Program Spotlight: Business Management

Best part of being a child: playing pretend. There was always the typical superhero-pretend, the married-couple-pretend, but no one remembers the businessperson-pretend. Probably because we knew nothing about working in business besides dressing up and being important. That being said, I always¬†kept¬†that idea that it’s a super cool job that I should know more about.


So, I talked with Rebecca Waterman, a third year Business Management student at Ryerson, about what goes into being a B. Comm student beyond the suits and ties. We met at the Oakham House where she’s a barista to¬†make sure people knew what business was beyond what they’ve seen on Mad Men.

How would you explain Business Management in 30 seconds or less?

Business Management is the umbrella program for those wishing to gain both theoretical and practical experience in how to manage, run or be part of an organization, firm or practice. It creates the ability to see the backbone
of businesses and helps students discover ways to better both organizations and themselves.

What made you choose Ryerson over other schools?

Initially I didn’t apply to Ryerson, it was just UofT, Laurier, and Western. It was March during grade 12 before I thought and applied to Ryerson. While I got into all programs, I only seriously considered Western and Ryerson. I decided that, while all being great schools, the atmosphere of a smaller university as well as being in the city was a better fit, and I felt as if I had more options with Ryerson. I liked that Ryerson was known for having more practical learning and that Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) had the AACSB accreditation.

I love the mix of practical and theory work, and the great opportunities for networking. The great thing about being downtown Toronto is that we have the ability to have so many great professors who also work in the field to be a part of TRS. It gives better insight as to what lays ahead for many students, and it gives students the chance to network. As for the work, I’m happy that at Ryerson I get the opportunity to see the theoretical information, but also have many assignments where I get to practice the skills.
If I could change anything, it would be to additionally have ENT526 (Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Strategy) as a mandatory second year course. Entrepreneurship is a smaller major than other popular choices such as marketing or accounting (which is no longer an available option for first and second year students), but it’s also the only major that doesn’t have a required course by students. I feel if students were given the chance to explore and see what the major is about, the entrepreneurship major may attract more students.

You’re in Entrepreneurship; any ideas for what kind of¬†business¬†you’d like to work in after graduation?

A big misconception about entrepreneurship is that individuals plan on immediately opening¬†businesses, if at all. Many students seek the major as an encompassing major for being better equipped to better contribute to existing organizations. Personally,¬†I do see myself opening a¬†business, but not for a while. After graduating, I hope to first go back to school for a certificate. I’m looking at George Brown college to become a certified sommelier since I’ve always been a huge fan of food, cooking, wine, and how they go together. From there I first want to gain the industry experience by working in bar/restaurant management and/or working as a sommelier. Through that I plan on saving enough funds to open a¬†business¬†through bootstrapping. I really hope to open my own gastropub that focuses on local and organic food, as well as local craft beer.

What does this typical grad from your program do after graduating? Is there a typical job people head into after graduation?

That’s the great thing about¬†Business¬†Management is that there is no typical job after graduation. With receiving a bachelors of commerce, there’s many possibilities of what you can do and what industries you can enter. Nearly every workplace, organization or start up needs individuals with knowledge in¬†business, and they can really enter most markets. The key factor in what jobs graduates get relies on their interests, skill sets, previous experience and their network.

Any advice for first years in Business Management?

Main advice: if you don’t love it, don’t do it. There’s many students in¬†Business¬†Management that are there due to a variety of influences and either: a) don’t like their major, or b) don’t like the program. With anything in life, if you cannot find passion in what you’re doing day to day, you’ll likely not find it 5, 10, 15 years down the road either. I’m so fortunate that I wake up excited about what I’m doing, but many people aren’t in my position. If you follow what you’re passionate about and have enough ambition, you can make anything work, and if you don’t know right now, that’s okay. Another key piece of advice is to network as much as you can, create a balance where you also gain skills and work experience and to not forget that anything worth having requires work.
Cheers to Rebecca! Now my businessman cosplay will have some solid research behind it. Thank you for taking such a broad program and explaining what makes it unique, urban, and useful.