July 10, 2018 by Eileen Jiao
As a general business club, PBSN boasts a large platform of events and initiatives that cater to many different industries. Ahead of clubs week, the current VP team would like to introduce the portfolio of events that aim to give you the opportunity to dive into the business community at Western. Irrespective of whether you plan on applying for an executive position or just getting involved by being a general member, these initiatives can help your personal development.
Breaking into a number of industries can be incredibly daunting, especially when one does not have any relevant work experience. To overcome this hurdle, the Internship Program aims to aid our members by providing them opportunities to intern for a number of organizations, including non-profits, across Ontario. This past year, students took on roles as Data Scientists, Marketing Coordinators and Business Development Analysts, which helped them gain critical exposure to the job market. Also, it allowed them to learn tangible skills that, in the future, can help them successfully recruit for positions in their areas of interest.
“My experience with the PBSN Internship Program was incredible. I was fortunate enough to intern for an exceptional startup called North South Management. Through the program, I learned an exceptional amount about networking, interpersonal skills, and professionalism in a corporate environment. If I get the chance to participate in the Internship Program next year, I would definitely pursue the opportunity!”
– Zain Khan, AEO2
PRO-BONO CONSULTING PROGRAM
PBSN’s Pro-Bono Consulting Program gives students the opportunity to experience consulting first-hand by working in teams to solve a current business challenge. Last year, we partnered with Airbnb, who challenged students to increase exposure to its “Airbnb for Work” platform, and LinkedIn, who tasked students to increase its monthly active users. Participants worked to take a deep dive into each company, and their respective industries to develop their own unique insights. To aid students in this process teams were paired with HBA2 mentors, with experience at prominent consulting companies, who reviewed their pitches and provided feedback. At the conclusion of the program, students presented their final recommendations to company representatives.
“Consulting on behalf of Airbnb provided me with valuable exposure to a unique and rewarding facet of the financial services industry. The experience facilitated my personal and professional development. It allowed me to improve my abilities to critically think, problem solve, and speak confidently, while reminding me of the importance of collaboration. Most importantly, I was able to share an incredible experience with other passionate students coming from various academic backgrounds.”
– Peter Akioyamen, AEO2
The Scotiabank Interview Competition is one of PBSN’s biggest events of the year. Taking place in the spring, it features 50 of the brightest PBSN members who compete for a chance to intern at Scotia Wealth Management. PBSN recognizes that being able to communicate and carry yourself effectively in an interview is an essential skill, however it can be difficult to develop. The Interview Competition consists of three rounds and gives members the chance to not only practice their interview skills, but also get feedback from distinguished Ivey HBAs. Throughout the day, competitors will also have the opportunity to speak to Scotiabank representatives and learn more about the company.
“The Interview Competition gave me a great opportunity to face some tough interviewers and learn how to be calm and relaxed in a pretty stressful setting. The opportunity to work at Scotiabank for the summer was also something that I wouldn’t be able to get otherwise, and I got a ridiculous amount out of that summer. Overall, I think this is the can’t miss event for PBSN – in terms of both the experience and the potential prize, it was a huge help for me.”
– Victor Lal, HBA2 and 2017 Interview Competition Winner
The annual Case Competition is one of the largest events hosted by the Pre-Business Students’ Network. Taking place in November, it is often many students’ first case competition. With a focus on development, participants have the opportunity to present to distinguished Ivey HBA students, and receive personalized feedback and recommendations. After the first round of competition, finalists are able to present to industry professionals from the sponsoring company. Last year, the Case Competition was sponsored by Shopify, and the winning team had the opportunity to interview for a summer internship with them.
“I remained in contact with one of the Shopify judges after the competition, who influenced me to pursue a summer internship at a company with a similar open-minded concept. It’s so important to leverage the kinds of connections and skills you learn at these competitions.”
– Deshna Kanesalingam, AEO2 and Case Competition Winner 2017
STOCK PITCH COMPETITION
The PBSN Stock Pitch Competition, offered in partnership with the Western Investment Club and Scotia Wealth Management, provides first- and second-year students with an opportunity to develop important technical skills and demonstrate their knowledge in the field of investing. This event consists of two educational “Superdays”, hour-long workshops where students learn the fundamentals of value investing and develop their investment thesis, and the competition itself, which is judged by WIC Analysts and Scotia Wealth Management representatives. The stock pitch competition strives to connect our members with upper-year students and professionals in the financial services industry, while also providing them with an opportunity to develop their knowledge in the field of investing.
“Competing in PBSN’s Stock Pitch Competition proved to be an extremely valuable experience. The event increased my motivation to dig into public markets and search for value. With the help of several Western Investment Club Analysts, who volunteered as mentors, I learned a tremendous amount about screening, valuation, and the work ethic required to create a stock pitch. I highly recommend participating.”
– Brad Perez, VP Projects and 2018 Stock Pitch Champion
The Firms Trip is a unique PBSN event that gives members the opportunity to visit prominent firms in the finance, consulting, marketing, and technology sectors. This event is different from other PBSN events as students have the opportunity to visit Downtown Toronto for the day. During these visits, students get to learn first hand what each career pathway looks like through conversations with employees and workshops offered by sponsoring companies. Participants also have the chance to meet and build lasting connections with industry professionals from the sponsor firms. Last year, the Firms Trip featured BMO Capital Markets, Accenture, and P&G.
“The Toronto Firms’ Trip is a day catered towards networking and personal development. Through visiting firms in diverse fields, you gain industry and firm specific insight that can help you refine your career aspirations. This trip gives you the opportunity to meet recruiters, Ivey graduates, and other employees on a larger scale than local events to experience first-hand their firm culture and develop relationships.”
– Jane Wang, HBA1
The Career Panel Series takes place in October and November and are PBSN’s first events of the year. Coming into university, it can be difficult to understand the various career pathways that are available to students. As such, the career panels give members the opportunity to learn and explore various industries and see what interests them most. The panels feature prominent HBAs in the fields of finance, technology, marketing/sales, and consulting. By hearing about experiences firsthand and being able to ask any questions that attendees may have, the career panels give members a more complete picture of popular industries.
Coming into first year, trying to learn about potential careers and finding possibilities that interest you can be daunting, but the career panels provided me great, honest insight and advice from students who’ve entered those fields. Prior to the consulting panel, I didn’t know what exactly consulting was. Now I’m open to an entirely new career possibility.
– Shree Ghandhi, AEO2
The Connect Conference is an event that provides students with an all-encompassing view of the consulting world. At Connect, students have the opportunity to network with industry professionals (from Recruiting Managers to Consultants), participate in workshops that teach them how to approach cases like a professional consultant would, and compete in a case competition for a chance to win office tours and dinners with recruiters and consultants from respected firms! Last year’s Connect Conference was sponsored by McKinsey and Company, The Boston Consulting Group, and Bain and Company. This year’s conference will have all of last year’s amazing features, and more!
“As a second-year student, my view of the consulting industry was quite blurry. Attending Connect provided me with the lens to clearly see what happens behind the scenes in the industry. Personally, I loved interacting with consultants at these coveted firms and learn how their time is actually spent to bring about solutions for their clients – it was nothing like I had imagined. I would highly encourage anyone wanting to learn more about consulting to attend!”
– Neel Patel, Connect Conference Case Competition Winner 2018
Class of 2022 Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pbsn2022/