St. Patrick’s Day

With all the drinking and celebration going on, it is easy to forget the origins of St. Patrick’s Day. March 17th commemorates the day that St. Patrick’s died. A Roman boy enslaved by the Irish, Patrick, helped bring Christianity to Ireland peacefully in the fifth century. Legend has it that Patrick used the shamrock, with three petals on its stem, to explain the Holy Trinity while converting a pagan Irish King.

I was most excited about this day in particular, at the beginning of the program, given the opportunity to come up with cultural festivals to celebrate throughout the year. And I am glad (as someone who had not celebrated St. Patrick’s day before) that we have our own Irish champ in the class, giving us an even better excuse to go celebrate the day. On a day where our ethics class proposed that it is our responsibility to go green to protect the environment, we did exactly that. We had a challenge to see who could wear the most green on the night and there were many contenders for the winning spot. Camille looked elegant with her green dress and brown shoes. Mandeep showed up with the brightest green jacket that I have ever seen in my life. And Shamsheer showed dedication with a green shirt and a matching green turban.

12896231_985775321476370_1190687029_oWhile the folks were enjoying, the waitress happened to tell me a funny joke that I would like to share. She was waiting tables one time when an American stumped her with a drink order. She took the order and approached the bartender, “Have you ever heard of a drink called ‘Seven young blondes’? He admitted he had never heard of it and grabbed a guidebook to look it up. Unable to find the recipe, he asked her to tell the patron that she would be happy to get the drink made if he could list the ingredients for her. “Sir”, she said, “can you tell me what’s in the drink?” The American looked at her like she was nuts. “It’s wine,” he said, pronouncing his words carefully this time, “Sauvignon Blanc!”

– Anoop Banodkar

Balancing Passions: Music & Business

“For me it’s important to be in balance. To not let fear get in the way of things, to not worry so much about protecting yourself all the time.”
 – John Frusciante, Lead Guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Music is one those things that pulls you in and ties you down. There’s just something about it that has always called out to me, and I can’t think of any substitute for the beautiful feeling of writing songs. It is a process that requires deep introspection, large emotional investment, and a genuine need for expression. Most importantly, it takes time to write a song, and in the MM program time is a valuable commodity.

Since the start of our program I felt as though I was being pulled in two separate directions. One towards a passion for creative expression, and another towards my desire to succeed in the business world as an entrepreneur. Time was the only constraint, and I found myself in a constant state of strife between my two passions. The conflict was almost too real for me to handle, and there were many instances where I considered dropping one option for the other. You can only imagine my parents’ reactions when I had asked them what they would think if I decided to be a professional musician over winter break! Nevertheless I powered through, spending each night thinking about what I truly wanted to do with my life, and after one particularly busy weekend in January I had come to a realization that enlightened me on the path I wanted to take.

That week in January was a hellish one for me. All I really remember was having pile after pile of work from school and my father’s company, on top of upcoming gigs dropping on my shoulders like a bag of bricks. At the end of it I was exhausted, and had spent my entire Sunday in my room staring at the ceiling. It was then that the realization hit me. It was like one of those cheesy scenes in teen dramas where, the male protagonist who felt so conflicted about telling the leading lady how he feels, realizes how much he loved her, and rushes out to see her again.

I realized that I had survived.

It was a surreal feeling. I began asking questions to myself like “Am I sure there is nothing else I have to do?” or “How did I even have the time?” I slowly let it sink in, and came to realize that my success was a result of achieving a proper balance. You could say that balance was the bridge between my two passions. It enabled me to skirt between the two and see each for what they were. By successfully learning to manage my time, I eventually saw that nothing could take me away from what I truly wished to achieve.

This is not to say that balancing two strong passions is easy. There are times when one tries to overpower the other, and the temptation is so strong that it becomes impossible to resist the urge to excessively indulge. In my case, that comes in the form of song ideas that I just have to get in writing when the inspiration hits. To others it could be a potential client calling for a sale, a company calling for an interview, or even a child asking if they want to play a quick game of hide and seek. Regardless of the situation, we all find ways to balance it out in the long run: whether that means spending an extra hour in the MM lounge slaving away in front of a computer screen, or in my case, putting aside school work to do that last quality guitar recording.

Often you’ll feel like you have to choose one door over another. But, what you have to realize is that, finding balance can create a way for you to open both at the same time.

–  Angelino De Guzman

The Art of Networking

You arrive at your networking/info session event in your newly bought business outfit. The feeling of importance may or may not strike you. You look around, spotting the important things:

Food? Check.

That little miracle to inspire that fierce inner confidence called alcohol? Check.

If not, then it is just you and your nametag.

You find a seat. The presentation starts. One of two things may happen: you may zone out trying to think of questions you can ask to “stand out” during the question period, or try to think of conversation topics that would last more than a few seconds – attempting to think of methods you could use to seem calm and interesting. You sit through the presentation. A company seems kind of interesting. Now you realize the presentation is coming to an end – the dreaded networking is about to happen…

For those “social butterflies”, meeting new people can be exhilarating and rewarding. However, for others, the mere thought of meeting new people could elicit significant anxiety. Now, what may be the underlying cause of this discomfort, and how can we overcome such uneasiness to enable a more pleasant and an impactful experience?

Understanding the root causes of anxiety-related problems is an essential step in overcoming the challenge of the networking fear!

handshakeIt has to do with the mismatch between modern and ancestral environments. The characteristics humans possess today are a result of adaptations to a multitude of social and physical challenges our ancestors faced, which may not be well-adapted for life in our modern society. Unfortunately for us, social fear is the result of this mismatch.

Psychology says our brains have evolved to compete for “attractiveness” – to make good impressions on others because these are related
to obtaining important social resources and investments from others. Being ostracized carries many negative consequences. So, your brain activates “submissive defensives”, which trigger characteristics such as self-consciousness, eye-gaze avoidance, inferiority, or submission, leading to interference with our confident performance.

But, there is good news! Our brains can be tricked into maintaining our awesomeness when we need it most.

  1. Reappraise Those Body Sensations

What is the difference between a “social butterfly” and a person with social anxiety? Conscious or unconscious appraisal of the bodily sensations. More or less we experience the same amount of stimulation in social situations. New situations trigger the adrenaline rush that increases our heart rate and oxygen delivery to the brain allowing us to be quicker on our feet. The trick is to understand that the sensations of “nervousness” are actually positive signs from our body to use to our advantage rather than an evil mechanism that inhibits our thinking. This is in line with the well-known self-fulfilling prophecy.

  1. Increase Certainty

The uncertainty of meeting new people induces anxiety. Therefore, one way to trick your brain and reduce this anxiety is to create a sense of certainty around the situation. First, there is certainty in knowing that not everyone is going to like you, no matter what “show” you put on. So be yourself – it is much easier to be in your own skin than in someone else’s. Second, create more certainty around the topic you will talk about by preparing 2 – 3 questions (the trick here is not to be lazy about it!). Third, reminding yourself that nothing horrible will happen if you say something rather “awkward” and you can be certain no one will even notice because no one is thinking about you. Everyone is too busy thinking about themselves.

  1. “Meeting Friends” or “Game”

Language is a powerful tool. Language and words we use trigger emotions and our emotions propel us into particular actions. Therefore, calling “networking” something else may alleviate the many stresses you have around the notion of meeting new people. Try calling it “meeting friends”. It’s just talking to nice people with whom you get on well and talking about things that you’re interested in. Or call it a “game”, and actually create small games for yourself prior to attending an event. For example, “today I will talk to 4 people, and find one interesting fact about them”. It doesn’t have to only be the company representatives. Networking opportunities are everywhere.

Of course, the list is not exhaustive in terms of what you can do better your experience. Just remember: people are people, and even CEO’s of big companies are nervous about new, social situations, yet, it does get easier with practice.

And really… at the end of the day, ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen?MM NetworkingMM Networking Exchange 2016

–  Yanna Baiman

Alumni Guest Entry: Mel Gabanna

I was always envious of people who ‘just knew’ what they wanted to do for a living and had a clear post-MM career path to work towards. I had no idea what I wanted to pursue and struggled with feeling like I had no purpose or intention in my job search. It wasn’t until Steven Fitzgerald (our fearless leader at Habanero Consulting, an IT Consulting firm) came to speak to my MM class in 2011 that I started to realize, maybe it doesn’t really matter what I do. As Steven shared stories of Habanero and spoke about the culture and values that drive the company, I vividly remember thinking to myself ‘that’s the guy I need to work for, that’s where I need to be’ without really knowing what Habanero even did. It was a big “ah-ha!” moment for me and I started gaining a lot of clarity about what was important for me in a career and what I valued in a workplace. I shifted my perspective from trying to figure out ‘what’ to do and focused on finding the right people and leaders to surround myself with – the right ‘who‘.

Jim Collins (smart guy, read his books) explains his version of Who vs. What in this little video clip, check it out – (Your Personal Hedgehog – Who vs. What http://www.jimcollins.com/media_topics/all.html#audio=85)

“Far more important than what jobs you take early on is who you work for, and who your mentors are” – Jim Collins

I would have never predicted that I’d end up working in IT consulting, but the amazing quality of people I work with at Habanero and the feeling I get when I go to the office is exactly what I was looking for.  As it turns out, Habanero’s ‘what’ happens to be super interesting to me, so that’s a nice bonus.

My advice to the MMs, especially those feeling a little lost in the job search as May starts to approach, is not to worry too much about figuring out the ‘what’ right now. That will continue to change and evolve as we go through our careers for years to come. If you’re ‘what’ is flexible, start hunting for an amazing ‘who’. They are harder to spot and take more work to find so get out there and talk to people – network, network, network. And use the BCC as much as possible, don’t wait until graduation to realize how valuable those resources are!

– Mel Gabanna, MM ’12

From Arts to Business

How business education shapes your world..

I always knew that some day I would like to wear a suit, smoke a cigar, and talk business. I might have exaggerated that a little bit, but it is true: I always wanted to immerse myself in the business world. I believed, and I still do, that business education would open doors to opportunities, leading me to companies that I longed to be a part of. When I was deciding on my undergraduate major, I chose to first invest four years of my life in the liberal arts education, believing that it would change the way I perceive the world for the rest of my life. I never regret.

My subconscious, however, kept telling me that I also needed knowledge and skills that could be more directly applied to careers in which I was interested. After thorough research, I chose the Master of Management program to build a broad foundation upon which I can further solidify my business knowledge and skills through work experience in the future. Now that I have completed 60% of the MM program, I can tell you that business education goes beyond finding a job: it will also equip you with another lens, enabling you to deepen the knowledge about the world.

Prior to the MM program, inadequate exposure to statistical theory made me skeptical when I read academic journals or articles on the newspapers. “How could they draw conclusions that represent the majority, from 1,000 samples only?”, I thought. It could be just a coincidence! However, Professor Jonathan Berkowitz introduced me to essential theory about statistics, its reasoning, and applications, in a unique way. He turned ordinary conversations or dialogues in movies and poems into statistical works of art. And the way I see this world has changed. Statistics has now become an additional tool that aids decision-making, personally and professionally.

Each jigsaw puzzle piece that the MM courses offer will provide you with different useful lenses to be used in different scenarios. The concepts of costs in Managerial Accounting might change your buying behaviour. Design thinking from Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship might redefine your perception of failure. Whichever lenses you use, a more versatile way of thinking, a big picture of business, and the link between your business career and your undergraduate degree will develop along the journey.

– Phaokan Thooptong

Alumni Guest Entry: Nav Sidhu

I currently work in Marketing for one of North America’s largest real estate investment advisors. So what steps did I take to get here?

The first, and most important thing I did, was decide early on which field I wanted to go into. I always had an interest in real estate, and I knew it was the career trajectory I wanted to pursue. By having a vision about the path I wanted to embark on, I was able to make it clear to the Business Career Centre (BCC) exactly what I was looking for. I feel that this is an advantageous step for all MM students. When career opportunities arise, BCC advisors are more likely to reach out to individuals who have expressed a specific interest in a field over someone who has not.

The second thing I did was focus on building my resume. We were given numerous opportunities in the MM to gain relevant work experience. Instead of trying to gain diverse experience, I focused on acquiring experience that was specific to the field I wanted to pursue. I was able to accomplish this through the Community Business Project, which helped me create a stronger resume, thus influencing my job outcome.

The third, and one of the most important steps I took, was beginning to apply for jobs before graduation. I believe you can never get enough practice with interviews. There will always be questions thrown around that you have not had the chance to prepare for. Going through actual interviews will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses as an interviewee. You then have an opportunity to hone and structure yourself into a better candidate. If you are able to learn from these mistakes early on, it will make it much easier and less stressful when applying for jobs later on.

With the help of the three points I listed above, I was lucky enough to come across an internship opportunity as an Analyst for a real estate investment company. By making it clear to the BCC what I was looking for, through my resume building activities during the year, and by completing multiple interviews with different companies before hand, I was in a good situation when it came this job. Although this position was temporary for the summer, I saw this as an opportunity to gain valuable skills that would significantly strengthen my resume.

Once that role ended, I eventually moved into my current role in Marketing. My success in landing this job is due to all of the above, but also to the extensive time I took to research and understand the company. So how do you stand out from the competition? Study the company. Know the company. When answering questions during the interview, bring in things you learned about the company during your research to support well developed and thought out answers. This is your opportunity to show them that you really want to be there, and that you are already ahead of the competition with your extensive knowledge about the company.

So there it is, some of the important steps I took during the MM to help develop my career. I advise you begin your search now. Good luck!

 – Nav Sidhu, MM’15

The Cohort

The MM cohort has truly been a unique experience. The year has consisted of going to class everyday with the same people, then hanging out with them after class. Being new to Vancouver, I was a bit worried and insecure about making new friends. I had just spent four years at my undergraduate school in Ontario building a very tight social circle. Then I decided to move across the country away from everybody I know and start a new chapter in my life. I was excited but nervous about being able to establish close connections out west. However, it has been exceptionally easy to make friends that will last long after the program ends.

Socially, I have met people who I have become very close friends with. The program really facilitates this. After endless assignments, constant job hunting and letting off steam on the weekends, you will inevitably start to form some pretty tight bonds. Sometimes I step back and realize how quickly these friendships have been built in such a short time. One of my close friends recently texted me, “I’d do anything for ya kid”. I met him in September… and the feeling is absolutely mutual. Two months into the program, I was riding the bus with a classmate and she looked at me and said, “It is hard to imagine I only met you in September.” These examples are really a testament to the social aspect of the program. In all of the madness that comes with the MM program, the special people I have met make it possible to persevere.

By working on a variety of group assignments, I have learned lots about my classmates and myself. Specifically, I have learned how I interact with people in different settings. Coming from a science background, creative group work has not been a common theme for me. Throughout the program I have realized that certain people get the very best out of me. It has been exciting to work with individuals that create a personal inspiration and confidence to get the job done.

As the program progresses, I am looking forward to building on the friendships I have made and learn more about those I have not interacted with as much. There are a lot of a unique people in the program and some of us (me) are just plain weird. It makes everyday interesting and helps wake you up in the morning as you stumble into class with a coffee in your hand. Everyone has something unique to offer and it demands that you be genuinely attentive. Therefore, I am excited to see where everyone goes after the program and to stay connected throughout the years.

–  Zach Robinson

A Week in the Life Of..

When I was deciding whether or not I should apply to the program one of the major factors I considered was general lifestyle, in school and extra-curricular activities. It’s impossible to know exactly what you will be doing, feeling, and thinking, but I’ll give you my best possible simulation by providing you with a standard week in the MM program! Here is a fairly close approximation of what went down in my life as an MM student last week:

Mondays: Class starts at 10am on Monday mornings, so I was up at the crack of dawn. Before you go thinking I’m really active and productive it’s worth noting that the crack of dawn in January in Vancouver is approximately 8:30am, and that was still a struggle. Fortunately I live on campus so I need to leave home about 15 minutes before class starts. I piled on about 42 layers and left for class around 9:45am. There is a little coffee shop in the bottom of the Sauder School of Business, which I probably should have invested in at the start of the year as I faithfully drop $4.32 there several times a day for a latte. From here I trotted on up the stairs (by stairs I mean elevator) into my first class. I proceeded to learn and absorb like a keen little sponge until we finished up classes at the crack of dusk (4pm in Vancouver). From here I pranced on up to the Gold’s Gym in University Marketplace for a quick sweat, and proceeded back to my apartment to watch The Bachelor (Ben’s season, my bet’s on Lauren B for the win). I wrapped up my Monday evening with a few readings and by catching up on emails.

Tuesdays: These mornings class kicks off at 8am, so I have to forcibly remove myself from bed around 7am. From here I proceed to sprint around my flat like Usain Bolt attempting to get my life rapidly together because I accidentally hit my snooze button 4 times and it is now 7.30am. Fortunately I am then warmed up and able to power walk to Sauder without pulling a muscle and with time to spare for a coffee. More learning, more absorbing, more coffee and we are done classes for the day at noon. This leaves the afternoon free, but usually meetings, study dates, real dates for the hotties of the program (not me), and informational interviews fill up the spare time fairly quickly. This previous Tuesday I spent the afternoon finishing up an accounting assignment, meeting for a group project, chatting with friends in the MM lounge, and eating my body weight in chocolate almond Pockys.

Wednesdays: Class at 10am again, spent the extra two hours of my morning productively changing outfits 67 different times, because Vancouver weather is a challenge. I finally settled on the classic getup of head to toe waterproof wear. Up to Sauder I went, learnt, accounted, group meeting’d, ate Pocky and wrapped up the day at 4pm again. Fortunately I managed to finish off some other homework over our 2 hour lunch break so proceeded to head to the gym to prepare for another day of Pocky tomorrow.

Thursdays: This past Thursday was the most important day of everyone’s week (maybe even year) for the very serious reason being IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY!! Because of that I learnt and absorbed with a sparkly silver birthday hat on. Also I would like to mention that I only hit my snooze button 1 time on this morning because I matured into a together 22-year-old adult. After a quick meeting with our MM executive team to discuss class events, clubs, volunteer opportunities and career prospects I was taken out for a lovely evening of great food, drinks and laughs with some of my amazing friends in the program.

Fridays: If you don’t already know this I’m about to blow your mind, in the MM program WE DO NOT HAVE CLASSES ON FRIDAYS!! It’s a beautiful and kind gift that just keeps giving. I spent my most recent Friday in group meetings, running outdoors in the first break of rain in well over a week, and eventually going out for a class wide triple birthday celebration in the evening. Here we laughed and drank the night away, reminiscing of all the memories the weeks here in the MM have held.

Well this brief week outline may sound standard and seemingly unexciting, each day is also filled with plenty of laughter, plenty of learning, and (my personal favorite) plenty of classroom camaraderie. While the MM program delivers a plethora of information on all relevant aspects of business, it also delivers a plethora of friends as you spend the hours building memories to last a lifetime. The days go by faster and faster, and as we pass the halfway point of our short year together I look back on this collection of seemingly unexciting weeks with complete nostalgia. I look forward to what the rest of the program has to deliver, knowledge wise, Pocky wise, and friendship wise.

Note: Pocky did not sponsor this post.

– Renee Cadenhead

BLACK(M)MERLE

Courses you take during 9 months of the MM program are very intensive and challenging. However, these courses will definitely equip you with necessary tools that you would need in order to become a successful entrepreneur. Your learning experiences would be perfectly utilizable if you have some idea of your own venture before you come into the program or are even better when you have a business already. I can assure you of this because I am speaking from personal experience.

During my undergraduate years at Queen’s University, I majored in life sciences. Nonetheless, I knew that deep inside my heart the one thing that I was always passionate about was fashion. It is something that I have been putting my heart and soul into ever since my childhood. After graduating from Queen’s, I finally decided that I would start my own clothing brand, and to aid the process of building my own business, I applied to study management at UBC. After a lengthy but super enjoyable preparation, designing, sampling, and manufacturing process, BLACKMERLE (blackmerle.com) was officially launched on September 1st of 2015, which was the start of our MM program as well. 12625779_10153209303546059_821982769_nBeing a designer and starting your own fashion brand may look glamorous to some people but it is a really challenging venture and industry since there is a lot more business involved than what it seems like on the surface. Although I have taken care of all the beginning administration tasks and basic business side of the brand at this point, such as creating the online presence, marketing both online/offline, or making creative content, I was still faced with more tasks and strategic managing in order to move forward. Courses I have taken so far during the MM program and help from the Business Career Center have been guiding me and pushing me forward with my venture.

I have to admit that marketing is the biggest challenge in most start-up ventures. Marketing courses taught by Ann Stone and Yi Qian will definitely help you plan out and execute several important marketing tactics. Financial and managerial accounting gives you the important technique in tracking where all your precious investment is going and, more importantly, gives you the right mindset for dealing with cost, revenue, and profit. Real life case studies that you will be reading throughout the whole program give you great insight by analyzing other company’s mistakes and successes. Entrepreneurship class gives you some of the most direct advice you can utilize right away to build your own start-up. Lastly, resources and help from BCC are very precious since they can give you the most “tailored” advice. It is incredibly amazing opportunity when you can apply what you learn in the classroom right away into your own business. Concepts that might seem so abstract to some students are better understood when you can relate it to your own business.

You only live a short life. I always feel like there is not enough time. If you have a dream of building your own business empire, start now. Although it may be different from person to person, the MM program can help you gain some essential skills in order to achieve your entrepreneurial dream. As I always mumble to myself, “know thyself” and follow your heart.

–  Terry Shin

BLACKMERLE

Academic-Life Balance

The MM program offers 24 intensive courses over the course of 9 months. Although this might sound like a wonderful time, I was mostly attracted to the program because of its location in stunning Vancouver. Vancouver and the greater surrounding area has something for every adventure seeker, and in order to best balance books and life in the city without losing your sanity, it’s very important you master the art of work-life balance. This is a skill that will continue to prove useful throughout your career and will lead to reduced stress, anxiety and overall a more pleasant life. Perfecting work-life balance comes down to setting personal priorities. Not just ‘Should I watch the new episode of Suits or the Bachelorette?’ – in which case the answer is always Suits. Rather, setting priorities involves critically questioning the type of person you are, what you want out of your life and where you want to be in your final days. Do you want to be the wealthiest person in the world or live a healthy, prosperous life, surrounded by those who love and care about you? There’s really no one right answer, as I mentioned, these are personal priorities and you cannot judge yourself based on the priorities of other people. Therein lies the key message I’m trying to convey: don’t judge yourself using scorecards made by others – you’re doing yourself a disservice. Remain focused on your priorities and don’t let other’s sway you from them. By no means does this happen overnight; knowing what you want is a long process which can involve years of self-actualization. While you’re setting your priorities consider this: What type of lifestyle do you want in the future? How will you take care of parents, siblings or anyone else who made you who you are today? Will you have time to care for other loved ones, a spouse or even kids? It’s pointless to plan every detail of your life, as such plans are bound to change, but thinking about these questions will allow you to figure out who you want to be.

Like in business, focus is crucial when trying to achieve certain goals in your life. Whether it be finding your dream job or a partner who loves trap as much as you, priorities will help you focus on the important things and stop sweating the small stuff. For example, if you realize you’re here to save the planet and prevent humanity’s certain doom, you’ll stop worrying about that C you got in Stats. So fellow and future MM students, if you ever find yourself getting stressed about school, work or any other facet of life, take a step back and breathe. Ask yourself if what you’re worrying about is really a priority or if your life will continue to progress without it. In my limited 21 years of experience, I find most people stress themselves out by comparing themselves to certain metrics created by and meant for others, be it friends, family or total strangers. As I often do, if you find yourself guilty in this matter, remember these words echoed by the great Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

– Samuel Arulnathan

Location, Location, Location

It’s crazy what can happen in a year isn’t it? This time last year, I was living in a different city, with different friends and learning a completely different subject. Choosing to do a Masters, let alone which school to do it at, isn’t an easy decision and I can’t tell you if the MM program is right for you. Most of our cohort chose the program because we wanted to gain business knowledge to complement our undergrads, shift directions from our undergrads or get a different perspective on management. Yet even with similar intentions, I know our end games will be completely different. So, if you were hoping that I could make your decision easier.. I’m sorry! However, if you are like me and not from Vancouver, part of the MM experience is moving cities. While that can be difficult, this is a great opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. Here are a few options to consider when moving here:

Apply To Res

Living on campus is probably one of the easier transitions you can make. Living so close saves you time getting to class and most of the residences are pre-furnished, which can save you money on furniture. If you do choose to live in a residence building, remember that there is a possibility that you may have roommates who are not graduate students, but first or second year undergraduate students. Other residence options to consider are the graduate college such as: Green College, St. Johns College or the MBA house. If you do want to live in residence, apply now. Or yesterday. There can be a huge waitlist and it’s first come first serve with applications, which open even before you are accepted (personally I was waitlisted until December and chose not to accept a room at that time). For more information visit UBC’s Website.

Live On Campus

Renting in University Village on campus or in Wesbrook Village is a great option. It’s about a 10-20 minute walk to the Sauder Building or there’s a bus. The area itself has everything you need including coffee, food etc. but if you are one who goes out a lot, UBC is a bit of a journey to get to downtown late at night. Both options can also be a tad expensive with unfurnished studios starting at $1350. If you are looking to live close to school and save a bit of money, consider looking for a roommate posting on Craigslist, and rent a two-bedroom instead.

Live Off Campus

Common areas for students are around Kitsilano, Point Grey, and Dunbar. Other students also live in the Olympic Village and even Downtown. Point Grey has more of a neighbourhood feel and rental options are often in houses, basements or some apartment buildings. Kitsilano is about a 20-minute commute to campus and is close to the beach and shopping on both West 4th Ave and Broadway. Downtown is about a 30-45 minute commute to campus and offers a number of often smaller rental options and lots of activities. The Olympic Village has a great community feel and is made up of newer units, also about a 30-minute commute. Here is a link to a map of all the areas: http://www.vancouveruserguide.com/neighborhood.html

Vancouver is expensive. On average, a shared room will cost approximately $800, Studios: $1000, One Bedrooms: $1250 and Two Bedrooms over $1600, plus utilities and internet. Typically, the further out, the less expensive it will be. Side note: In speaking with classmates, many of us are paying much more than these averages depending on the quality of the unit, expectations and when we signed the lease, but many people found great deals too!

Craigslist is your best option in searching, but be aware of scams, particularly against people from out of town. In my opinion, the most important thing to consider is how long are you willing to commute? One method for searching is to look for locations near express bus route stops. These buses (such as the 99, 84, 44, 258 etc.) have less stops than regular buses, shortening your commute, and they run more frequently in rush hours. For stops closer to UBC, express buses can fill up and pass the stop, so take that into consideration (there’s always regular buses too). Most likely if you are near an express stop, the area will have everything you need such as groceries, take out etc. One last thing to consider, every other student is searching for a place to live starting in September, so if it is at all possible to start your search before that rush, do it!

– Ruth Treasure

Alumni Guest Entry: John Holt

Let’s be honest, if you’re in the MM program, it’s likely because you want to add one final piece of the puzzle to get a job. I was no different. I had a Bachelor of Arts from UBC, and had taught English for a couple years in Spain and wanted to do something in business, whatever that meant.

My job search was varied and I applied to a range of jobs that had little in common. The first piece of advice I’d give is apply to anything you think you could do. The worst case scenario is that you get another live opportunity to test your interview skills. The day you sit down for the job you really want, you’ll be amazed how much more comfortable you’ll feel if you’ve already sat in the hot seat a number of times before.

The second piece of advice is really understanding the job you’re applying for and what you bring that makes you a great candidate. I applied for HSBC’s International Management programme. I was fortunate, I had a broad first degree which gave me a firm base in world politics, experience moving and living abroad in another language and the MM program gave me the finance angle that I was lacking previously. It seems so simple, but it’s your job to really make sure the interviewer understands the relevance.

Finally, I’ll echo something I know other MMs have written about, your classmates. Network is important, and to be clear not networking, but your network. Networking is often shallow and meeting people is great but I highly recommend you foster a network of people you really know and trust, and then invest time to keep up with them. I invested a lot of time in the MM program when I was going through it and would recommend you do the same, at a bare minimum get to know your classmates over the course of the program to make sure you can all help each other. You’ve got a built in opportunity to meet likeminded people over a relatively long period of time, use it!

In the end, I looked for something international, and wasn’t too focused on the industry. It meant I went for a number of interviews, often unrelated. I noticed in the interviews the question I always asked the interviewer was what international opportunities existed in the company. When I interviewed with HSBC it just clicked, I could identify what made me a good fit for them, and the rest is history. I’ve now had the great fortune to have worked for the bank in Paris, London and now Bangkok. Your ambition may not be international work, but whatever your driver, it’ll come out through the process. Let it happen, and good luck!

– John Holt, MM ’10