2014 CMA2014

@Phenon wrote
I know that Queens Commerce offers Economics, and Ivey offers anything really.




Except, Queen's Commerce offers in dual degree in anything. It's just that with careful planning, you can graduate without delay if you do a dual degree in economics.
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A photo of Phenon Phenon

@Topiary wrote
Thanks for all that.

What was your grade 12 average for your top 6 courses?

I'm sure you got other acceptances, what made you pick Western/Ivey over the other schools you were given acceptance to?

Anything you wish you could tell yourself before you entered university?




Hey, my grade 12 average was 90 on the dot.
I also got into Queens Commerce, and in the end it was a decision and between Queens and Western. I got into other schools as well but it came down to these two because i believe that a good university should be good from an academic perspective but also fun. And that somewhat eliminated Waterloo and UFT. McGill I didn't get into and although I think it's an incredible school for any program except undergraduate business.

Between Queens and Ivey I chose Ivey because in my opinion studying commerce for 4 years is unnecessary and redundant. There's a reason MBA's are 1 to 2 years long. In queens commerce you have little class and take a few extra courses including business history which I believe are complete bs. In Ivey you have the first two years geared towards a unique stream and then you meet up with other AEO's. Then when Ivey starts in 3rd year, everyone's from a different background with different skills and this makes class very interesting. Ivey grads also tend to do better in job placements, specifically Investment banking and consulting.

I wish I would've worked a little harder first semester. I'm doing fairly well but many AEO's I know are in the 70's. Don't think it will be easy, maintaining an 80 is harder than you might think. However, if you got a 90 in highs school and grade inflation wasn't as extreme as it is for all the IB kids (many of who are doing poorly), you should be fine.
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A photo of bcd92 bcd92
I like the idea of a dual degree except no university offers the program i want. I tried searching up a BBA/BA degree. The closet i got was to a business and arts degree at Waterloo, but you only get a BA for that.
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A photo of Phenon Phenon

@bcd92 wrote
I like the idea of a dual degree except no university offers the program i want. I tried searching up a BBA/BA degree. The closet i got was to a business and arts degree at Waterloo, but you only get a BA for that.



Universities are smart and try to trick guys like you. BBA, BCOM, HBA, BBA, iBBA are all identical and US universities (not knowing wtf they are but knowing that canadian unis like to change degree names) just categorize them as a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Business. You can do a BA/BBA at Western, Queens and Waterloo. It's just that they don't call the BBA a BBA but rather a HBA and BCom.
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A photo of bcd92 bcd92

@Phenon wrote

@bcd92 wrote
I like the idea of a dual degree except no university offers the program i want. I tried searching up a BBA/BA degree. The closet i got was to a business and arts degree at Waterloo, but you only get a BA for that.



Universities are smart and try to trick guys like you. BBA, BCOM, HBA, BBA, iBBA are all identical and US universities (not knowing wtf they are but knowing that canadian unis like to change degree names) just categorize them as a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Business. You can do a BA/BBA at Western, Queens and Waterloo. It's just that they don't call the BBA a BBA but rather a HBA and BCom.



Well, i dont want a degree where i do the work for BBA and BA but only get a BBA,HBA, Bcom degree stamped oon my graduation certificate w/o the double degree beside it.

Another question for you..when you said you know ppl who got into Ivey with extraordinary ECs what did you mean? In what ways were they extraordinary? (1000 volunteer hours, pres of major clubs in schools, really good recommendations)
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A photo of Phenon Phenon

@bcd92 wrote

@Phenon wrote

@bcd92 wrote
I like the idea of a dual degree except no university offers the program i want. I tried searching up a BBA/BA degree. The closet i got was to a business and arts degree at Waterloo, but you only get a BA for that.



Universities are smart and try to trick guys like you. BBA, BCOM, HBA, BBA, iBBA are all identical and US universities (not knowing wtf they are but knowing that canadian unis like to change degree names) just categorize them as a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Business. You can do a BA/BBA at Western, Queens and Waterloo. It's just that they don't call the BBA a BBA but rather a HBA and BCom.



Well, i dont want a degree where i do the work for BBA and BA but only get a BBA,HBA, Bcom degree stamped oon my graduation certificate w/o the double degree beside it.

Another question for you..when you said you know ppl who got into Ivey with extraordinary ECs what did you mean? In what ways were they extraordinary? (1000 volunteer hours, pres of major clubs in schools, really good recommendations)




But you do get both degrees! At ivey you would get the HBA and BA, and at Queens you'd get the BCom and the BA.
Their EC's were extraordinary because they were presidents of multiple clubs, are student trustees and the like. However, I do know a few people that got in with 88-89s who's EC's actually weren't that impressive.
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A photo of g93 g93

@bcd92 wrote
I like the idea of a dual degree except no university offers the program i want. I tried searching up a BBA/BA degree. The closet i got was to a business and arts degree at Waterloo, but you only get a BA for that.


Just don't go for Arts/Business. If you want to do an arts degree, fine. But if you want to do business don't do Arts/Business.

-

Also, I'm disappointed, I thought you were an actual Ivey student.
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A photo of bcd92 bcd92

@g93 wrote

@bcd92 wrote
I like the idea of a dual degree except no university offers the program i want. I tried searching up a BBA/BA degree. The closet i got was to a business and arts degree at Waterloo, but you only get a BA for that.


Just don't go for Arts/Business. If you want to do an arts degree, fine. But if you want to do business don't do Arts/Business.

-

Also, I'm disappointed, I thought you were an actual Ivey student.



Ivey student? Not yet hehe
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A photo of g93 g93

@bcd92 wrote

@g93 wrote

@bcd92 wrote
I like the idea of a dual degree except no university offers the program i want. I tried searching up a BBA/BA degree. The closet i got was to a business and arts degree at Waterloo, but you only get a BA for that.


Just don't go for Arts/Business. If you want to do an arts degree, fine. But if you want to do business don't do Arts/Business.

-

Also, I'm disappointed, I thought you were an actual Ivey student.



Ivey student? Not yet hehe



I meant Phenon :)
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A photo of TheConsultant TheConsultant
While its always a good idea to go into a field that you personally love I find that most students in Uni have no clue what they want to do in life. Many go into business many to into arts and they try to figure their life out while there. Taking arts in first year can expose you to more and you may learn what you love, however personally i think business could be a more useful degree to get if you're unsure. The first 2 years of business cna be a bit dry too, but i think by third year when you have a lot of freedom, youll love it more. I always tell people hwo are unsure to try for Ivey, becasue they can get the best of both worlds. If they want a DD they can do that to. DD's can really make you stand out, but the added course load can also affect your overall grades and reduce interview opportunities in Finance and Consulting so tread with caution.
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A photo of colakid123 colakid123
I kinda disagree with your first piece of advice. Now it depends what else you're considering (if it's something like engineering, just go do that) but I was debating between arts, journalism and business and now am at Desautels at McGill. I was scared I would hate it but it's pretty exciting and although there's courses I'm sure to hate, that'll exist in any degree.

Life is long, and frankly, few people truly know what they want to do. Just go with it.
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A photo of BRISK BRISK
Hi, I'm currently an AEO2 student and I am unfortunately struggling to maintain the 80% average. How likely do you believe it is for an AEO student with an average in the 78-79.9% range to get admission into Ivey? My ECs aren't too strong and I'm projecting a final cumulative average for the first two years of a 79%.
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A photo of bcd92 bcd92

@BRISK wrote
Hi, I'm currently an AEO2 student and I am unfortunately struggling to maintain the 80% average. How likely do you believe it is for an AEO student with an average in the 78-79.9% range to get admission into Ivey? My ECs aren't too strong and I'm projecting a final cumulative average for the first two years of a 79%.



That's exactly why i dont like ivey. They take twice as much money from you and make you work twice as hard for 2 YEARS to maintain that 80+ average compared to the other business programs.
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A photo of Redprince Redprince
Hi,

My question is: How does the cut-off process work in Ivey? And, when does Ivey start accepting students.



Thanks.
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A photo of BRISK BRISK

@bcd92 wrote

@BRISK wrote
Hi, I'm currently an AEO2 student and I am unfortunately struggling to maintain the 80% average. How likely do you believe it is for an AEO student with an average in the 78-79.9% range to get admission into Ivey? My ECs aren't too strong and I'm projecting a final cumulative average for the first two years of a 79%.



That's exactly why i dont like ivey. They take twice as much money from you and make you work twice as hard for 2 YEARS to maintain that 80+ average compared to the other business programs.



Well to be fair, I'm highly enjoying studying Psychology, but yeah I wish the average to maintain was a bit lower, especially with social science courses like English or Philosophy in which it is very difficult to get anything near an 80%.
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A photo of Eccedentesiast Eccedentesiast
Hi,

I'm interested in both Political Science and Economics for the first two years at Western and I was wondering which one will give me a better experience, GPA, or be helpful etc? And also, if you don't mind, could you tell me what kind EC's that you applied to Western with? I believe that my marks are sufficient but am a bit worried about my 3 ECs seeing that there hasn't been a significant amount of achievement and initiative taken as an individual leader in the clubs.

Thank you!
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A photo of Nick0rz Nick0rz
Not to nitpick, but you aren't a first year Ivey student. You are a first year student at Western with AEO. You have yet to take an Ivey course.

Also, I must respectively disagree with most of the points you make.

Best of luck when you finally get into Ivey.
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A photo of Nick0rz Nick0rz

@g93 wrote

@bcd92 wrote
I like the idea of a dual degree except no university offers the program i want. I tried searching up a BBA/BA degree. The closet i got was to a business and arts degree at Waterloo, but you only get a BA for that.


Just don't go for Arts/Business. If you want to do an arts degree, fine. But if you want to do business don't do Arts/Business.

-

Also, I'm disappointed, I thought you were an actual Ivey student.


FWIW, two of the people I'm currently working with at a Big4 firm are in Arts/Business.
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