- Amay Shenoy
- Apr 22, 2021
Last month, I spoke with Wendy Wang, an HBA/JD dual degree candidate. Wendy studied political science prior to attending Ivey and has been incredibly active in the Western community as a Section Representative for Ivey Women in Management and former Editor of the AEO to Ivey Blog, among other experiences. We talked about her interests, the lessons she’s learned and how her perspective has changed over her last four years at Western. I found this to be a very insightful conversation, so definitely give it a read!
Why don’t you tell us a little about your background and interests?
“Sure! Entering university, I knew I liked political science. I did debate in high school, and it introduced me to foreign affairs and a variety of social issues. That’s why I initially decided to study political science, and my interest in business developed after starting university. I was introduced to the idea of business being a vehicle for social change, and I really resonated with that. At Ivey, I found that it was really interesting to explore the practical side of problem-solving. Business is a little less theoretical than political science, and I found that working in teams to solve real-world problems was really engaging as well. I find it interesting to see how corporations think, make decisions and balance multiple interests–all topics that are very relevant in today’s society.”
What led you to pursue law and the JD/HBA specifically?
In the past couple of years, I realized that emerging technologies are transforming how businesses operate, and by extension, changing our concepts of trust and justice. This is often a topic of discussion at Ivey. It’s also no secret that the law is terribly behind the pace of technological change. In the coming decades, I think there’s going to have to be major reforms in how governments address the increasing digitation of business. There are many unprecedented ethical and legal complexities in this area that I find really interesting, and the dual degree seemed like a great opportunity to gain the skills to further explore these issues.
I also had many conversations with other students to learn about their experiences. The more I spoke to my friends in law school, the more it gradually made sense to me in terms of what I envision for my personal development and the impact I aspire to make. It wasn’t until late in my second year that I decided to take the LSAT to keep the option of law school open.”
Looking back, was there anything that you heard about law school or Ivey that turned out to be a myth?
“Going into Ivey, I was told by some upper-year students that I would find my best friends during HBA O-Week, that I would immediately adapt to Ivey life and that this would be the best year of my life. While that may be true for a number of people, it can also cause unnecessary pressure for incoming HBA1s by instilling misconceptions of the type of person they need to be in order to “succeed” at Ivey. The transition to Ivey is different for everyone. It took me halfway through first semester to sort of find my footing and feel comfortable with my section. And I’ve realized that’s totally okay. You absolutely do not need to have your entire life or career sorted out at the beginning of HBA1. Most people don’t, and the ones that do often change their minds. And that’s totally okay too.
Do you have any advice for first- or second-year students?
“I’ll say a couple of things. First, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. This is really important as a first- or second-year student and even more so later on in life. I went through a phase where I was scared to ask for help, and I had to try my best not to listen to that voice.
You’d be surprised by the number of people willing to lend a hand. Other students can offer perspectives that you may not have even thought of. You don’t have to listen to their advice but at least be open to it.
Finally, I encourage you to try different things that you’re interested in. Take advantage of the 2+2 structure. I took courses in Spanish and computer science even though I’m not pursuing them full-time, but they were still great experiences.”