Figuring out where to go after high school can sometimes be a real cause for headache. Here is a rundown of my decision process, which may be helpful to those still deciding.
1) Area of Study
Obviously, somebody interested in Biology would be looking at different schools than somebody studying Music. Around the end of Grade 10, I decided that I was going to go into the field of business. This narrowed the schools I was looking at considerably. In my research, I learned that Queen’s Commerce is one of the top business schools in Canada. My decision was not made yet however, as there were other schools with excellent programs as well (e.g. Waterloo AFM, York’s Schulich, Western Ivey, etc.)
2) Program Perks
Different programs offer different perks. For example, Laurier and Waterloo’s business programs have co-op, which is awesome. Queen’s and Western have more of a general program (their graduates are hired in a large variety of roles), which would allow me to better explore diverse areas of business. Ivey is also special in that it is a two-year program that requires students to study an area of their choice for two years before entering. (I have a friend that really wants to go to Ivey because of this, since she has two subject areas she is strong/interested in and Ivey would allow her to utilize both). In terms of price, Schulich costs much less than other business programs.
Queen’s perks: Third year exchange program (I would love to go to Peking, Tsinghua, or the University of Auckland); small class sizes; excellent recruiting for finance and consulting jobs; has an amazing Commerce Society
3) Location, Location, Location
I knew from the get go that I did not want to leave Canada for undergrad. It would be overly expensive, and I’m just not ready for that step yet (but I do think Switzerland is a lovely country). On the other hand, I wanted to take some “baby steps” to become independent and live outside of Toronto. Living a few hours’ drive away from home for four years seemed like a good fit. This narrowed my choices down further.
By the way, I did not know this when I made my final decision to go to Queen’s, but, apparently according to a new study, Kingston, Ontario is the happiest city in Canada! : )
4) Campus Visits
Stepping on to the Queen’s campus made me 90% sure it was the place.
The last 10% interestingly enough came from interacting with Queen’s students at university fairs, at the actual campus, and in online blogs. Basically, I was wondering if they were nice people and if they genuinely believed they got a lot out of the program. They were and they did, so my decision was made.
Wow, this post was longer than I expected. I got to go now to study for DECA Provincials! Good luck on deciding where to go and remember, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”