• Lionel Cheng

#MyFirstYear in Laurier Business Administration

My first year in university was one of the best memories I have :)


Hi everyone, my name is Lionel and I’m going to my fourth year in the BBA co-op program with a specialization in finance at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics with Wilfrid Laurier University.


Here’s me standing on Bay Street #FinanceBroFall

When I was in high school, people often said that the time spent as a high school student would be the biggest highlight in your life. Although I had a great time in high school, I disagree with that statement as I believe that university is the biggest highlight in my life.


The BBA program at Laurier is really open ended. You get what you put in so that means it’s up to you to take advantage of the numerous resources on campus, including networking events and club activities.


Now for your first year mandatory course

BU111 - Understanding the Business Environment

  • An introductory course to case analysis. This course is very assignment heavy so be sure to plan your weeks/months ahead!

BU127 - Introductory to Financial Accounting

  • It’s a very easy course to do well, or do badly. Just be sure to keep up with the weekly practice questions and you’ll be a CPA in no time :)

BU121 - Functional Areas of the Organization

  • A continuation of BU111. Very assignment heavy so time management is a must! Also for future BBA students, keep a look out because yours truly is a Instructional Assistant for the labs :P

MA129 - Introductory Calculus for Business and Social Sciences

  • Just a review of high school calculus. Nothing to worry about


Here are some suggested “bird” courses to boost the GPA :)

CP102 - Information Processing with Microcomputer Systems

  • Super easy and applicable. This course teaches you how to use PowerPoint, Word and Excel. This will definitely help you in your latter courses and co-op or internship opportunities

AN100 - Cultures Today

  • Super enjoyable but that’s probably because I like history.


Essentially any course that you find interest in, would be perfect. Just because other people say it’s easy doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for you. These are just some relevant/fun courses!



A Brief Overview of the BBA Program

So you like business? Great! Business is very broad so it’s not realistic just to major in just business, you have to specialize! At Lazaridis (Laz), you begin selecting courses for specialization in your third year unlike other universities who select at the end of their first year or second year. I honestly think this is a plus because you have a chance to explore different concentrations before committing to it.


Now for the juicy bit and the reason why everyone wants to come to Laurier for… the co-op program!


I may be biased but Laurier’s co-op program is a huge edge against other schools without co-op. Laurier has the biggest and first co-op in Canada which gives us the ability to apply to jobs anywhere in the country. As Laurier alumni are slowly penetrating the international job market, this is the perfect time to go to Laurier as it makes it easier to get the dream job through networking!


Students apply to the co-op program at the end of their first year and roughly 50% get in. I know that’s a low number but it’s relatively easy to get in, if you try. The criteria of getting into the co-op program is having a strong GPA (usually 10.0+), strong extracurriculars, and previous work experience. By focusing on those 3 aspects, I’m sure you can get in :)


Here are some things that I wish I knew in my first year

  1. Take advantage of the numerous resources on campus

  2. This may sound privileged but Laz students have resources that other Laurier students can access. These include PRISM which offers courses in a variety of industries, such as accounting, finance and marketing. Furthermore, there’s also exclusive networking events that are only catered towards BBA and Econ students. You’re already paying tuition so you might as well utilize every resource they give you!

  3. Join Clubs that you’re interested in!

  4. When you go to Laz, you’ll hear the saying over and over again. Your network is your net worth. Joining a club that you’re passionate about, either through the Lazaridis Student Society or Student Union, gets you a chance to meet people that are like minded. This will push you into getting more involved and meeting the right people to start your career

  5. Stop comparing yourself and celebrate your success

  6. It’s easier said than done but it will definitely help your confidence if you can. Being surrounded by driven individuals is intimidating and we often put others on a pedestal, but once you are able to recognize your own achievements, the more confident you become. It’s damaging to often compare yourself so don’t! Try to be a better version of yourself!


Going to university was the best choice I made, and I’m glad I could attend a fantastic program at a great school. Wherever you attend post-secondary, ensure that you surround yourself with like-minded individuals, and I promise you will enjoy your four years.



About the Author

Lionel Cheng is a campus ambassador with LEAP. He is currently a fall analyst at Teranet for Mergers and Acquisitions. Lionel is a big

Toronto Raptors fan and was very disappointed in their performance last season. After having a hard time in his first year, Lionel wants to help students to avoid mistakes he had made so that they can have an amazing first year experience.








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