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One of the unique things about the Commerce program is that in your first year of classes, you will have no say over what courses you are enrolled in. Seeing as commerce is a degree with a number of potential pathways for students to take, the first-year curriculum is focused on giving students a taste of all aspects of business and to allow them to develop important quantitative and qualitative skills that will be helpful down the road. However, it may seem at times as though being in this program involves living inside of a “bubble”. The upper year curriculum is designed to work around this, as beginning in second year you will be given a chance to take elective courses from Arts and Sciences. This is an amazing opportunity to branch out, meet people in other faculties, pursue special interests and spend time in buildings other than Goodes Hall. In second year you will have the ability to choose two Arts and Science electives, while in third and fourth year you will have the ability to choose as many as four each year.

Picking your schedule and electives can be a daunting task, and so I have three main pieces of advice to follow. First, take classes you are interested in. Often times, Commerce students will take courses they have little interest in simply to ease their workload. While the Commerce workload is burdensome, and the level of extra commitment required to take the elective should be considered, do not sacrifice the opportunity to take something you are passionate about simply because it may provide a challenge. Avoid succumbing to the pressure of taking all “bird courses” to boost your marks. Do thorough research and find courses that pique your interest, and then take it from there. My second piece of advice is to consider online course options. This will allow you to take courses from home in the summer, which will reduce the number of exams you must take at the end of the fall or winter semester. At the same time, consider online options on topics that interest you. My final piece of advice is to plan well in advance, even mapping out your next three years at the end of first year. This will allow you to carefully schedule your classes and increases the chances that you will get a spot in a desired class. Research available courses on Solus to plan ahead. This is something I failed to do before my second year, and I ended up enrolling in two electives that I had little interest in as most of my desired courses had had their spots filled.

In conclusion, I wish you the best of luck in the program and look forward to seeing you around campus!

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