Republished from August 2017

Get ready to feel overwhelmed – in a good way!

You’re about to be swamped with new experiences, assignments, events, learning curves and more. During the busy days ahead however, make sure that you invest in one of the key contributors to your success: meaningful relationships.

Friendships: the Career Connection

The connections you make in your academic, personal and work circles are more important than you may realize. The people you’re meeting will become your teammates, your group members and your colleagues. Beyond that however, the interpersonal skills you exercise will serve you in the wider business world.


As Allie Simpson, 2017-18 GBC president and 2018 graduate puts it, “Big decisions are made outside of the office.”

She came to understand this when working in Japan, where the work days are long and the evenings out with colleagues and management teams are equally important. In this corporate culture, Allie witnessed how important the ability to pause “shop talk” became; to compartmentalize, socialize and find genuine connection amid the intensity of conducting business.

It’s also important to get comfortable in social environments because they often serve as a place of business negotiation and discussion.

“The golf course is a common example,” says Allie. “It’s a place where business is conducted and relationships are solidified.”

She reminds students that it’s important to know how to find balance and appropriate behavior cues in these arenas. “This is how – and where- business really happens. The GBC really tries to model this trend by offering a variety of opportunities to socialize and network.”

One of the most popular and important is Schulympics, a weekend getaway for all graduate students during the third weekend in September. Schulympics is a traditional outdoor getaway, team building retreat, and class wide competition rolled into one. Organized by the GBC, this annual event fosters meaningful connections among new and returning students while nurturing Schulich spirit. It’s also wildly popular and fun! Stay tuned for tickets sales and details to be released in early September.

Keeping It Real

Of course making friends is much more than a studied art. It’s something that you want to happen organically. So what can you do to ensure the greatest chances of success?

“Be very kind to yourself,” urges Allie. “You will want to be at the centre of everything during your early days at Schulich, and it’s impossible. Be selective, commit your effort to the activities you choose, and be gentle; you’ll get there.”

Hear From Other Students!

As you map out your first month of your program, we asked some of our friendliest graduates and upper year students how they made authentic, life-long friendships during their early days at Schulich.