Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)

Laura McDonald

Laura McDonald

2014 Bilingual BCom
Human Resource Management Major

What will you miss most about being a U of A student?

I will miss the community. The school, as big as it is, always feels like a tight-knit community. You can always talk to another student and know that they understand what it's like to feel like you failed a test or just pulled an all-nighter and have to go to class because it's a really important lab with participation marks that day. There was always someone to understand how you're feeling because odds are, they've been there too.

What impact has the Alberta School of Business had on your life?

The impact has been huge. The word "networking" went from a buzzword in BUS 201 to a legitimately useful life skill. I've already realized that so many people don't know the value of building their network - whether you need a job or want a mentor to talk about difficulties and how to handle new experiences at work.

On another note, the School of Business has propelled me and other alumni into great jobs. The school's reputation, exceptional programs and staff shows employers that we have learned our craft at an institution that has been proven time and time again to produce highly successful and valuable candidates.

If you got one university do-over, what would it be?

It's difficult to say because I love the journey I took while at the School of Business. If I had to pick something (and had endless money) I would have gone on an exchange. My experience on the China Study Tour was awesome and to have studied for a semester in another country would have been amazing.

Which business class/professor did you enjoy the most and why?

It's definitely a toss-up and it's tough to pick just one but my top three would be any HR class with Ross Bradford, Alternative Dispute Resolution (SMO 411) with Cecile Schultz, and Business Communications (BUS 301) with Tirindar Grewal. The three of them had a lot in common. They learned about their students and what makes them who they are, which always resulted in a more enjoyable class which can be a breath of fresh air sometimes.

Do you have any advice for young people who are either thinking of starting a BCom degree or are working towards one? 

To those thinking of getting a BCom: It's one of the most useful degrees to get. Business is everywhere, and we are all going to be part of one in one way or another eventually. Learning business acumen before entering the business world gives you an advantage over your colleagues that is invaluable.

To those working towards their BCom: Don't let the little things bug you. Yes, grades matter in some cases, but they're not the be-all-end-all. Getting involved in your community and in the school is where you learn invaluable soft skills and leadership qualities. Those experiences will take you farther than any "A" in Management Science. Trust me.

What's next after graduation?

I have moved back home to Calgary and have actually been lucky enough to secure a job in my field, human resources, at a top 100 company in Canada called DIALOG. I'm really excited to start learning about how the company works and how I will be able to contribute my skills to the company.