This time of year is an exciting one for students, parents, faculty and staff. New students will join a community that truly cares for its students: staff members responding warmly to students and doing their best to help them, devoted professors taking time to discuss issues with students, alumni giving back to their university in numerous ways, and administrators wanting to support as best as possible the academic community. BU is an excellent place to live or work but it is foremost an excellent place to study. As students prepare for the upcoming year, I would like to share some advice with you which I hope will help you get the most of your experience at the Williams School of Business and Bishop’s University.
1. Engage in your own intellectual development
Our programs have a lot to offer. More than 70% of our courses are taught by full-time professors and the remainder benefit from the practical input of expert part-time lecturers. By requiring that ten courses be taken outside of the Williams School, we offer you a unique opportunity to explore a variety of perspectives, interests, and ideas. I encourage you to develop a culture of openness to learning and discussing ideas. Your years at BU will determine the working opportunities that will lie ahead or the admission to a Master’s program to pursue your intellectual endeavours.
I would ask that you familiarize yourself with the various rules in the Academic Calendar so that you understand the importance of dedicating yourself to your studies and managing your time properly. Do not hesitate to seek help from your professors, the Departmental Chair (Dr. Robert Palmer), the Business Academic Advisor (Ms. Marlène Canuel) or the counselling office at Student Services if you find yourself struggling academically.
2. Experience your business degree
I am also thrilled to announce our latest addition to the WSB team, who is a familiar face to many returning students. Charlene Marion has taken on the new role of Experiential Learning Coordinator for Business students. This new role means more dynamic learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. This upcoming year, many of you will see more guest speakers, field trips, applied research (projects with real organizations) in the context of your learning environment. Research tells us that students actually learn better when they complement theory with real-life experiences and connections to the outside world. Seize every opportunity to experience your business degree beyond the classroom!
3. Engage in your own social development
BU welcomes students from many countries and is surrounded by the warm community of Lennoxville. I encourage you to openly engage with people from different social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds and to experience a greater diversity of thought. I also encourage you to build good networks while you are here, to help each other and develop sound friendships. Some of you will develop partnerships and start new businesses; others will become long-lasting friends and even marry. Make it count!
BU also has agreements with over 700 universities throughout the world to study abroad for one or two semesters, and I think you should seriously consider this opportunity.
4. Realize that you are from now on a BU ambassador
By becoming a BU student, you represent to the external world what BU is all about. I encourage you to embrace BU’s values which are integrity, mutual respect, collegiality, curiosity, creativity, innovation and a deep engagement in the life of the University, among others. These values are for life and provide a valuable foundation for a career in the business world.
Looking at the upcoming year, I see with satisfaction that all the ingredients for success are there: highly qualified professors and experienced part-time lecturers, high calibre students, opportunity for high level interaction with professors, high quality student services, a caring culture, and a good weather forecast to enjoy the rest of the summer and start school in a great state of mind. I look forward to welcoming you to the Williams School of Business for the start of this new school year.