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Things to do in First Year The BBA Balancing Act Social Media For Students Much More...

Antonietta Petrella President Design Editor

From the Editor-in-Chief...


electing the right post-secondary institution and program to enter is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. That however has been done with, and as first year students at Wilfrid Laurier, you’re in for perhaps what will be one of the most exciting phases of your life. First year university is a chance to finally get away from home, build your own identify, meet new people and make new friends, and get a modest orientation to the subject matter you may encounter in your work life.

Aamir Mirza Executive Vice President Gourav Sathe Editor-in-Chief Lauren Neal VP Human Resources Glorien Abbas VP Marketing Braden Polyak Photography Robb Farago Writer Kira Borys Writer Victoria Craig Writer Robyn Henderson Writer Alexandra Miljak Writer

The views and opinions shared by some writers do not necessarily represent those of Atrium Media Group


This 2010 O-Day issue of the Atrium Magazine is specifically targeted to all incoming students at WLU. Aamir Mirza, Executive Vice President, discusses Editor-in-Chief the importance of innovation and creativity for sustainability in the rate world (Pages 4-5). Dean of the School of Business & Economics, Ginny Dybenko, highlights the opportunities and challenges posed by the rising growth of the Chinese economy (Pages 8-9). Taking part in extracurricular activities, applying for executive volunteer positions, and actively participating in University events will allow you to network with various industry experts. As Kira Borys discusses, networking is the biggest asset that will lead you to get a foot in the door in the corporate work environment (Page 11).

Gourav Sathe

Just a few months back, we had the opportunity to restructure our team by bringing in new members from students across WLU. If you feel you have the talent, know-how and expertise to bring creative ideas to our table, AMG would be happy to give you an opportunity to express your creativity by joining our highly motivated team!

From the President... When I came to Laurier three years ago and joined the Atrium Media Group as a layout assistant, I never imagined that in fourth year I would be taking on the role of President. Yet here I am, a little terrified, but really excited for another great year! Starting your first year of university you have no idea all of the opportunities that are available to you and where your life could possibly go. Laurier may seem like a small school, but the opportunities are endless. So start now, get to know people, get involved, and make the most of your university experiAntonietta Petrella ence! Your time here at Laurier may quite possibly be the best four years President of your life, that is, if you go out and make them what you want them to be. The good times and great opportunities won’t come knocking on your residence room doors. Four years may seem like a long time to do the things you want, but trust me, before you know it you will be in fourth year too and wondering where the time went! The Atrium Media Group has put together a magazine specifically for first year students. It is full of tips, tricks, and other tools to help you along as you start your university career. Read valuable information from former first years in this issue, and look for our future Fall and Winter magazines coming out in November and March. On behalf of the entire Atrium team, I would like to wish you the best of luck in your university career, and hope that you make the most of your time here at Laurier. You might even surprise yourselves and enter fourth year as president of one of the amazing clubs that Laurier has to offer.

Contents 4

Innovation Aamir Mirza

5 Balance-The Key to Being Successful in First Year and the Future Alexandra Miljak 6 How to Speak to Professors Outside of Class Robb Farago 7 Things to do in First Year Lauren Neal 8

China- Your Opportunity...and the Challenges Ginny Dybenko

10 The BBA Balancing Act Victoria Craig 11 The Importance of Sustaining Connections Kira Borys 12 Living Healthy at Laurier- How to Avoid the “Freshman Fifteen� Robyn Henderson 13 Social Media for Students Robb Farago 14 Laurier SOS-Coming to your Rescue Victoria Craig 15 Fighting the Recession- The Google Way Gourav Sathe 3

Innovation A hundred years ago, Henry Ford came up with the innovative idea of using an assembly line to mass produce the Model T car. A hundred years later Ford Motor Company almost went bankrupt as they couldn’t compete with the cost cutting and production innovations implemented by their competitors. The mantra is crystal clear - innovate or perAamir Mirza ish. But what does it mean to innovate Executive Vice President and how is it different from inventing? It’s critical not to confuse these two terms as they are significantly different. An invention is the creation of a new product or process which helps to expand our current knowledge base. On the other hand, innovation refers to the practical application of a new invention into a marketable product or service. Apple didn’t invent the mp3 player but it did create the IPod which was exactly what consumers wanted. The pages of history are littered with several poor inventors but very few poor innovators. Perhaps no example illustrates this better than the events that led to the creation of the first successful home computer. In 1975, researchers at Xerox’s Palo Alto Centre created the Graphical User Interface (GUI) which made computers easier to use. It was a visionary invention and the precursor to the way computer systems look today. Unfortunately, Xerox’s management failed to see the value of this invention and weren’t able to properly commercialize it. A few years later, Xerox allowed engineers from a company named Apple to visit and examine their GUI computers in exchange for a million dollars in stock. In 1984, the Apple Macintosh home computer was released with a GUI heavily inspired by the work of Xerox’s researchers. The computer was a smash hit and established Apple at the top of the computing industry proving that the difference between innovation and invention can be much like the difference between heaven and hell.

For too long, innovation has been viewed as the result of a eureka moment or as something that would only occur in smaller organizations. In the past, innovation in large corporations was slow and growth often came through mergers or acquisitions. However, there has been a clear shift in thinking over the past decade and companies are making drastic changes to remain competitive. There has been a general move towards reducing the amount of bureaucracy in organizations by switching to flatter hierarchical structures. In addition to this, more and more businesses are now dividing up their workforce into smaller teams to tackle problems. Amazon has implemented the “two pizza rule” which requires teams to be small enough to not be able to eat more than two pizzas. Although a little unconventional, such moves have a huge impact on a company’s culture and it also gives them the ability to act small while remaining big.

What does it mean to innovate and how is it different from inventing?

Of course, there is an inherent risk with trying something new. Beer shampoo, garlic cake and edible deodorants are all infamous products that have failed in the marketplace. A 100% success rate just means that a business isn’t taking enough of a risk. However, companies can reduce the risk associated with innovating by implementing proper support systems and reviews to ensure that they are only focusing on the projects with the most return. Some companies have introduced the role Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) to ensure that new projects are properly nurtured and introduced to the market.

Now, innovation isn’t only limited to products; instead companies need to be continually looking to improve customer experiences, production processes and all other aspects of their business. General Electric (GE) was able to save over a billion dollars in the 1990s by implementing the six sigma

For product innovation closer to home, one doesn’t need to go too far down University Avenue to get to the Research in Motion (RIM) offices. Much like the IPod, RIM’s Blackberry wasn’t the first smart phone but it was the first smart phone to get the combination of features, ergonomics and design right. Innovation is a team sport and it’s the cumulative ef-


quality management system which reduced the number of defective units produced. Similarly, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) invested billions to revamp their marketing research labs which have allowed them to better understand consumers. It was this market research which allowed P&G to recognize that consumers wanted products like Febreeze and Swiffer. These products are well on their way to becoming billion dollar brands for P&G and have also been successfully launched in several other countries.

forts of the engineers, marketers, researchers and everyone else involved that leads to success. In an increasingly dynamic world, there is an urgent need for companies to grow organically. Corporations such as GE, P&G, Honeywell and Microsoft among others are all trying to become more innovative in order to remain competitive. Business schools including Laurier have begun to respond to this demand by introducing elements of entrepreneurship and innovation in their business programs. The BDO New Venture competition is a highlight of Laurier’s undergraduate business program and it really challenges first year students to think outside the box. In addition to this, the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship provides opportunities for Laurier students to interact with the entrepreneurs in the local community and seek help with business ideas. Similarly, Laurier’s MBA program offers students the chance to spend two weeks working as a consultant and help solve problems faced by new a venture firm.

Business schools including Laurier have begun to respond to this demand by introducing elements of entrepreneurship and innovation in their business programs.

To succeed in the future, both businesses and individuals will need to be able to see tomorrow today. Teamwork, creativity and proper support systems can all help to mitigate the risks of innovation and allow businesses to grow. The end of the tech bubble left us with several bankrupt dot com companies with creative ideas but no solid business models behind them. There isn’t a shortage of such stories and companies today need to have a clear idea of where they want to play and how they want to win.

Balance The Key to being Successful in First Year and in the Future


ave you ever wanted to travel the world? Or wondered what it would be like to live in another country and have new experiences? Here, at Laurier, that is all possible!

As first year students it is important to know and consider all your options for future years. Laurier offers a study Alexandra Miljak abroad program through Laurier InterWriter national. This program however, is only available to third and fourth year students. Although, First year is the time to look into different types of programs for your future years and consider whether or not you would be interested. One of the most important aspects of being able to go on an exchange is that you must have good academic standing; which means your average needs to be a minimum of 70% in all first and second year courses. This is crucial to note because there have been students at Laurier who fall into bad, lazy party habits; which result in poor grades, being kicked out of their program and even kicked out of Laurier all together! So don’t let this happen to you. No one says you can’t go out, party and enjoy yourself but it can’t be all you do either. With that being said, it is not good if all you do is schoolwork and never go out either. University is not just about academic learning, it’s also about life learning and new experiences. This is where you need to

find balance to create a well rounded university experience. With being a business student it is important that you are well rounded; having balance in your life with help you attain that. As well, being a part of the business world also gives you plenty of opportunities for enriching experiences even before you head off into the real working world. Laurier international’s study abroad program can do that for you. I have recently come back from my exchange in Sweden and it was the best time of my life! I met the most amazing people from all around the world, and each of them shared something new to me about the way they live. Classes are structured and taught differently in Europe than in North America, so that was a challenge and a learning experience in itself. Lastly, traveling around Europe gave me numerous life enriching experiences I never expected to have and most importantly ones I will never forget. Because of my hard work, dedication, and balance throughout first and second year I was able to take part in this life changing experience. The habits you create for yourself in first year will help carry you through all four years at Laurier and even set you up for future endeavours like pursuing Graduate school. So remember when you work hard, you can play hard; as long as you do everything in moderation and keep your life balanced you will be successful throughout your university career and future.


How to Speak to Professors Outside of Class N ew students will no doubt hear throughout their time at university that they should speak to their professors outside of class not just because they are the ones who hand out the grades, but because they may prove to be one of their most valuable assets at university.

Despite the personal and professional benefits of talking to your professor outWriter side of the lecture, many students are still intimidated to visit their professors outside of class time and may feel awkward when they need to approach them to ask for a favour such as an extended deadline or help with an assignment.

Robb Farago

The following points should help provide some guidance to a student on how to approach a professor and talk to them one-on-one. Before you barge in to your professor’s office, check their office hours. Most professors schedule several hours a week to allow students the opportunity to drop in. Refer to your

Always be honest with your professor. Most have been around for awhile and have heard pretty much every excuse in the book.

course syllabus for their office hours. If for some reason their scheduled time does not work for you, then you can approach them after class or via email or phone to request an alternative time. When visiting their office, remember your manners and knock on the door, even if it’s open. You want to make sure you are not interrupting anything they might be engaged in. When addressing your professor, call them by their appropriate title. Some professors will tell you that you can call them by name, but you should wait for permission. Avoid using Mr. and Ms if your professor has a PhD. Get to the point immediately and be clear and concise. Unless you came to just chat with your professor, be mindful that they may have other obligations and may not be able


to sit and read an entire draft of your paper. Come to them with specific questions and avoid over explaining your life situation when you are requesting special consideration. Just be blunt. “I missed that last assignment, can I make it up?” Always be honest with your professor. Most have been around for awhile and have heard pretty much every excuse

You don’t always have to visit a professor just because you need something from them. Believe it or not, most professors actually like talking to students.

in the book. If you give them BS they will think you don’t respect them. You will get a much better response if you just tell the truth. Make sure you are ready to do the work. Asking for special consideration from your professor in their eyes means that you are serious in fulfilling your side of the agreement. If you are looking for an extension on your assignment, you had better do a great job or else you’re wasting everyone’s time and it is doubtful you will receive the same consideration if you need to ask the professor for a favour again. Be ready for rejection. Sometimes a professor has strict course requirements and simply can’t do anything for you while still being fair to the rest of the class. Professors write

their syllabi as rules for the class, and it is understood that all those enrolled will abide by them. A professor may not want to bend the rules for a student. If a professor can’t accommodate your request, be respectful and thank them for their consideration. You can’t always get what you want. Take this as a lesson so you won’t have to approach a professor with the same request in the future. Remember that you can make social calls. You don’t always have to visit a professor just because you need something from them. Believe it or not, most professors actually like talking to students. Unfortunately, because most students are intimidated to speak to them, a professor tends to spend the majority of their office hours waiting for someone to come around. Make a habit of dropping in once and a while just to talk. Engage them in conversation about what field you might be interested in, an opinion on a recent news item, or to discuss an interesting film. Chatting with your professor can give you valuable insight into your field and provide some interesting conversation. Some professors may provide some great secondary source reading. Most professors will usually talk to you about most topics, but they are not therapists, so watch the personal issues. Know how to end the conversation. Some professors have tight schedules and will have no problem wrapping things up, while others consider talking with students a priority and will be happy talking with you for hours. If after your initial reason for visiting is complete you feel you want to continue talking, thank them for listening to your request and

It is better that you shed your fears and get your practice in now.

ask if they are free to continue talking. Your professor will be straightforward and let you know if they are free or need to move on to something else. Before leaving, thank the professor for their time and consideration. Let them know that you valued the extra time they’ve given to you. Take the opportunity to schedule another time to meet. Professors can provide a wealth of knowledge on a subject you are interested in. Except for the odd one, most professors value the time they can spend talking with students one-on-one. By talking with your professor, you will find a better appreciation and interest in the course and may do better as a result. Once you graduate you will most likely be speaking to people on the same level as your professor, and it is better that you shed your fears and get your practice in now.

Things to do in First Year!


ith an overwhelming amount of new information, first year can just slip away from you. At the end you end up uttering the words “I wish I did that last year”. These things below will help you stay on track so you feel accomplished by ending with a fantastic year.

1.Meet your professors- While you might become lost in those large class sizes, it Human Resources shouldn’t deter you from getting to know your professors. Take some time to visit them in their office hours if not to receive help on an assignment, just to introduce yourself. You never know if you will encounter them again in senior years, it’s great to establish a relationship early.

Lauren Neal

2.Get involved- If you want to meet people outside of your residence, consider joining a group or club. Not only will you have new experiences, but you’ll learn different skills while meeting people from different years and majors. 3.Be part of a Group Halloween costume- Get a group of friends to come up with a fun Halloween costume you can do together. It makes for amazing memories and many, many photos. 4.Try a new exercise regime- Tired of the 30 minutes on the treadmill? The Athletic Complex offers a variety of classes that will get your heart pumping and are different than your regular workout. Classes include cycling, intramurals, dance and more. Visit for a complete schedule. 5.Go to Homecoming wearing a ridiculous amount of purple & gold- When in your life will you be able to be present in a sea of purple and gold? Take these games as a time to dress as crazy as you want while supporting your Golden Hawks. 6.Explore the Waterloo area- The Waterloo area offers far more than what people think. Walk around on a lazy Saturday afternoon and visit the local stores, coffee shops or perhaps the local movie theatre. As well, Waterloo holds many different festivals. Visit to for more information. 7. Attend Oktoberfest- Fedoras, sausages and beer, what more could you want. Attending this annual event is a must do! If you’re not 19 yet, you may have to wait a year, but it is definitely worth it! Get your tickets early, because they sell out fast. 8.Call home regularly- Your life can become busy filled with work and social events and it’s often that communicating with family takes a backseat. Try to set up a weekly call time with your family, they’ll miss you more than you know. Also, it allows you to distress by talking to them and hearing familiar voices.


China Your Opportunity... ...and the Challenges


t Laurier SBE, we are actively carving out relationships for you with international universities. When we began, a couple of years ago, I placed China at the top of our list. Why? It’s simply a matter of numbers. There are now approximately 1.6 billion people in China! How big is a billion? A billion is a hard number so let’s get some perspective. A billion seconds ago it was 1959. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive. A billion hours ago was the Stone Age. A billion days ago no one walked on the earth on two feet. A billion is the estimated number of grass blades in a football field. Counting to a billion would take you 16 years!


Photo by Yi Feng Yan

The awakening of the billion and a half people in China to a free economy and western life styles and commerce, means that China is a country on steroids. More millionaires are created per day in China than anywhere else in the world. By recent accounts, there are now 477,000 millionaires in China and that number is growing by 33% each year. No matter Ginny Dybenko how you look at it, China will be a treDean School of Business mendous force in the world during your and Economics working life and it is important that you understand what is going on there. China represents not only a substantial (and cheap) workforce but also a significant (and increasingly wealthy) marketplace. But it is a marketplace not to be entered into lightly. The opportunity that China represents may come with significant costs… or at least challenges. The Chinese government has an overwhelming task ahead just providing for the basic necessities for 1.6 billion people: food, water, housing and education. China of course is still very much a totalitarian state; that is to say that China is under the control of the single Communist party that recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life. Outstandingly successful in exerting this sort of control in the past, the creep of free markets and privately held wealth is starting to create the potential for challenge of this regime. Western culture has already significantly penetrated particularly the larger cities in China – I have never seen so much Dolce and Gabbana. Western style restaurants are all the rage. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a mobile phone (which they use incessantly). The streets are jammed with high end BMW’s, Jags and Aston Martins. And the Internet is quickly undermining the government’s primary method of controlling the thoughts and actions of its citizens – control of communications. Throughout the Cultural Revolution in China, Chinese citizens were told by Chairman Mao that everyone in the world was suffering in the same way that they were. Everyone believed him, as there was virtually no way of knowing any different. The Chinese now see the way the rest of the western world lives and won’t settle for anything less – if not for themselves, then definitely for their children. One of the most controversial approaches to alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems in China is the ‘One Child’ or Family Planning Policy instituted by the Chinese government over 30 years ago. This has now brought some significant additional challenges to bear. Many families favoured a male child that is now resulting in a significant gender imbalance in China. But, more importantly, the future fortune of the entire family (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles) now rests squarely on the shoulders of a single child, male or female. You see huge families in restau-

rants with one child who is doted over (The Little Emperor Syndrome). From toys to clothes, parents shower their child in material goods and give in to every demand; it is not uncommon for the child to be the best-dressed member of their family. On my most recent trip to China, I had a long conversation with a number of older Chinese businessmen who had lived through the Cultural Revolution as well as a number of young Chinese university grads who had just taken on high paying jobs at consulting, banking and accounting firms. There was a marked difference in their values and approach to work. The older set seemed to hold values very similar to North Americans – strong work ethic, honour and accountability. The younger however, as sole future breadwinners in their families, have clearly been taught ‘success at any cost’. They admitted to being prepared to cheat to get ahead if, in their words, “they could be fairly assured that they wouldn’t get caught”. Not surprising, I suppose, if failure is not an option. It left me wondering how that might play out in the business world and tainted pet food came to mind and lead paint on Chinese manufactured toys. Most importantly, I observed that the gulf between “Haves” and “Have Nots” is growing deeper every day. Without clever and careful leadership, this situation could very easily result in full-blown revolution from which it will take years for China to recover. And dealing speedily with insurrection as they did when they stopped the student protests in Tiananmen Square over 20 years ago is no longer an option for the Chinese government.

It is vital that you have an appreciation for the opportunities that China offers.

So what does all this mean to you as a business student here at Laurier? I hope that I have made the point that China will be a huge influence on the world of business that you will face. Off shoring to China, hiring from the bright and motivated Chinese labour pool, global supply chains, opening Chinese markets will all be part of your everyday business life. It is vital that you have an appreciation for the opportunities that China offers but it is even more important that you are keenly aware of the substantial differences and challenges that may come along with it. Make sure you make China part of your education while here at Laurier. Consider China in your case studies, join The Link and travel to China to teach high school students, learn Mandrin, sign up for a trip to China as part of your studies and consider spending a semester in China in your final year. However you do it, make sure that you focus on China. You will truly differentiate yourself in the eyes of a future employer and set yourself up for a lifetime of global experience and success.


A B B e Th T

t c A g n i c n a l a B

he expectations for university students these days are set pretty darn high. You’re expected to keep up your grades, get involved in extra-curriculars, still hit the gym once in a while and make time for a few rounds of flip cup on the weekends. Whether it’s from profs, parents, fellow students, future employers or even yourself, the pressure is on Victoria Craig to become a more well-rounded student. Writer Your first year of university in Laurier’s School of Business and Economics can, at times, be absolute madness. However it will also be one of the best years of your life (trust me, undergrad is near the peak point of your life). So here I am to give you the breakdown on why maintaining that balanced lifestyle really is the key to finding success and creating one heck of a university experience! First off, it’s safe to say that just getting the good grades no longer makes you the top student or an employer’s dream catch. BBA is probably the most competitive program here at Laurier so you’ve got to be ready to bring more than just a head-full of textbook knowledge and a stack of colour coded lecture notes to the table. Whether you’re applying for a campus clubs position in second year or for a job upon graduation you’ll see that your hirers want to know just as much, if not more, about the experiences you’ve had outside of the classroom as inside. This is especially true if you’re at all interested in applying for co-op come end of first year seeing as only 25% of your acceptance into the program is based on grades while 75% is based on extra-curriculars, volunteer work and your performance in the interview. The struggle here is to keep up the top grades while still getting involved in the numerous activities your school has to offer.

Pick extra curriculars you are passionate about.

But in all reality, the solution is quite simple: pick extra curriculars you are passionate about. When you are passionate about something, it comes across, especially in an interview. And at Laurier there is something for everyone. ...whether it be playing soccer intramurals, joining the Debating Society or starting your own club, you’re sure to find your niche. And always remember that less is more. You don’t have to join five different clubs at the beginning of the year. Instead, save the five $25 membership fees for a night out and then pick a few leadership roles in the extra-curriculars you have 10

that passion for! Executive leadership positions give you far more credibility than general a membership, expanding you options for higher leadership roles over the next few years. While I’ve hopefully made it pretty clear that being wellrounded is the key to success in the Laurier business program, it’s also unbelievably important for your well-being. Our neighbours at Waterloo may be able to turn studying into a full-time commitment (believe it or not they do have a 24 hour math help centre) but for the rest of us, making time to relax and partake in extra-curriculars we really enjoy

Being well-rounded is the key to success.

helps more than anything to reduce the stress from studying. Taking the time to even go to the gym or relax and watch a movie with your roommates once in a while can be just what you need to clear your head and keep you sane, especially during finals. The hard part is learning how to balance your time between your studies and your ‘you’ time. Only you can define your limits and first-year is the greatest opportunity you have to test them out. Another great reason to make time for extra-curriculars and trying new things is the chance to meet new people. Of course you will have a whole residence building of brand new friends but joining a common interest club like the ‘Grillfrid Laurier Meat Appreciation Society’ for example, will allow you to connect with fellow meat lovers - something you may not have the opportunity for by just sitting around in your residence! You have about 13,000 other students bustling around campus and any one of them could be the future friend reminiscing about your college days after a few too many champagne flutes at your wedding so get out and make some life-long friends. The underlying message (or perhaps more up front message here) is to learn how to balance all aspects of your life with your studying. While you are at university to get an education, you’re also there to make and maintain new friendships, try new things, develop leadership and interpersonal skills and learn about yourself. You’ll find that with so much to do, your days at university feel shorter, your napping times get longer and the stress piles on. So what is the key? Planning your time. I know, it’s all you hear from parents, professors and older students. But they say it for a reason - it works! Scheduling lets you get your work done while leaving you the time to enjoy the university lifestyle. Go out and invest in a day planner and put it to some good use. These are going to be the best four years of your life so if you’re smart, you won’t waste a second!

The Importance of Sustaining Connections T Kira Borys Writer

he importance of making connections through people and sustaining them is more valuable for your future than you might think. Of course the thought of communicating to someone you don’t know takes a lot of courage but it is a valuable skill to have and in my opinion will help you in the long run as you start the search for your dream job.

I’m in my fourth year at Laurier, majoring in Communication Studies- an interdisciplinary course that combines business, economics, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and many other subjects all into one category. This summer I was speaking to my uncle Mike who is the Senior VP for the Newalta Corporation in Calgary. By having a casual conversation with him about what I’ve done so far in school, he led me to a contact, Nuria, who is the VP for Corporate Affairs and Communication at Famous Players- which is exactly the field I’m interested in pursuing as a career. The point I’m trying to make is that its important to reach out and network with people. Today, the person-to-person connections ultimately drive your job prospects, as opposed to filling out job applications. It could be as simple as taking someone out for coffee to discuss their professional lives. A great start is to ask

Instead of going out and looking through piles of resumes, employers are looking for a word of mouth hiring process since it’s easier and inexpensive.

piles of resumes, employers are looking for a word of mouth hiring process since it’s easier and inexpensive. The world of business today works on social networking and word of mouth networking. Now I know that you’re thinking, you’re just in first year, taking a bunch of courses to figure out your interests and haven’t even started thinking about what you are going to do after university and how you are going to get there. However, I can’t stress enough the importance of setting up

Thinking ahead never led anyone in the wrong direction.

a list of contacts. Coming from a fourth year student, first year and the rest of your upcoming years at Laurier will fly by with the snap of your fingers, and thinking ahead never led anyone in the wrong direction- if anything you’ll be one step ahead from even graduates who pine away looking for jobs. So take my advice, just ask your family members and close friends if they know anyone who would be interested in just sitting down and having a conversation where you can get to know each other one on one and develop a partnership through there. The other side to networking however is knowing how to manage your contacts. Your relationship does not end after you both walk out of Starbucks. Keeping in touch with your contacts, sending periodic emails to your past employers, and maintaining a line of communication is important to forging a lasting relationship. The key is to think long-term, and use networking as a tool to driving your career.

people how they ended up working in their positions and how their careers progressed from there. People love talking about themselves and that is a key thing to remember. It is like a casual interview, where you are the reporter but in this case you will benefit by receiving a lifetime partnership with them. When I met up with Nuria for coffee, she had mentioned that various companies contact her looking for junior publicists as interns. Instead of going out and looking through 11

Living Healthy at Laurier -How to Avoid the “Freshman Fifteen”


elcome First Years! Your university days are finally here- get ready for the late night study sessions, the new friendships and all of the lasting memories that will be created and shared in this next chapter of your life. With all of this, however, come many temptations and Robyn Henderson the freedom to finally be able to do and eat what you want, whenever you feel Writer like it. Large portions in the dining hall, dinners of cheeseburgers and curly fries and indulging in sugary snacks to fuel late nights spent cramming can quickly turn into bad lasting habits that may contribute to rapid weight gain and an unhealthy future. Living healthy is not just about weight loss, it’s about staying active and providing your body with the nutritious food it needs. Research indicates that regular physical activity can reduce an individuals risk for chronic disease such as obesity or diabetes and improve the overall quality of life. Most importantly, and more relevant to a university or college student –daily physical activity and eating healthy provides us with more energy, an over all better mood, lower stress levels, lasting concentration during class and a better memory which helps when writing exams and tests.

Choosing healthy options now will benefit you in the long run.

So how does one live healthy at Laurier? Although every university has the classic tempting food options such as cheesy pizza, salty french fries and sweet treats, choosing healthy options now will benefit you in the long run. Fast, convenient meals are ideal for students, which is why a slice of pizza on the way to the library seems so ideal. However, these unhealthy options can quickly catch up with you. Here are some healthy eating options around campus: -Opt for a veggie slice of pizza with minimal cheese and whole wheat crust -Make a stop at Union market and grab a sandwich with whole wheat bread, light mayo, and lots of veggies -The terrace offers food such as subs, pitas and homemade sandwiches or wraps- that in moderation and proper portion sizes or sauce choices can provide your body with the 12

vegetables, wheat and dairy it needs, avoiding bad calories that may turn into fat -The dining hall also has healthy eating options such as a salad bar where you can choose healthy toppings such as beets, cucumbers and light salad dressings. -The dining hall also offers real fruit smoothies that can serve as a healthy snack in between classes rather than a sugar filled treat -Try the pasta station which provides your body with carbohydrates for lasting energy- but remember moderation is essential and although going back for seconds seems convenient or appealing one serving is more than enough. One of the many benefits of starting university means that you are finally in charge of your life; this however brings on many new responsibilities. Some things to remember: -Set a routine—try going to bed and waking up around the same time every day, staying up late to study means eating more and sleep is a great way to manage stress, which also prompts weight gain. Also, eat at regular times and avoid skipping meals. -Avoid binge drinking—Not only does excess amounts of alcohol affect memory loss and your long term health it is high in calories and can cause weight gain. -Get enough exercise—The Laurier athletic complex offers several organized intramural sports such as indoor/outdoor soccer, ultimate frisbee and group fitness classes such as aerobics, cycle fit and yoga. If you prefer working out alone, there are several treadmills, ellipticals and free weights. Working in an hour of exercise a day will also improve your overall health and energy levels. If the gym or organized sports aren’t for you try walking to campus instead of taking the bus, take the stairs instead of the elevator and when taking a break in between classes or studying take a quick walk through campus. Making right eating choices from the start will prevent gaining weight , and including exercise into your daily routine will increase your happiness level and attention span during class and study time. Although university means finally being in control of your own life, it is easy to lose control of your health and diet. Make healthy living, exercise, and a balance diet a personal goal for you in your first year. Living healthy at Laurier is quite possible, and starting now will pave your way to a healthy life in the future!

Social Media For Students


ocial Media has taken the internet by storm. New social media websites and applications are being developed every day while the originators grown to massive user numbers. The Social media phenomenon is becoming less of a fad and more of a way of life. Students as well as many groups and associations on campus have adopted Robb Farago social media as their primary commuWriter nication tool for events and information bridging the gap between online and real life. As a new university student, it can be difficult knowing what social media tools you should be adopting to become more connected with what is happening on campus.

ing with and can be updated of news items and potential job opportunities. LinkedIn currently boasts over 70 million users world-wide. Some of your connections you make today may develop into important business contacts in the future.

The following should provide you with a basic list of what social media tools you should start with to ensure you stay in the loop with your fellow students and campus groups.

Blogs. Many people who are internet savvy have experimented with a blog at one time or another. Typically, blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject while others can function as a daily journal. A blog combines words, images, links, and other media related to its subject matter. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is also an important part of many blogs. People can subscribe to blogs on pretty much any subject and receive updates when new posts are made.

Twitter. Want to share information without having to share all sorts of other personal information? Twitter is a microblogging site that enables its users to send and read other user messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page. By following specific users, you can receive updates about your friend’s activities, up-to the minute news items, notification of events happening on campus, and interesting links and photos. With over 100 million users world-wide, Twitter has quickly become a necessary social media tool. http://

Many groups on campus use Facebook as their primary communication.

LinkedIn. Sometimes referred to as the “Professional Facebook” by its users, LinkedIn is a great way to start networking for your career even while attending university. LinkedIn allows you to create a profile listing all your past and present work experience, as well as your education and any associations you may belong to. Users maintain a list of contact details of people and companies they know and trust in business. LinkedIn allows students to research companies and employers with which they may be interested in work-

Facebook. Anyone who hasn’t heard of Facebook has most likely been off the planet for some time. With over 500 million users world-wide, you can be pretty sure that someone you know has a Facebook profile. Keeping an up-to-date profile is necessary in university as all new contacts you make will likely want to add you as a ‘friend’. Many groups on campus use Facebook as their primary communication of activity by utilizing the Events and Groups features. If you don’t already have a Facebook profile, it is highly recommended you sign up soon.

Although there are numerous blogging sites, some of the more popular blogging tools include WordPress, and Blogger. and http://www.blogger. com Using social media to stay connected on campus has become a requirement. The days of paper flyers posted on boards has become obsolete as people spend more and more time online. Becoming aware of what tools are available is important to ensure you keep up to date on everything happening in your new life on campus. Once you have learned how to receive information through social media sources, you may want to venture out and become a content creator, sharing your own thoughts with the world. There are a number of caveats that come with using social media, such as privacy, time management, and online etiquette, but they should not deter you from using social media. Each application, website, or service can help you become more social in this connected world.


Laurier SOS- Coming to Your Rescue F Victoria Craig

or many of you, the term SOS may only draw up memories of that hit Police song or your last chance to get the heck off of a sinking ship at sea. But here at Laurier, instead of saving you from Davy Jones’ Locker, the term SOS can be your one and only saviour from the sea of textbooks and fear you will be drowning in during exams.


SOS: Students Offering Support, is a national not-for-profit organization run by student volunteers designed to help students get through their exams and help to improve the quality of education in developing nations. While it can’t give you the Morse code for an A+, for a donation of $20, SOS does offer unique student-taught Exam-AID group review sessions before midterms and finals with all of the money raised being used to fund sustainable educational projects in developing countries. Last year I was a first year student here at Laurier, like many of you reading this are now. And in all absolute sincerity, a large amount of the credit for my exam success last year is owed to Laurier SOS. So here is a little background into what exactly SOS is, in hope that you will be able to benefit from it as much as I did. Laurier’s own Greg Overholt initiated the first ever ExamAID session here at Laurier back in 2004. Since then, the organization has grown from a small campus organization to a national charitable association with chapters across 17 universities in Canada. What makes SOS at both the national and Laurier level is that by helping university students to raise their grades, this organization raises money to raise

Designed to help students get through their exams.

the roofs of brand new schools for children in developing countries. Instead of simply donating the money to charity, dedicated SOS volunteers make the trip to countries such as Costa Rica and Guatemala to build schools in local villages. This past summer the Laurier SOS chapter alone made two trips to Latin America to build two brand new schools. Thus, the impact of YOUR money from the sessions is being used to create a sustainable learning environment for young minds, both encouraging and allowing them to break the cycle of poverty they would otherwise be facing. 14

To give you a better understanding of the service Laurier SOS offers, here is a more specific breakdown of the Exam-AID review sessions. All sessions are run by student tutors with top grades and a thorough understanding of the course they are teaching. Courses are offered to students from first to third year and range mainly across the business, economics and political science courses, with an outlook to continue expanding into new faculties. The sessions run from between an hour and a half to three hours and are designed to give you an overview of the key points and themes of the course. Located in different lecture halls around campus, all sessions are run within a week to a few days before the exam. This means you are getting a strong refresher and simplification of course content when you have actually started studying and have questions right before the exam! And right after the session, you will have access to a take-home study guide with the review slides used by your tutors. With approximately eight new courses being introduced this year, it’s safe to say that the 4,179 Golden Hawks tutored this previous academic year is a number that is sure to increase! So chances are that you’re thinking, as amazing as all of this sounds (since it is pretty amazing) how is it really going to help you? Well it’s the fact that other students who have been on your position, are working off of their own experience and knowledge to help to really prepare you for your exams. Exam-AID sessions provide you with a clearcut overview of what you need to focus on in the course and allow you to see the bigger picture of what is expected of you on your exam. Laurier SOS is there for you when you need it, with the information you need, all while paving the way to making education a right instead of the privilege that we know it as in North America. So keep Laurier SOS in mind when those first few midterms roll around - next to spinach dip and a beer at Wilfs, an Exam-Aid session will by far give you the best bang for your twenty bucks you can get at WLU. Check out to find out more.

Fighting the Recession -The Google Way


t’s probably one of the most popular services available today, and the sheer magnitude of its impact has made it difficult for giants like Microsoft to compete with their corporate mantra of continuous improvement and innovation. No, we’re not talking about Apple here, but Google, a company that has come a long way since starting out Gourav Sathe as a research project founded by Ph-D Editor-in-Chief students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Standford University in California. As Keith H. Hammonds notes, “at a time when most businesses are resigned to the pursuit of sameness and safety, Google proposes an almost joyous antidote to mediocrity, a model for smart innovation in challenging times”. How has Google been able to survive amidst the economic recession and continue to thwart the rising competitive pressure? To start with, a lot of the credit can be apportioned to Google’s current CEO Eric E. Schmidt who has evolved Google into a company worth a whopping $36 billion as of 2009. Schmidt has been instrumental in creating

We’ve grown up using Google, and its instilled into our system to an extent that we tend to use it as a verb in conversation.

a corporate environment conducive to employee empowerment and growth, a departure from the bureaucratic environment that competitors are still structured around. Secondly, what has contributed heavily to Google’s sustained growth has been their ability to stick to the basics, and by that, I mean focusing on the consumer experience. Google’s search engine interface is simple, and easy to use and understand. Their innovation lies in the fact that their products perform complex functions and provide complex services in a manner that is accessible and useful to the average consumer. Finally, Google’s success can also be apportioned to their ability to build a highly recognizable brand image in the marketplace.

it’s a one-stop shop that offers everything. Largely however, its due to the fact that we’ve grown up using Google, and its instilled into our system to an extent that we tend to use it as a verb in conversations (When was the last you googled something?) As first year students, Wilfrid Laurier’s BBA program will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the core functional areas that contribute to corporate success. Your new venture competition is a perfect way to get things start-

Anyone, anywhere can achieve anything with the right idea and direction.

ed, as it will test your intuitive ability to create a product or service from scratch, challenge your ability to effectively explore the idea, market it to a viable consumer market, and assess its potential growth and sustainability. In second and third year, your case heavy curriculum will provide an opportunity to find solutions to day-to-day problems faced by some of the biggest names in the market. “The Google Story” is an illustration that anyone, anywhere can achieve anything with the right idea and direction! It all starts out with a small idea that is packaged in the right way for the right audience. The effects of globalization and technology continue to make our world a smaller place to live. A world of opportunity exists today in the corporate world to find better and smarter solutions to consumer needs. Laurier’s BBA program will provide you with the necessary impetus to get things rolling. It’s all about being flexible, open-minded, and as Google’s informal corporate motto states, “Don’t be Evil”!

Google’s most popular product today is its search engine, a concept that has been replicated and offered by competitors such as Yahoo, MSN, Alta-Vista,, etc. Despite this, most of us instinctively use Google because it’s simple, and 15

Wilfrid Laurier September 2010

ODay 2010  

Atrium's ODay 2010 issue for first years at Laurier!