A typical Bishop’s graduate
When I took office in September 2014 and first met with a group of alumni, I remember how fascinated I was by their successful career and personalities. Now that I know a lot more about Bishop’s and its culture, I think I have succeeded in unveiling the mystery.
Almost all our students come at Bishop’s alone. When I ask students where they come from and the answer is Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Guelph, Vancouver, I cannot help but ask why they didn’t go to their local universities. We have this chance in Canada that schools of business are excellent, so why choose a remote university? The answer I get is typical: “My friends were all going to …, but I wanted to do something different”. We attract the kind of students who are confident enough to go out of their comfort zone even at a young age and, by the time they graduate, they gain an extraordinary confidence in their own capabilities. They don’t fear to meet new people, live in new places, adapt to new culture and accept new challenges since they have done it before and like it!
Entry students are eager to make friends. Put together a bunch of new students who come alone at Bishop’s and have them participate in activities organized by the student association and the residences, and you rapidly create a community. By the end of the first week, new students have friends and acquaintances of which many will be supportive throughout their studies and more. People get married, find business partners and develop lifelong friendships at Bishop’s. This intimate network and the larger alumni network are very strong and graduates always find someone who is ready to help.
Students are at ease talking to “grown-ups”. I believe that this comes from the fact that more than 85% of our courses are taught by full-time professors who love to teach and interact with students outside of classes. Our students develop social etiquette and confidence through the meaningful interactions that they have with professors, senior administrators, local employers, alumni, employees, etc. These soft skills and the assertiveness that they develop are likely to be extremely helpful in their career.
Students learn by doing. Many of our courses include relevant community-based projects. Thanks to National Bank, we have a Coordinator in Experiential Learning in Business who works with professors to design the exact assignments that will enable students to apply what they learn in the course. This is in addition to business cases, guest speakers, visits, etc. We also have a co-op education program where students experience the workplace. The work placements are credited and count toward the degree.
Now you are able to understand why Bishop’s graduates bleed purple!