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Canadian University help

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hello to you Canadian University (or just helpful) folk,

I'm in Vancouver. A girl from my school - extremely intelligent with a likely (possibly over) 93-96% average, who is President of Student Council, Valedictorian, who made it into a very selective junior bankers program, along with having a whole bunch of other extracurriculars - had just been REJECTED by University of British Columbia (Commerce).

Of course, my friends at SF, I am not that great of a person. But, I have aspirations to get into even more lucrative and slective programs - Queen's Business, Richard Ivey School of Business (Western), etc.

Now, very simply, how am I supposed to get into something like that if universities are THIS selective these days? I'm smart, but not that smart; I try to have extracurriculars, but they are mostly irrelevant.

If anyone can help prevent my brain from exploding, please do!

Thanks!
post #2 of 44
Canadian universities are far from selective. I find it very hard to believe she was rejected from UBC with a 90%+ average, considering that UBC is less selective than the other universities you mentioned, and you can get into all of those with 75-80% averages (Western, really? WESTERN? Okay, Ivey is hard to get into but that's only after a couple years...the rest of the school is a fucking joke).
post #3 of 44
I know little about applying for commerce at UBC but i know to apply to other universities like victoria and uoa, you must have certain prerequisites, i.e 100 lvl econ, math, eng, stats, as well as a certain gpa, victoria even suggested that i get some volunteer exp. While UoA required that you take certain courses and a gpa of 3.2 or something like that. I have never heard of anyone getting into commerce straight out of highschool.
post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftover_salmon View Post
Canadian universities are far from selective. I find it very hard to believe she was rejected from UBC with a 90%+ average, considering that UBC is less selective than the other universities you mentioned, and you can get into all of those with 75-80% averages (Western, really? WESTERN? Okay, Ivey is hard to get into but that's only after a couple years...the rest of the school is a fucking joke).

+1 - THat should be enough to get her into UBC. If she's as smart as you say - tell her to take the SAT and get into a US school. I went to UBC Commerce, and it although its a decent program, its geared more towards local employers. The finance program lands a few BB bank jobs (I know 4 or 5 ppl who landed I-bank jobs at GS, ML, etc - thats it! 4 or 5!). UBC business program will have some decent recognition within canada but i'm going to guess it carries zero to none in the US. Even the east coast school - ditch them. Go to the US!
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by micbain View Post
+1 - THat should be enough to get her into UBC. If she's as smart as you say - tell her to take the SAT and get into a US school. I went to UBC Commerce, and it although its a decent program, its geared more towards local employers. The finance program lands a few BB bank jobs (I know 4 or 5 ppl who landed I-bank jobs at GS, ML, etc - thats it! 4 or 5!). UBC business program will have some decent recognition within canada but i'm going to guess it carries zero to none in the US. Even the east coast school - ditch them. Go to the US!

I could understand that if we werent talking about undergrads, but you would really wanna spend shit loads of cash for a little undergrad degree in an american school? Not saying you are wrong, I just really havent heard enough to convince me that the reputation of a school makes a huge difference.
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lute08 View Post
I could understand that if we werent talking about undergrads, but you would really wanna spend shit loads of cash for a little undergrad degree in an american school? Not saying you are wrong, I just really havent heard enough to convince me that the reputation of a school makes a huge difference.
Well b-school is just a market which brings buyers (employers) and sellers (employees) together. UBC does not bring in a lot of international employers (a few bigger names will show up, but not a lot). So it depends on its local economy (which isn't doesn't have a lot of major players outside of mining). If your planning on staying in Vancouver - UBC is fine, but if you want bigger and better, I'm quite certain 99.9% of wall street or madison ave firms have never heard of UBC commerce let alone actually venturing all the way there to look at potential recruits. There are a boat load of excellent undergrad programs (ivy and non ivy) which feed their recruitment needs. If I could do it all over again, I would definately gone to a US b-school.
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lute08 View Post
I could understand that if we werent talking about undergrads, but you would really wanna spend shit loads of cash for a little undergrad degree in an american school? Not saying you are wrong, I just really havent heard enough to convince me that the reputation of a school makes a huge difference.
I'm a Canadian who goes to a very good (and also very expensive) American university. If you can afford it -- and with the generous financial aid doled out by Ivy League schools, most actually can, despite impressions -- I would recommend it. The classes are smaller (think 10-25 for a non-intro course...I laugh at my friends from McGill who think a class of 50 is "small"), the student body is more intelligent and more driven on the whole, the university has much better funding (compare McGill's or UofT's ~$1bn in endowment for 50,000 students to an Ivy League school's endowment of ~$5-30bn for less than half that many students)...you will also make much better connections than you ever would at a Canadian university, because it seems like everyone other person's dad at my school is a Fortune 500 CEO. Oh yeah, and recruiters from just about every investment bank, consulting firm, media agency, etc...come to you. The reputation of the school makes a huge difference for the more elite jobs out of undergrad, and those are only realistically attainable if you go to an Ivy League school (or a comparable one, like MIT, Stanford, Duke, Chicago, etc...). And if you're considering law or business school, undergrad rep also makes a difference. The moral of the story is that if you just want to get hired as an "Account Executive" for some average company, no, you don't need to go to an Ivy League university. But if you want to make $150k out of undergrad, you do. Consider this: UBC/McGill/Western/UofT probably send about 10 students each to American investment banks every year. Wharton alone send about 15 to EACH bank.
post #8 of 44
+1 on taking SATs and trying for American/Euro Ivys.
Wish I did that in High School... I know people that got Yale, Stanford, and Cambridge. And I went to a public school in Markham.

Nonetheless, I'm attending the Ivey School at Western, and it is a superb program for IBanking and Consulting out of undergrad - roughly 40-45% of the class gets these jobs, far higher than Queens or Mcgill even. It is tough as nails to get in though.

Best of luck!
post #9 of 44
With respect: With the exceptions of some specific programs (ie. Veterinary Science/Guelph, Ivey, BMath Waterloo, etc), most Canadian Uni's are average at best. McGill and U of T (in general) are the only ones with any stature overseas and invited to the IV League association. I had dinner with a bunch of profs from Brock, which, along with Windsor, is considered Last Chance U. They were adamant that the standards there and grad work were close to that of Harvard and Oxford. Fools. My prof friends are disgusted by the low standards, especially written English, and the litigious nature of whining students (and their parents!!!!) who do not receive an 'A' for all work submitted. As for UBC. Surprising. Huge, fluke influx?
post #10 of 44
UBC shouldn't be that selective so I can't see why she didn't get in.

As for undergrad degrees, don't waste your money on getting an undergrad from an expensive school you have to move away to go to. Undergrad degrees are a dime a dozen even from U of T at this point. I went to Windsor (last chance U as some put it so eloquently) and let me tell you that an undergrad in any basic arts or science are all worth the same. As for Windsor being last chance, 12 people were hired for the same job when I was hired and 11 of them had Masters from Queens, I was the one odd person without a Masters from Queens and I was the youngest of the group by 2 years; I was second to be promoted a year later. It always gives me a good laugh when I think about it.
post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice so far. You guys have been really helpful.

Yes, I do ensure you that this individual in the original post did not get in. I know of another person who had a 92 average that didn't get into UBC Commerce. I could see why he/she didn't get in if he/she (92 person) had no extracurriculars. However, the person I described in the original post did have extracurriculars, and strong ones at that - which makes her situation that much more befuddling.

I agree that going to the US would do wonders for my education. Ivy League schools (and some non-Ivys) have amazing pools of money, the best teachers in the world, the best connections a man can make, and the best environments for one to thrive in. Unfortunately, I simply do not have the funds to move to another country and attend a high-quality school. Not to mention the marks and extracurriculars, which were what I was worrying about in the first place!

Also, moving to the U.S. would be a big deal for me. Just things like how the country is run and whatnot. Doing this much just seems too much for undergrad, which is why I plan to stay in Canada, finish my undergrad in the top Canadian B-School, and go somewhere in the States or a top U.K. school like London School of Economics and Political Science, Oxford or Cambridge for graduate and possibly postgraduate school.

Seem feasible? I know that the TD Bank CEO went to University of Toronto and got an Arts degree before magically going to Harvard. Times are different now, but would it be at all possible to go along slightly the same path?
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by BYucko View Post
Thanks for all the advice so far. You guys have been really helpful.

Yes, I do ensure you that this individual in the original post did not get in. I know of another person who had a 92 average that didn't get into UBC Commerce. I could see why he/she didn't get in if he/she (92 person) had no extracurriculars. However, the person I described in the original post did have extracurriculars, and strong ones at that - which makes her situation that much more befuddling.

I agree that going to the US would do wonders for my education. Ivy League schools (and some non-Ivys) have amazing pools of money, the best teachers in the world, the best connections a man can make, and the best environments for one to thrive in. Unfortunately, I simply do not have the funds to move to another country and attend a high-quality school. Not to mention the marks and extracurriculars, which were what I was worrying about in the first place!

Also, moving to the U.S. would be a big deal for me. Just things like how the country is run and whatnot. Doing this much just seems too much for undergrad, which is why I plan to stay in Canada, finish my undergrad in the top Canadian B-School, and go somewhere in the States or a top U.K. school like London School of Economics and Political Science, Oxford or Cambridge for graduate and possibly postgraduate school.

Seem feasible? I know that the TD Bank CEO went to University of Toronto and got an Arts degree before magically going to Harvard. Times are different now, but would it be at all possible to go along slightly the same path?


Do what you gotta do but don't look back with regret then. At the very worst, you'll still end up living a pretty comfortable life if you go to a b-school in canada. Maybe you won't be that 26 yr old I-Banking VP doing rails of coke with hundred dollar bills (yes, that's what I imagine I banking to be like ), but you'll still make more money than the average joe.
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVoer View Post
As for Windsor being last chance, 12 people were hired for the same job when I was hired and 11 of them had Masters from Queens, I was the one odd person without a Masters from Queens and I was the youngest of the group by 2 years; I was second to be promoted a year later. It always gives me a good laugh when I think about it.

That says more about you than Windsor. Congrats. As for Queens? The biggest hype for a fairly good uni. Nice campus. That's about it. My brother said his honours degree at McGill was much more demanding than his Masters at Queens.

As for 'Last Chance U'. You're right. University is what 'you' make it. I know several people who attended Windsor and enjoyed the social and learning experience.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftover_salmon View Post
I'm a Canadian who goes to a very good (and also very expensive) American university. If you can afford it -- and with the generous financial aid doled out by Ivy League schools, most actually can, despite impressions -- I would recommend it. The classes are smaller (think 10-25 for a non-intro course...I laugh at my friends from McGill who think a class of 50 is "small"), the student body is more intelligent and more driven on the whole, the university has much better funding (compare McGill's or UofT's ~$1bn in endowment for 50,000 students to an Ivy League school's endowment of ~$5-30bn for less than half that many students)...you will also make much better connections than you ever would at a Canadian university, because it seems like everyone other person's dad at my school is a Fortune 500 CEO. Oh yeah, and recruiters from just about every investment bank, consulting firm, media agency, etc...come to you. The reputation of the school makes a huge difference for the more elite jobs out of undergrad, and those are only realistically attainable if you go to an Ivy League school (or a comparable one, like MIT, Stanford, Duke, Chicago, etc...). And if you're considering law or business school, undergrad rep also makes a difference. The moral of the story is that if you just want to get hired as an "Account Executive" for some average company, no, you don't need to go to an Ivy League university. But if you want to make $150k out of undergrad, you do. Consider this: UBC/McGill/Western/UofT probably send about 10 students each to American investment banks every year. Wharton alone send about 15 to EACH bank.
+1 if you go to Penn. I do to, and let me tell you, it's worth every cent (and I'm paying most of it myself).
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophilia View Post
As for 'Last Chance U'. You're right. University is what 'you' make it. I know several people who attended Windsor and enjoyed the social and learning experience.

You can count me as another Lancer. From my graduating class nearly everyone got jobs right out of school or were able to immediately get into top masters programs in our field. 10 years later, no one cares where I got my undergrad and most of the people I know from school have generally progressed well in their careers.


School really is what you make of it and how hard you work. Not to sound like a booster, but this list of grads should convince you of that.

http://www.uwindsor.ca/units/alumni/...F?OpenDocument

I don't miss much about windsor, but do miss the bridge, dh and tunnel BBQ from time to time.
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