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Nicholas Waltenbury

Where are you from? What high school did you attend?

North Bay, Ontario, St. Joseph-Scollard Hall Catholic Secondary School

What was your Program of Study for Years 1 and 2?

Political Science (dual degree student)

List your Extra-curricular involvement in the first two years of university.

USC First Year Students’ Caucus, USC External Advocacy Taskforce, Leadership and Mentorship Program (LAMP), Residence Tour Guide, Seniors in IT Club, Western Rotaract Club, Social Science USC Councillor, Residence Staff, Intramural Sports

Why did you choose Ivey’s HBA program?

I chose Ivey’s HBA program because I wanted to equip myself with a general toolkit of transferrable skills and capabilities to support success in any future career. I knew I was interested in social sciences, but I wanted something more tangible to help me figure out how to solve the issues in society that I was seeing around me. The dual degree option was incredibly appealing because it gave me the opportunity to pursue my passions in Political Science and gain a general appreciation for the liberal arts concurrently with my business degree.

Describe one highlight of your Ivey Experience thus far.

I’ll highlight two experiences that stand out for me. The first was when I received my summer job offer in HBA1. I got the call when I was walking home after class and distinctly remember my first instinct was to run (literally run) back to the Ivey building to celebrate the good news with my section-mates, who I had met just months earlier. I think this speaks to the unique culture at Ivey where we really commit to building a family and supporting each other. The second highlight was during training for my summer job. We were grouped with interns from multiple universities to complete a mini case competition and I quickly realized how well Ivey prepared me for success in real-world problem solving. While actually solving business cases was new to many of my peers from other schools, I was already very comfortable with time-pressured decision making and working with ambiguous information, as we practiced these skills through cases multiple times per day during HBA1. This was when I began to realize how much I learned at Ivey and appreciate how lucky I was to have access to such an incredible business and leadership education.

What advice do you have for incoming HBA students?

As cliché as it sounds, you really need to trust the process. You might feel like you don’t know what’s going on around you at times during your first year at Ivey and that’s okay. The program is built very intentionally and you often won’t understand the purpose of some aspects of the academic or extracurricular experience until weeks, months, or even years later. One year after finishing HBA1, I still find myself gaining perspective and realizing in hindsight what I learned from different cases, evaluations, or activities. In a program like the Ivey HBA, students really get out what they put in, so HBA1s need to genuinely invest themselves in the program if they want to realize all the benefits Ivey has to offer.

How has Ivey’s Career Management set you up for success?

Ivey’s Career Management office helped me understand the industry landscape and prepare for summer recruiting during HBA1. I knew very little about traditional careers in business prior to joining Ivey, but CM helped level the playing field and help any student to access relevant recruiting resources. I definitely would not have landed my summer job were it not for the Information Sessions and on-campus recruiting that I participated in during my HBA1 year.

What kind of support did you find the most helpful with the intense curriculum in HBA1?

I found the support of my peers most helpful during HBA1. There is a real feeling of “being in it together” within HBA1 sections and I always felt like our class was there to support each other through the intense academic curriculum. People excelled in different subjects and with different testing styles, and I found that my peers were overwhelmingly happy to share resources and provide support to each other.

What has been the most challenging part of the program for you?

The most challenging part of the program for me has been staying true to myself and not feeling pressure to achieve success as defined by others. Ivey provides us with incredible opportunities to recruit for big-name firms in industries like consulting and banking, but I’ve had to take a step back and remember that only I define my own personal success. The best part about our program is that our holistic experience prepares us to be effective in virtually any role, thus I’m excited to use the skills and theory I’ve learned in both my degrees to drive positive social impact in non-traditional ways.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I will join the Western University Students’ Council as the Communications Officer and then I plan to pursue a career in public policy or public affairs.

HBA '19

Ivey Business School

Nicholas Waltenbury

Nicholas Waltenbury

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