Students’ society shows first years the ropes

On the Sunday before term started, the School of Business and Economics Students’ Society (SBESS) held their annual ‘O-Day’ for first-year business and economic students.

This event, which has been running for the past five years, gives first-year students an opportunity to attend specialized sessions for academic performance in areas of study such as accounting and marketing.

The event was held on the Wilfrid Laurier University campus at both the Peters and Schlegel buildings, as well as at the Waterloo Inn.

In the morning, over 400 students attended introductory sessions, which gave an overview about the faculty, ways to get involved and the SBESS mentorship program.

More focused sessions, information about co-op opportunities and presentations about student groups were given later in the day.

While at Waterloo Inn, students attended a lunch and listened to a speech given by the CEO of Certified General Accountants of Ontario, Doug Brooks.

His main point was to ensure students gain as much experience in school as possible.

“Experience isn’t about getting a degree,” Brooks stated.“It’s about truly learning . . . you got the grade, but did you really learn?”

Whether or not students succeed in their first year, Brooks repeatedly stated that fundamentally, it is experience in the real world that will determine when and how you will be successful. He emphasized that “your present situation doesn’t determine where you go, it merely determines where you start.”

Another valuable lesson reinforced to first year students was to learn from mistakes.

Failing to recognize your weakness is the biggest mistake one can make according to Brooks, so he encouraged everyone to ask for help while struggling.

Brooks’s messages were echoed by O-Day coordinator, Alex Di Lello. He stated that the mentorship programs run throughout the year to help first-years through their courses and give them any extra help needed.

At the end of the day, there was a Get Involved Fair for business clubs and associations. This gave students another chance to pick up extra curriculars.

“It’s an opportunity to go through orientation [strictly for their specific programs] since O-Week is not really focused on business,” said Di Lello.
In the coming weeks, surveys will be sent out to students who attended O-Day in order to gain feedback on whether or not the sessions were useful.

However, first-year students were mainly concerned with requirements regarding courses and the co-op program, as well as getting more involved within the SBE.

According to the vice president: academic of SBESS, Sarina Brundi, the event, speakers and fair were all geared towards getting students involved and to teach them “what it’s like to be a Laurier student.”