Starting BMOS at Western During the Pandemic
By Maisha Alam
My first year of university was definitely something unique, and although I didn’t get the complete university experience, I quite enjoyed it. Starting university during a pandemic was confusing at first, but it started to make a lot more sense as the year progressed. I also really enjoyed being a BMOS student! I felt that it gave me a great introduction into business, and also allowed me to explore other passions.
My Program and Courses
BMOS stands for Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies, which is generally business. Starting in 2nd year, you are able to choose a specialization that you’re interested in. The first year is pretty general; there are Management and Organizational Studies (MOS) courses that all students are required to take, with a few spaces for electives!
Depending on what specializations you’re interested in, there may be a few differences in the required courses you have, but MOS1021 (Human Resources and Consumer Behaviour) and MOS1023 (Introduction to Accounting and Finance) are courses all MOS students will take.
There is also space for a number of elective courses, and one of my favorite parts of first year was choosing my electives! There are so many unique options, and it’s so exciting to be able to explore your other passions through courses. There are elective courses known as “bird courses” which are often said to be easy electives. However, I would definitely recommend taking courses that genuinely interest you for your electives! It is very likely you will succeed in those courses!
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are breadth requirements, so make sure to check those when enrolling in your courses!
Western has a variety of clubs to join, and it’s likely that you will find a club that matches your interests! Many business students opt for clubs like Pre-Business Student Network (PBSN)or Western Entrepreneur Association (W5), but it’s also important to take a look at clubs that revolve around your interests, whether that be music, humanitarian work, or even something related to food!
This year, there was a virtual clubs week, where many clubs had live sessions on their Instagrams and Facebooks, where they talked about club activities, applications, and how to get involved. I found this really helpful since we weren’t able to have school in person.
In terms of involvement and club structure, you can join as a Director which is like a starting executive, or as a general member of a committee,depending on the structure of that club. Even if you do not join a certain club, there are usually ways to get involved with them through their events and fundraisers!
Western is known for a vibrant social life, but to me personally, this was not something that was extremely important. However Sophs, who are upper year mentors, and Off Campus (OC) Sophs had many events where OC students could meet each other through virtual lives. Western also adapted Orientation Week (O-Week) through virtual events and an online app where you could interact with other first years.
The only thing that I found a bit difficult about first year was not knowing people in my classes. Many of my MOS and non-MOS courses were independent learning based, so I really never had the opportunity to meet other people in the classes. This was a bit difficult if I needed help.
However, that’s when Academic Support and clubs came in handy! I found a few people who were in my program who had some similar classes, and was able to interact with them.
Support from Western
I felt that as an Off-Campus student, and a first year student, there was lots of support available. There are many resources for academic and social help which come in very handy, especially if you are studying virtually. There’s academic counselling to ask questions about your courses and programs, and also academic support to help with your coursework and studying as needed.
For instance, I was able to receive help for Economics from the economics department, and there were also students available to edit your essays through academic support. The TA’s of many courses also host review sessions before exams and tests, which was extremely helpful!
Overall, I found that there was lots of support from your courses, and from the university itself, and it’s nice to know that there are resources to help you out, as the first year can be overwhelming at times.
Although I didn’t have a typical first year experience, and I'm extremely thankful for the one I had, I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. Throughout the year, I got to learn more about myself, explore new passions and meet some wonderful people.
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