A Taste of the Real World

It starts off on a Friday morning in November. You come in and get seated in a large, chic lecture theatre. Your guests are seated a few rows behind you. To start off the event, Jeff gets up from his seat in the first row of the theatre, walks up to the front and addresses the students:

 “…. Our guests today come from various organizations and each one of them will have five minutes to explain to you what their company does and what project they would like for you to work on with them. After all the speakers are through, you are free to talk to the ones that interest you and ask them questions to better gauge your interest in their proposed project…”.

And sure enough every organization has exactly five minutes to sell their project to you. Some people are enchanted by the companies, some by the exposure a project may provide and some by the *ehem* attractiveness of the presenter. 

 After hearing about the companies and talking to their representatives, you have to make your selection for the Community Business Project (CBP). It’s not as easy as it sounds. You have to write a 200 word essay on each of your top four choices and submit it to the Business Career Centre (BCC). Based on the assessment of these essays and that of other students, the BCC assigns you into groups of 3-4 to work on one of these projects.

You will work with this group from November till May and will essentially play the role of consultants for your client. You will hold meetings with your client regularly, get to know them and each other better, and define the scope of the project. You will work on this project tirelessly, navigate through obstacles and in the end produce a convincing report and presentation for the client.

But what the CBP is really aimed at it is providing you a taste of the real world. It is aimed at making you utilize the knowledge you gain in class and see the wonders it can do. It is aimed at polishing your skills, helping you develop new ones and building the confidence you need to distinguish yourself when interacting with the business community.

Someone once said to me, “Never consider your college, your university is to be the defining source of your education. The real source of education is your profession. What you learn over the course of your career is what defines you, what helps you grow and gain wisdom”. The CBP provides a doorway and helps you take that first step towards this enlightening path. But make sure you don’t forget to have a little fun as you walk through it!


Mursal Shamsi

Rate my Prof.

Let’s take a minute to talk about teachers. A real, 60 second minute.

Yes, those people who painstakingly taught you how to write your own name, do cursive (which I’m sure they now teach on iPads) and basic addition and subtraction. From your pre-school teacher to your favourite PhD toting master’s professor we all have educators we can look back on and appreciate for the impact they have had on our lives as students. Coming into Sauder from my undergraduate degree in Political Science from here at UBC I knew that the quality of the faculty at this school was incredibly high. I had the most incredible professors during my undergrad, with the exception of the occasional research based one who couldn’t care less about actually relaying information to students. You’re always worried about what your professor will be like on the first day of class – it really makes all the difference. Let me just say the first day of every new period has not not failed to disappoint.

The Sauder School of Business is known for many things, but man can their teachers teach. These people are highly accomplished in their chosen field to the point where you have moments in class where you sit back and mumble under your breath things like “genius”. Those are called lightbulb moments and they happen to me all the time. I just want to sit there and soak up everything that they know into my brain, as if being in the same room as these people will make me like them by osmosis. I was truly amazed when I realized I had learned basic finance and accounting, and I’m ashamed to say a lot of it had nothing to do with me. It had to do with my professors, people who made the subjects I was struggling to learn as digestible and learnable as possible. Real teachers, not just researchers who lecture on occasion but people who educate and do it really, really well.

These professors care about your success and learning more than you do at times, and they are of such high quality that you wish you could sit in on their classes until you were 80. You come to appreciate anyone who is truly great at something and I have come to appreciate the educators who have made this program truly great.

Until next time,



Feature Image from: http://www.archdaily.com/257561/sauder-school-of-business-acton-ostry-architects/

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