WHICH DEGREE WILL YOU CHOOSE? 16.
WINTER 2012 EDITION
THIS EDITION INCLUDES: 2. PBSN 2012 Events 4. Words from the President 8. Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd 10. Summer Job Hunt 14. Caffeine: Drink Responsibly 20. Inside the CGA & CMA Designations 26. In it to win it: Case Competition Review
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WORDS FROM THE P A
s President, leading the Pre-Business Students’ Network has its privileges. Of course, it is also quite a bit of work and responsibility, but it all seems worth it when I consider the terrific experiences I have been fortunate to enjoy so far. One of the privileges I have enjoyed is working with a dedicated executive team to accomplish our club mission. Over the past five months together we have been able to pull off a variety of events that have hopefully added to your UWO student experience. Among other things, we successfully hosted a handful of summer dinners across Canada, executed a 2-day case competition, and organized a festive and joyous gingerbread building contest right before the exam grind began. Considering the fact that nearly all of September was spent establishing our identity on the Western campus, I would say we’re on the right track as a club, with a lot of potential for improvement. It goes without saying that none of this would have been possible without our enthusiastic club and committee members. For that, I’d like to thank you all. I hope that you’ve already learnt something valuable and met someone new through the PBSN - I know I have. At a summer dinner in Toronto I had a PBSN member teach me how to properly slice bread. Even though I wasn’t participating at the case competition, I learned some of the intricacies of public speaking simply as a spectator.Lastly, at the gingerbread festival, I learned that I’m not very good at building gingerbread houses (thankfully – it was a team activity).
As you have most likely experienced first-hand by now, university is in most ways very different from high school. The challenging adjustment may have kept some of you preoccupied with academics and potentially held back from trying new things outside of class, and that’s totally understandable. The great part is that there is always going to be ways to get involved, and there is a whole semester ahead of you before the summer begins. I promise you won’t regret participating in some of the great things we’ve got planned for 2012 – including PBSN intramurals, a tutorial of a program we should all be familiar with, and hopefully some networking sessions and bar nights that are in the works as well! Thank you to the PBSN executive team and their committee members, our sponsors at CGA and CMA, staff at UWO (especially at Ivey) that have helped us grow, and all the PBSN mentors and members that I have had the opportunity to meet and work with. Without the dedication of everyone mentioned we would not be able to run successful events and provide a means for pre-business students to get together. That being said, our goal as an organization is to offer resources and networking opportunities for you, and if you have any suggestions on how we can make the next term even better, do not hesitate to send us an email. I look forward to working together to create an exciting and memorable second half. Cheers, Mohsin Khandwala PBSN President
GINGERBREAD HOUSE CONTEST
he future freaks me out, and I’m not quoting Motion City Soundtrack. I would call myself somewhat of a daredevil; I’m not afraid of much, and an adrenaline junkie. I thrive on exhilaration and the high I get when endorphins are released in my body during exciting events. At 19 years old, I have already jumped out of a plane, crawled through a muddy dark cave, walked on a wire only supported by climbing gear at extreme heights, and zip lined through a Mexican forest. The only fear I have is the future, the unknown. What does life have in store for me? What is the point of my degree and will I get into the Richard Ivey School of Business for September 2013? I know I’m not alone with this, as it is a common fear amongst all students worldwide, especially those who are in first year university. We have just come from a comfortable environment where we were spoon-fed by our parents and teachers, to living and fending on our own; academically and biologically. Okay, I may have exaggerated the truth to some degree since we do have services that Western provides to assist with our transition, but
on some level, first year students are given freedom, and with it comes responsibility. We are responsible for knowing what material is essential and will make an appearance on the dreaded exams. No longer are we indulged by our teachers in preparation. We are left to read through a 700-page textbook, lecture slides and notes taken in class from the Prof’s speech. Don’t even get me started on the myth that multiple choice is easy. I have had more first year experience than any others I know due to the fact that I am a second year first year. I left McGill University last year before first semester midterms, after realizing it wasn’t the school for me, reapplied to UWO to get my AEO status back, and here I am. My decision to transfer had a lot to do with the first two parts of the tri-fold university student worry: post university job stresses and the importance of networking. Unlike Ivey, McGill’s commerce program does not network and help guide you in the process of the “job search”, which all those who have taken economics know is an opportunity cost. The more time you spend searching for a job once you graduate, the more potential income is forgone, thus the opportunity cost of job searching is income forgone. To further my point, my brother just graduated from Queens University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, but because his marks are not high enough to grant him
into a MBA program, he has to go back to school in January to upgrade his academics. Additionally, his plan was to work a few years before going to graduate school, but when he was networked with interviews from Citi Bank and Royal Bank of Canada, he did not receive any job offers, though he had extensive work experience in the commodities department at George Weston Limited. Plainly put, the words that are present on the piece of paper presented to you on convocation are of high interest to employers and the more prestigious your degree, the more you increase your probability of having a competitive advantage in todayâ€™s market. Companies want to minimize their costs in the struggling economy and to do so they hire people who can complete the job adequately and in a timely manner. To them, one of the best reflections of these abilities is academics. By choosing an individual with a more prestigious education, training costs will be reduced, and the manager can be ensured that the job will be done to his or her liking. While networking is important, working hard and earning good grades is an equally essential factor in meeting your post-university goals. If you want to go into business the path is a set of steps. While at UWO, work hard to maintain an 80 percent competitive average if you are interested in applying to the HBA Program, or continuing academic success
Ensure to get involved in extracurricular activities and charitable events, as this not only betters our society but sparks interest in employers as they skim through your resume. Apply for internships or summer jobs â€“ the more hands-on experience you attain the better. It also may be useful to consider applying for a graduate degree program such as a CFA designation if you attain a job post graduation, or a CMA or CGA designation. Any of the above will help increase your competitive advantage in the employment market, but be mindful that acquiring such an advantage comes at an opportunity cost. If pursuing business is what you really want, ask yourself how much you are willing to forego to achieve an advantage over your competitors.
Jackie Lacchin on Post University Job Stresses, the Importance of Networking, and What to do With Your Degree: The Trifold Worry of Every University Student
our months later and the semester is over. Another semester has begun and another four months will pass by all too soon, followed by the summer. Most of us look forward to the summer; it is a time to relax with your friends and family, and enjoy the little time you have off from missing lectures and cramming for exams. However there is another reality of the summer â€“ summer jobs. Everyone wants a summer job or internship thatâ€™s relevant to their interest in business, but most are either skeptical of their chances, or too confident of their attempts. If you are in first year you probably think you cannot get a relevant job, and if you are in second year, you probably think it is sufficient to make a standard resume and apply to every online posting you see. The reality is that it is not that easy. Employers find it risky to hire first and second year students; the more time you spend in school, the greater the chance that you will choose a career path that doesnâ€™t involve them. Why would they invest resources in training you when you might not even continue your employment with them after school? Considering this, third year students are a much safer option. Third year students have had more time to figure out what career they want to pursue, and are less likely to change their mind. So, what can you do? Probably the best and most simple action to take is to gain the trust of potential employers. Talk to them, network, attend conferences, arrange informational interviews, and show them you are worth their time. This may sound difficult, but in reality it is not. In fact, all you need is Google, Linked In and PBSN.
If you haven’t noticed, PBSN has been reaching out to schools across Ontario to find opportunities where our members can interact with industry professionals. Don’t worry – if you didn’t attend any of these events this past semester, we will continue to keep you posted in the future through emails and Facebook. Attending conferences and events are very beneficial, but they are not the only way to network. Other ways involve a bit more work on your part, but offer even better results. It may be beneficial to utilize the services offered on the web, and familiarize yourself with Google and Linked In.
are they receive hundreds of e-mails from students just like you who are looking for employment. Separate yourself from such people and instead ask them about their career, and build a relationship with them. Once you have done this and communicated with them for a while, pose the question as: “Hi ____, Thank you for all the help so far. I have started looking for summer employment, would you happen to know anyone who may be looking for a summer intern?” It is simple, to the point, and not too direct. They may know someone who is looking for student interns, or they may know of an open position within their firm.
First, create a presence online. Make a Linked In account, start tweeting (perhaps blogging) about business-related information, and make your Facebook private. After, start researching industries you are interested in, and find companies within these industries. Finally, work to find employees of those companies through Google and Linked In. If you’re lucky these individuals will have their e-mails somewhere online, though this will most likely not be the case, and you will have to get creative. The easiest way to get in touch with someone is to purchase a Linked In premium account. While easy, this is not always very effective. Other ways include figuring out the e-mail format of the companies you are targeting and simply calling the general phone line. From there you can try using the directory to get to your person of interest.
All in all, the answer to your job hunt worries is meeting new people. The way I think about it is: these individuals are where I want to be, so the natural move is to talk to them and find out how they got there. If I come away with a job between these phone calls, e-mails, coffee meet-ups and conferences, then great; if not, I have built a relationship with people that can offer me valuable advice.
Once you are ready to make contact with these individuals, be professional, courteous and recognize that they are busy, so be brief and get to the point. And ensure that you never directly ask for a job! That’s right; never ask them for a job. Chances
A MESSAGE FROM TALHA ZUHAIR (PBSN CAREERS CO-ORDINATOR)
ave you ever found yourself awake at 3 in the morning, brewing coffee or cracking open a can of Red Bull? Weary-eyed and increasingly unhygienic students have. Research done by Richard Lovett has shown that approximately 90% of adults consume caffeine on a daily basis. The frequency of consumption continues to increase, but is student awareness of the benefits and drawbacks of caffeine improving? Everybodyâ€™s Favourite Drug Unless you avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks, you are technically a drug user. Caffeine is a stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system and your metabolism, and is found in seeds, leaves, and fruits of certain plants. It is most commonly used to increase wakefulness and alertness; however, there are additional side effects. These side effects are not necessarily negative. Rather, we are often unaware of them. They include decreased risk of heart disease, risk of liver disease and increased attention, physical performance, and muscular recovery, though these benefits only take place when caffeine is consumed moderately. Heavy consumption of caffeine, typically more than 500 mg per day, can lead to caffeinism â€“ a condition of caffeine dependency. Withdrawal from caffeine intake may lead to headaches, irritability, inability to concentrate, drowsiness, insomnia, and pain in the stomach, upper body, and joints.
How do you like your caffeine? It’s no wonder that Tim Hortons and Starbucks are so popular and widespread across Canada. 63% of Canadians over the age of 18 consume coffee on a daily basis and Canadian coffee drinkers overall outweigh the mere 49% of Americans who drink coffee. In a 2009 Toronto Star article, Tim Hortons credited 60% of sales to morning purchases and more than 50% of these sales to coffee. Other caffeinated products from Tim Hortons include Iced Cappuccinos, French Vanillas, and the new Lattes which they began offering this past November. With revenues of US$10.7 billion last year, Starbucks is clearly the world’s top coffee retailer. Starbucks aims to serve premium coffee and offers a variety of lattes, espressos, as well as a variety of coffee beans. Starbucks also introduced fair trade products in 2000. Their menu presents a diverse range of drinks including chai lattes, mocha frappuccinos, and even cider. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food of Canada, the Canadian soft drink market was worth $7.077 billion in 2006. This market is broken down in to seven subcategories, one of which is labeled functional beverages. Energy drinks make up 65% of this category and have the potential to become one extremely profitable sector, despite being in its infancy. Over 200 companies in North America supply students with their favourite brands, including the most popular ones around our own campus: Red Bull and Monster energy drinks. These two brands compete amongst more than 300 individual brands. Evidently there is a very large market for these energy-boosting beverages, which means that the companies show no sign of slowing down. Whether we like it or not, caffeine loaded drinks are going to be increasingly available, and it is up to us to moderate how much we consume.
JOANNA FU on Caffeine: Drink Responsibly
o you decided to pursue business in your studies at university. Excellent choice! Business degrees are among the most sought of the wide range of options available to a university student. The Richard Ivey School of Business here at Western is one of the most prestigious business schools in Canada. But luckily for our diverse student body, there are many business degrees at Western that are offered so as to cater to people with many different interests and aspirations. Different departments will compete to show you why their degree is the best. This can be stressful for a future student because itâ€™s hard to sort through all the information. To help you, the hopeful pre-business student out, I am going to take you on a quick tour of the variety of business degrees offered at Western. The Ivey HBA program is one of the most popular options for a business degree at Western. The program is designed so that in years one and two, students are able to study in any faculty and program and in years three and four students study business at Ivey. Business is an interactive and collaborative field, so Ivey teaches using the case method to prepare for real world situations. This method of teaching is highly effective and is becoming increasingly adopted in business schools across the world. Ivey differentiates from other business schools in that it teaches Ivey Leadership Essentials. The students, program structure, classroom
environment, learning methods and career management services are all important Wfactors that lead to the development of strong leadership traits. Ivey is one of the most successful schools at producing leaders, as shown by Iveyâ€™s impressive list of alumni. The Ivey HBA is very popular. But what else does Ivey offer? Ivey recognizes the need to distinguish yourself from the pack of new university graduates and in so doing offers dual degrees in many fields of study at Western. After HBA1, students are eligible to apply for the very competitive dual degree program. Nearly every department and faculty is represented among the different dual degrees offered. For the graduate student, Ivey also offers an MBA program and PhD program. An MBA is the most common graduate business degree and is often taken by those who have come from fields of study other than business. Graduate study in business provides a thorough overview of real-world skills that are applicable in nearly any field. As an aspiring doctor I know that a degree in business would set me apart from others because doctors run their own practices. The knowledge and experience an MBA or PhD at Ivey provides are valuable distinctions in todayâ€™s troubling economy. HBA grads also have the option of doing an accelerated MBA due to the strong foundation of business knowledge an HBA provides.
Many students come to Western set on pursuing business exclusively. Within the faculty of social science, degrees in Business Management and Organizational Studies (BMOS) are offered. This is one of the most popular programs among hopeful Ivey students in first or second year. However, some may find that the BMOS program suits their needs and/or goals better than a business degree from Ivey. A BMOS degree is a great path to study business management for those who benefit more from a traditionally instructed program as opposed to the case method at the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Actuaries are important people in the business world because they assess financial risk involved in the insurance and finance industries. The actuarial science program here at Western provides a scientific analysis of these principles. Becoming an actuary is very difficult, but the rewards are great. An analysis of jobs in the United States in 2010 listed being an actuary as the #1 job in the country. In todayâ€™s uncertain times, actuaries are poised to be one of the most secure jobs in the future. This field of study is very heavily focused on math and is therefore one of the most difficult in business.
If you wish to study the underlying principles of business, economics is the field of study for you. Economics studies the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. As an undergraduate study, economics provides a fantastic understanding of how business is applied in everyday life and on a global scale. Microeconomics studies the forces underlying how individual households or firms allocate their limited resources, and macroeconomics studies the forces underlying allocation of limited resources in the entire economy: regional, national and global. Many who study economics gain a higher understanding of how money is made and have the knowledge to understand how it all works.
In the end, your education is a function of what you put into it. There are innumerable paths to take in oneâ€™s education, so it is important to understand all the options available. By taking the time to explore these options, you can be sure that you will graduate from Western with the best degree for you.
JAMES WELSMAN: On Which Degree Will You Choose?
GENERAL COMMITTEE MEETING
We spoke to Certified Management Accountantâ€™s (CMA) Deborah Clarke and Ken Keegans to get the inside scoop on how to obtain a CMA designation, and the benefits of doing so. Deborah Clarke is the Regional Director of Marketing for CMA in South-western Ontario, and Ken Keegans is a Western HBA graduate with a CMA designation, who now lives in St. Louis Missouri. Our Certified General Accountant (CGA) contact was Mary Hajpel, who currently acts as Controller at Richard Ivey School of Business. Mary helped give us insight on the perks of a CGA designation. Mary received her CGA designation in 1996, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph.
RESUME & COVER LETTER WORKSHOP
In It To Win It: An Insider V
s an eager business student walking through the halls of Somerville house, I was instantly intrigued by the idea of competing in a Case Competition. So naturally, I signed up for what I can only describe as one of the highlights of my first year here at Western! The case that each team received was about the marketing of Pillsbury Cookies but, desserts aside, the competition was anything but a piece of cake! Prior to the actual event, each team spent hours crunching numbers and analyzing data to come to a decision on the best future for Pillsbury. Once a decision was reached, groups had to create presentations analyzing their decision. This presentation would get them one step closer to the coveted grand prize of a dinner with a CGA representative and $500. Once the work had been completed, each team gathered in Somerville house for judging by Ivey HBA Students. The event featured an enormous sub as well as other refreshments for both competitors and judges to enjoy while networking and presenting their work.
The presentation process was a nerve wracking, yet thrilling experience. The idea that countless hours of hard work would be scrutinized by upper year students definitely added to my teamâ€™s anxiety upon receiving our results. As my team (team 5) and I sat there, wondering whether or not we had made it to the finals, I could not help but think that even if we didnâ€™t win a cent, I still had a great day and made some new friends. To my surprise, my team had advanced to the finals along with three other stellar groups. The pressure was on, given that we were so close to victory. On Sunday afternoon the four finalist teams, all dressed to impress, assembled into a room where we all had the opportunity to present in front of a panel of esteemed judges from CGA Ontario, as well as the president of the Ivey HBA Association, Eric Mercer. Prior to the presentations, each competing team as well as other spectators had the privilege of listening to Dan Allison, a representative from CGA, speak about the benefits of a CGA Designation. His speech
View on Case Competitions
really opened my eyes to opportunities within the business world. My team had the privilege of presenting first, followed by a round of tough questions that really tested our wealth of knowledge on the case. As the rest of the teams presented, all prepared with high quality work, I knew the competition was going to be tight. During the judges’ deliberation, one would think that each competing team would keep to themselves and scowl in silence, but in actuality everyone was really friendly and began talking about everything from schoolwork to their favourite types of cookies. As the judges re-entered the room, silence fell upon the crowd, insert drumroll, and the first prize went to… team number 14. Although my team did not win first prize we did manage to win second place and a prize of $200. But even more importantly, we all made new friends and had the opportunity to gain some new skills. As cliché as it may sound, the CGA Ontario
Case Competition presented by the PBSN provided me with so many opportunities to grow as a business student, learn new things and network. I even managed to score some valuable insight into summer internships and the HBA Course load, as well as a volunteer position with one of the HBA judges. Who would have thought that one spur of the moment idea could have been so beneficial? For all of you pre-business students who are weary of taking the plunge and signing up for future case competitions, I have one piece of advice, just do it! You may not walk away with money or a title, but you will have fun and gain valuable skills that sometimes cannot be taught in a classroom. So the next time you catch yourself walking through Somerville House or the UCC and a PBSN booth catches your eye, take the time to check it out and give a case competition a shot. I promise it will be one of the most fun 48 hours of your life! ROCHELLE MENEZES
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