The Mentorship Spot
What’s it Like in Queen’s Commerce?
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Annie Wang is currently a Commerce student at Queen’s University. She is completing her second year and as an involved member within the Queen’s community, she offers insight on the prestigious program and what her university experience has been like.
1. What is it like studying at Queen’s University? What is the Queen’s Commerce program like?
Queen’s University is one of the smallest universities in Ontario, allowing for a tighter-knit community. Everyone usually lives within walking distance to campus, so bumping into your friends happens quite often. We also have a wide range of extracurricular activities to get involved in whether it’s in the Alma Mater Society or in the Commerce Society (ComSoc). Commerce is a very small program with usually around 450–500 students per year. Everyone usually gets to know one another pretty well during the four years which is rare in larger university programs.
2. What are some things you like and dislike about your program?
One of the best things about the program is that everyone is split into sections for their first year courses, so all of your classes will be with the same group of roughly 80 students. Making friends, working in teams, and setting up meeting times becomes much easier. One thing that I dislike about the program is how it can often act as its own independent group, separate from the rest of the university. Close Commerce friends, ComSoc extracurriculars, even the Goodes Building (where most Commerce classes take place), can make you feel like the program is all you need for your next four years. My advice is to branch out and interact with those different from you, which is easy to do if you push yourself just a little bit. Talking with people from different faculties and joining extracurriculars outside of ComSoc are great first steps.
3. What is a misconception about your program or Queen’s?
One misconception is that there is an environment for gossip and competitiveness due to the program’s small size. However, Queen’s Commerce has become less competitive over the years and more collaborative. People often work together on assignments and study together. I can easily say that this program and its coursework would have been much more difficult had I not been able to collaborate with my peers. Most of the Commerce students are looking to enjoy their four years rather than trying their best to beat the competition.
4. What advice would you give to those hoping to get accepted into the program and stand out amongst top students?
This program is looking for people who will fit in the best with the Commerce Culture. They are looking for those who will make the most out of their time and contribute to the community around them. You do not need to be the CEO of your own startup to join the program, just make sure the things that you do choose to be involved in are things you actually care about because that will show through your application. If you wish to stand out in the application process, choose a story no one else can tell. This program is looking for well-rounded characters, not just a high average. A key factor to emphasize is your background research into the program, which is often overlooked but is equally important. Show the reviewer that you are excited for this program and that you know this would be a good fit for you. Remember that it is not just the program choosing you, but it is also you choosing the program.
5. What has life been like living away from home?
I have always been mostly independent, so living in Kingston was not particularly difficult. I saw the experience living in residence as a great opportunity to become closer with the people living on my floor, and I am still living with some of those people now. Homesickness is inevitable, so having a strong support group on campus is important. I’m originally from Toronto, so it’s not a far journey to go home whenever there is a holiday. At Queen’s, most students live in houses on campus in second year with their friends. Finding time to do my chores and learning to cook for myself has been some of my greatest challenges this semester.
6. What would you say to current university applicants who are having a difficult time deciding whether or not to apply to Queen’s?
Just apply! Do not take yourself out of the running by choosing not to compete. Queen’s University is a community of diverse individuals with unique backgrounds. Even if you do not have any experience in business, this program expects no prior knowledge. Ultimately, choose the school that is right for you, not your friends, your parents, or anyone else!
Interviewed by Selina Lam
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