I’d like to start things off with clarifying a few popular misconceptions of a BCom student:
- The majority of Business students do NOT wear suits everyday (only for presentations, you can’t develop stereotypes during presentation week).
- Not every male student in the Business program has a murse (popular slang for the male purse). This number is completely skewed (I think we are still averaging a 50/50 split on murses to backpacks).
- All Business students do NOT believe that they are going to be millionaires (probably just CEO’s of major companies)
My name is Sam Dean. I am entering into my second year of the Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of Alberta. This will be my 5th year of post secondary education, previously spending 3 years in the Arts program. It kills my parents that it will probably take me 5-6 years to get a degree, but the 6th year victory lap will be well worth it. I am not condoning or encouraging you to extend your 4-year undergraduate degree, but it has definitely given me the opportunity to explore everything that the BCom program has to offer!
It is important that you understand a little about me before you continue reading my blog. I am the third youngest child in a family of six. My parents graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta in 1982. My sister followed in their footsteps and graduated from the U of A with a Law degree in 2009. My older brother is expected to graduate from the U of A with a degree in Medicine next winter. My younger brother is currently studying Sciences at the U of A and I’m projecting him (2:1 odds) to be some sort of rocket surgeon in the near future. With my entire family being U of A Alumni, you can really get the idea of how important post-secondary education is at my home. I am the only one who is pursuing a Commerce degree, which allows me to pave my own path influenced by my experiences as a BCom student at the University of Alberta.
If you looked at my resume last year at this time it would have showed zero involvement in any sort of extra-curricular activities. Last September I even considered withdrawing from the BCom program to be a golf caddy in Arizona, hoofing clubs in the desert for below the minimum wage. It was my mom who urged me to get involved in what the Business Faculty had to offer. I completely misunderstood her advice and went on to form a team of males looking to raise money for Movember (October campaign to raise money for prostate cancer by growing mustaches). We raised a bunch of money for prostate cancer and even did a photo shoot around campus. I submitted one of our pictures to the school newspaper, The Gateway. Later that week the picture was published on the back of the front page. It seems so irrelevant but after this I felt like I was a part of something, something bigger than just being another undergraduate student.
In late March I decided that it would be a good idea to get involved in a student group. I ran for the position of VP External Relations with the University of Alberta Marketing Association (UAMA). I will be the first to admit that I wanted to be elected for all the wrong reasons (the office with a mini-fridge and place to hang my coat in cold winter months was a major selling point). Once elected I found out that there was much more to it then keeping your Diet Cokes cold. Being involved in the UAMA gave me the opportunity to enhance other students’ education in the discipline that I found myself most interested in. It also gave me the chance to meet several new people and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. I am very excited to continue exploring the field of marketing with my fellow Business students!
Through this blog I hope to have the opportunity to discuss my weekly experiences with old and new classes. Lending tips and advice to all students with honesty and humor. I believe that it will be beneficial to the student body to have guest writers share their experiences with other student clubs, current case competitions, and the daily interactions with other students that makes the Alberta School of Business at University of Alberta so unique.
Over the year I hope to share my own personal perspective as a BCom student who has not found his own career path. I believe it will be interesting for potential and current students to hear from a peer’s perspective of how the BCom program shapes one’s future career.