It was a warm summer day in May when the die for our futures were cast. It was official. Starting fall, we will be full-time graduate students at SFU Beedie School of Business. Over the next two months we would prepare for one of the most thrillingly life-changing and challenging phases of our lives. Lo and behold, our school was as invested in our futures as we were!
Starting in June, we received helpful resources, including school information, documents, and graduate student community guidelines to help fuse our DNA to the schools early on. The admissions team wholeheartedly ingrained us with a sense of belonging and certainty which made us enthuse more about starting school – in person!
September came around, albeit not fast enough, and with it came nerve-racking excitement to attend orientation on campus. Orientation Day looked like any other but held the promise of an exhilarating 16 months to follow. There we were, standing in front of 500 Granville Street, looking up at the exquisitely collegiate façade of the building, when we met a few fellow graduate students. We ventured in and began our first tête-à-tête with the school and the people who would shape our experience.
We were handed gorgeous metallic name tags to help identify ourselves. We also engaged in an exciting round of the ‘SFU bingo’ scavenger hunt to find offices and rooms throughout the campus. This made it easier for us, the ‘newbies’ that we were, to maneuver around the campus whilst meeting various people along the way.
The few hours we spent on campus were a refreshing change from the virtual life we had been living for the previous two years. Aside from the obvious, there was a lot more that we took away from orientation and the days that lead up to it.
1.Orientation and classes start far before their “start date.”
Be prepared to have readings, orientation courses, and assignments due before the start of classes. This took many of us by surprise, so be sure to be organized and on top of your work right off the bat. It will help you to hit the ground running!
2.Be confident and prepared to put yourself out there.
With a self-led orientation and campus tour it is imperative that you introduce yourself to every soul you meet. Everyone is just as new and nervous as you are.
3.Take the time to explore the entire building.
From classrooms, faculty offices, vault study rooms, washrooms, and water fountains, this is the most time you will have to familiarize yourself with the campus. You will feel much more comfortable in classes, booking vault study rooms, and knowing where the closest washroom or water fountain is.
4. Everyone here genuinely wants to see you succeed.
We often envision business school as a competitive and cut-throat place, but what surprised us most was how supportive everyone was. Get to know and trust this community of people because they want to help, and they truly do have your best interests at heart.
5. Familiarize yourself with the extracurricular opportunities Beedie has to offer.
These opportunities come up quickly and we recommend trying everything before you settle into the extracurriculars you will stick with. You do not know what is going to be most valuable to you until you try them all out.
Finally, take a deep breath, prepare, and dive headfirst into what is bound to be an exciting journey for learning, building relationships, and rediscovering yourself.
About the Author
Sommer Hines, FT MBA
Sommer is a former ballet dancer with professional experience in arts, entertainment, and non-profits. She has three years of experience working in the film and television production industry in Vancouver. With a passion for diversity and female empowerment, Sommer is the President of SFU’s Graduate Women’s Council. Sommer also runs an online female empowerment community with a focus on positive body image and mental health support for dancers. Outside of school she can be found hiking, nursing her dying houseplants back to life, or taking a barre class. Feel free to reach out to Sommer on LinkedIn to learn more.
Arushi Parmar, FT MBA
Arushi is a full time MBA student at SFU Beedie School of Business. She serves as Vice President, Events and Engagements for the Graduate Women’s Council. She is proud to represent her school not only at MBA games but also on social media platforms to help potential and incoming candidates. Arushi is a keen hiker, intermediate kickboxer, an avid reader and writer, a travel enthusiast, a coffee aficionado, and a self-proclaimed lifelong learner.