Monthly Archives: May 2016

Study, Play, Volunteer!

As an MM student, it’s easy to get bogged down by the academic workload or our personal job-hunts, but taking the time to get together as a cohort and be present in our community is something many of us felt was important. There have been countless bar nights and study sessions that I have shared with my classmates, however, my favorite cohort experiences have been the three volunteer opportunities organized by our VP Internal, Sarah Maciejewski.

The first volunteer opportunity we took on was a trip to Ronald McDonald House BC, where a group of MM students, joined by Chris Gorczynski (MM Program Manager) and Margot Fraser (MM Program Assistant, spent a few hours giving back. As a group we organized (by every colour of the rainbow) and sanitized what must have been millions of pieces of donated Lego! This may sound tedious (it was!), but having the opportunity to give back to the community in which we study, work, and play, was really rewarding. While sorting the Lego, we were met by many curious young faces wondering what we were doing with their toys. We also chatted with parents who were happy to pass along thanks for our involvement with the house, which only made the whole experience that much more memorable.

Our next volunteering day was spent sorting yet again, but this time it was less reminiscent of childhood playtime cleanup! A group of seven MM students and I spent an afternoon sorting cans, produce, and other donated foods at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. We had a surprising amount of fun doing this together and while we only made a dent in the masses of food at the warehouse, by the end of the day we managed to pack away a significant amount of food to be sent to families in need.

The third and final volunteering session we participated in as a cohort was the Shoreline Cleanup at beautiful Kits Beach. You could not ask for a better location to spend a morning. We are spoiled to live in this spectacular place and it’s easy to forget the impact we have on our environment. Maintaining the shores of this spectacular landscape was an invaluable experience. We later rewarded our efforts by relaxing as a group at the beach, playing a bit of soccer, and a few of us (not me!) ventured into the chilly ocean for a swim!

I didn’t seek out many volunteering opportunities during my undergraduate like I should have. I went to Ronald McDonald House BC for our first volunteering session thinking I was simply going to spend time with my classmates. I left that day with a sense of accomplishment and an excitement for the next volunteering opportunity. A bit of advice for the Class of 2017: if you haven’t volunteered much before and don’t know the impact it can have on you personally, don’t think for a second your other priorities are more important to your success! Volunteering didn’t make me worry that I didn’t use the time to secure a job, it made me more motivated and inspired in my other initiatives. Spending time away from your notes, projects, and job hunt is not only important for your well-being, but if volunteering is how you choose to spend that time, you can have a positive impact on the world around you, and THAT is time well spent.

– Lauren O’Sullivan

Sport Chronicles

For long, sports entertainment has been an integral part of my life. I woke up every morning awaiting the next big game or tournament, looking to catch glimpses of exciting events and action in the sports world. Every sports bar I visited brought with it a familiar ambiance. Scattered clusters of team jerseys and colours all around inspired a sense of belonging with the place. Even the team sponsors had a separate place in my heart. I could turn any random conversation into a sports conversation.

During my early days in Vancouver as an international student, I experienced a strange void growing within me. Something wasn’t right; something was missing. It took me a while, but I eventually recognized the problem. The problem was the games that I followed – Cricket and Football (Soccer; I hate to call it that) – were not popular here. The latter is the biggest sport on the planet and the former is an Indian religion (we have a Cricket God). There were no television sets in restaurants that showed highlights of recent cricket games. I wasn’t often surrounded by people wearing those familiar soccer jerseys. I was accustomed to watching my favourite sports conveniently in the evening with pints of chilled beer, and that was a part of the entire experience. In Vancouver, I had to watch them early in the morning, half-dead with hot, strong coffee.

Things were far from ideal and I needed a real sporting experience. I visited a sports bar on a weekend in Vancouver where I was introduced to the Canadian sports world – Football (clearly lacking imagination), Baseball, Hockey and, oh yes, Curling. A boring, senseless version of cricket, football that is not primarily played with the foot, world wrestling entertainment with a tag team of 6 players on a special ring made of ice, and a sport that I never knew existed. Obviously, I was terrified. Canada might be one of the rare countries that telecasts a curling game instead of a live UEFA Champions League semi-finals game!

As time progressed, I learned that for many of my friends, these sports actually made sense. As the saying goes, “the fans define the sport,” and it is only logical that the games would make more sense if experienced with the fans. Over some time, I did just that. I started trying to understand the games and get engaged with the sports. Overall, I feel that this has worked. While I haven’t necessarily developed a keen eye for these sports, they have surely sparked my interest. I am convinced that it is only through fans of the sport that I could experience the true spirit of the game. I hope to continue my journey of learning to love new sports. Soon, I might even be awaiting the next Superbowl or hanging out with Canucks fans!

– Yash Doshi

Winding Down

As the undergraduates finish their last day of exams, we still have one month of classes awaiting us. Although it will be difficult to ascertain the shaky landscape of our future in the following weeks, we still have many things to look forward to – such as using phrases like “ascertain the shaky landscape of our future” to embellish our business writing skills. Or, alternatively, attending one of Geoffrey’s many famous pool parties.

In all seriousness though, I encourage everyone to take advantage of what time you have left in Vancouver because, like many of you, I’m not quite sure where these past 8 months have gone. The sun is finally making an appearance, so go on a hike, take a trip down to Wreck beach, or go for a swim in Geoffrey’s pool (better known as the aquatic center). Below are some of my favourite activities to do in Vancouver:

  • Rain or Shine / Earnest Ice Cream; some of the best ice cream shops I’ve been to
  • Deep Cove; a beautiful and really short hike where you can have a picnic at the viewpoint on a massive rock overlooking the water
  • Stepping it up a notch and moving beyond regular yoga to try acro-yoga (it’s a lot easier to do than it looks and you look like a pro after a day! Plus there are some free classes offered at UBC)
  • Bike the Seawall

Don’t let the stress of career searching and school take over. Take time for yourself to have fun and explore what Vancouver has to offer!

– Mandeep Nahal