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MSc · Salma El Adl

My First 90 Days at Ivey: Salma El Adl

Jan 7, 2022

Salma Photo

October 19th was an exciting day for all of us. It was the day we were going to say goodbye to Zoom classrooms, and hello to our Ivey classrooms. However, leading up to that day, we had to make do with attending classes, meeting each other and working together virtually. I remember after the first week of classes, I asked myself ‘did I make the right decision going into a business program with no business background?’ My answer in September would have been maybe. My undergrad in Human Biology was definitely challenging, but it was something that I was comfortable studying. I was passionate about science and physiology, and so dipping my toe into a completely different field of study was terrifying. Everything in science is black and white, there is a right and wrong answer. However, in business, there is a grey area, some ‘ambiguity’ as some of our professors described in their introductions. This ambiguity is what made me doubt whether I was on the right path with my thought processes.

I started the program not knowing how to start preparing a case study and did not know how to contribute to a discussion-based class. Science was mostly the professor going through slides, and us silently listening to a 2–3-hour lecture. At Ivey, you had to be prepared for a class, know the details and numbers in a case study and understand the relevance of this information to the case and to the class in general. So, the first few weeks were definitely overwhelming, and I often found myself underprepared, or misinterpreting information from the case. My usual study techniques could not be applied at Ivey. An adjustment had to be made. However, being in learning teams allowed me to learn from my peers, and gradually understand concepts and pick up some tips and tricks along the way. Your peers are your support system! I realized that a lot of people were in the same boat as me: no business background and feeling completely lost at times. But what’s nice about having diverse learning teams is that each of us has strengths that they can share with others, and eventually we all learn new information from each other.

October 19th was an exciting day. It had been 18 months since I was in a proper classroom, and I remember being excited to finally see everyone. Our week of in-person classes was filled with an excitement that a lot of us had missed. Being in a classroom, meeting our professors and peers in person, and just being in the Ivey building was an amazing feeling. It was an adjustment getting used to commuting to classes and adjusting our schedules to get all the prep ready for the following day but having your peers around you who are going through it with you makes the transition a lot easier.

After 90 days, if I were to ask myself the same question I asked after week 1, I would say that studying digital management is an experience like no other, and I am enjoying every moment of it. It has allowed me to grow as a person, gain more skills, meet some amazing people, and it just keeps getting better. I cannot wait to see what the next semester will bring!