Why did I choose Integrated Business and Humanities at McMaster?

Throughout high school, I basically took every course I could, including all of the STEM courses because I loved math and science. This was also really helpful because I didn’t limit my options when it came to applying to universities. After taking 34 courses in high school overall (I really wanted to make sure I explored everything so I could make the right decision for my future studies), I eventually decided that I would pursue some type of business or economics program in preparation for law school later on. 

I ended up applying to seven different undergraduate programs, varying from straight-up commerce, economics, and co-op programs as well as mathematical economics. Being my ‘Type-A’ self, I had a color-coded binder with all the information I could gather about each of the programs, as well as the scholarships and conditions that I was given upon my acceptance to programs. I can’t tell you if there was some information or anything specific about IBH that made me choose it, but that was the only acceptance that I cried in happiness about. After feeling so upset and disoriented after my video interviews, then being super anxious about the phone call interview, I was thrilled that the program director felt I was a good fit for such an innovative program that really prioritizes change for the better.

If I was going to go into business, I didn’t want to turn into someone who only cared about the bottom line. I wanted to care about every soul and everything that I touch to have a holistic perspective on not only my future career but my life overall. McMaster as a whole also felt really comfortable in terms of the campus; hearing about some of the professors and how caring and accommodating they were really made me feel more stable in my decision. 

My Experience in Integrated Business and Humanities

My experience, despite not being what I initially thought it would be for first year, has been nothing but exceptional. Even though I am only interacting with my professors and classmates over zoom, emails, WhatsApp, etc. I have already experienced how amazing the IBH community is. The professors understand how online learning is so different from being in person, and have adjusted their teaching accordingly. That being said, everything we are learning is still so applicable to the real world: it’s all information that I can take with me every day to interact with society in a more positive manner. Moreover, my classmates are quite frankly the most amazing people. Even though we are only able to interact through mostly group chats, we can easily match each other‘s faces to names and are able to speak to each other‘s personalities, interests, etc. without having met in person yet. One of my favorite things that we’ve done so far is the IBH secret Santa, where we managed to send each other gifts and have a zoom Christmas party! This goes to show how caring and wonderful this community is, and how we not only want to make a difference for the greater world but also make each other’s lives better. In spite of a rocky first year, I am incredibly excited for what the next few years have to come. 

Things to note:

It should be noted that the academic difficulty of this program is also completely manageable. Depending on your interests, you might struggle with some of the accounting or content-heavy business courses in the first few years, but it’s definitely not like the physics and maths involved in STEM programs. With the extremely supportive professors, collaboration with your classmates, and using all the resources McMaster has available, there is no way that you will not be able to succeed and excel in this program. 

If there is one thing I would want to say to anyone considering IBH or even McMaster as a whole, I would try and reach out to some current Marauders.  Everyone will tell you about the amazing vibe and environment you will be in, and how they couldn’t have chosen a better school. You won’t be battling in a competitive environment, rather, you’ll be overwhelmed by the support that you will receive to achieve your true potential over the next few years. 

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