Dear readers, I am a commerce student. Not only that, I am the epitome of the commerce student: I study finance, I am defined by my involvement position, and I have enough business cards to last me the rest of my life. For the past two years, I have been happily soaking in lessons from my professors, paying my vastly higher tuition fees, diligently awaiting recruitment and participating in the Commerce Undergraduate Society, an organization I have nothing but the utmost respect for. Recently, however, my perfectly cocooned world –a world where I would mosey into a corner office upon graduation– has been challenged, and I could not have been happier.
The reason for this semi-epiphany? A chance conversation with someone outside my faculty that would catapult me far away from my excel spreadsheets and into a strange and exciting world where words such as “purview”, “albeit” and “centre-left” (gasp!) reigned supreme. What I have learned, and what I have continued to learn has helped me become a more-rounded individual and, oddly-enough, a better business leader.
The importance of inter-faculty relations is something we often take for granted. In our individual pursuits of knowledge, we are segregated and then taught the world by our respected faculties. All too often, that knowledge is limited by our degree. This is extremely prevalent in commerce, where elective choice is small and the focus on community, albeit extremely beneficial, can lead to a lack of relations with those outside the “privileged” few (In addition, true intellectual dialogue, I believe, is lacking in our faculty). The ability to recognize other view points and collaborate with people who are greatly different is vital to a successful career in any field, especially business. In today’s age, one must be able to engage with stakeholders as well as stockholders and learning early in our college lives how to recognize other opinions will help us make well-informed decisions in the future.
No doubt, engaging with people who share starkly different view points is crucial for business development, moreover though, as far as college lives go, getting to know people from other faculties in a more social setting couldn’t hurt either. From conferences to house parties, from wine and cheeses to “more-wine-than-cheeses”, college is just as much about meeting new people as it is about getting that killer job right after. In fact, that killer job might actually be an effect of widening your social network. Of course, you may never truly put “Beer Pong Champion”, “Designated Driver” or “POITS Flip Cup Winner” on your resume (although I challenge all of you to try!), that is not to say that they are not achievements, nor that they do not open the door to meeting people completely different than yourself.
I guess the way I see it, all relations are important (no duh!), and just as it’s completely bogus to limit friends according to race, belief, or orientation, it’s silly to only have friends in one faculty. Perhaps now you’re wondering, carefully editing your résumé while checking you gmail inbox, how on earth can one engage in activities outside of Sauder? Well the solution is simple and while I by no means hold all the answers, there are a few things I would suggest doing if getting to know others is on your long list of “Things to do before I Graduate”:
1. Participate in your Alma Mater (there you’ll meet a ton of dynamic, motivated people)
2. Go to one (at least) party hosted by another faculty (I heard Engineering is a good one to go to)
3. Go to a conference where there are delegates from other faculties (ex. Enterprize or the Model UN)
4. Join the Greek system
5. Join a club outside Sauder (I heard the French club makes crepes)
6. Hang out outside HA (Easier said than done. When it’s raining, all I want to do is sleep in Dlam)
7. Sit on the Knoll (no seriously, do it)
8. Go to ACF Block Party and Welcome Back BBQ
9. Go to the Pit (on Wednesday night preferably, but I didn’t need to tell you that now did I?)
10. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on how to get involved!!!