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My Transfer Journey: Calista


Final Thoughts

04/07/2014

Hey guys!

It's sad to say but…my journey's almost at an end. This will be the last blog of the semester (by me that is). Exams are coming up and so I wish everyone good luck! Try not to stress and before you know it you'll be celebrating! I know I will! This week I submitted my diploma to degree Seneca pathways transfer form and should be receiving a conditional acceptance soon. I'm both nervous and excited because I don't know what will be coming my way, however… I can't wait to face it head on! Here are 4 tips to help keep you successful while you are here at Seneca which will hopefully help you out when/if you do decide to transition on to a degree in the future:

Tip 1: Connect with The Degree and Credit Transfer Office!

  • Extremely useful for university/credit transfer information and to figure out what your transfer options are
  • Check out your Transfer Guide options
  • Do not be afraid to ask any questions!
  • Attend their Degree Fairs and events to get more information

Students can now make appointments online.

Tip 2: Use the Learning Centre — your GPA is important!

  • Offers tutoring services for students in most introductory and gateway subjects
  • Exam preparation support available as well
  • Students can reserve one-on-one tutoring sessions
  • Having a strong GPA can open up the options available for students. Maintenance is very important. Utilize resources available at the school to aid you further in this!

Tip 3: Get Involved!

  • Getting involved in events at school offers valuable experience and looks great on your resume
  • Other ways to get involved are:
    • Smile Mentoring
    • Leadership activities through Student Services
    • Recreational Activities (ping-pong, badminton, etc.)

Tip 4: Plan Plan Plan!

  • Planning ahead is always a great first step. For example, aiming for a degree! Along the way I encountered a few obstacles and took a few extra turns but in the end I still will be getting the degree I initially planned on!
  • Ask Questions — call schools that you’re interested in applying to before making your final decisions.
  • Talk to students already in the degree for useful advice and tips
  • Visit and speak with program coordinators that further answer any program related questions!

I hope these tips help everyone in their own personal journey’s throughout school. Good luck to everyone and remember to keep pushing to aim for those goals!

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will - Be happy


Q&A Session

With a Seneca Bachelor of Commerce Human Resources Strategy and Technology Degree student

03/18/2014

Hey guys so I have something to show you today that might spark an interest. Last week I had a small run in with a student who had basically gone through what I’m about to go through as well. Her name is Melissa and she is currently a 6th semester student in the Human Resources Strategy and Technology Degree. Her journey began here at Seneca almost 4 years ago when entering into the Business Administration – Human Resources diploma program. She agreed to volunteer for a small Q&A session that I think can be quite insightful for students. For those outside of the Human Resource field, you might be wondering how this interview can be beneficial to you in anyway but I personally believe that this interview can provide valuable advice and experiences that can be useful in firstly, easing the transition from diploma to degree, understanding what resources are available and useful tips to aid your success here at Seneca…think of it as a head start!!

Melissa

Melissa

Q1: Hi Melissa! Thank you for taking the time to meet with me and answer a few questions. Why did you choose to stay at Seneca?

A: There were a couple of things actually that helped me make this decision. Firstly I know most of the professors in my program now and have also had the same professors during the diploma program. I love the classroom sizes and the fact that an individual never has to feel like a number. Bonds are created with faculty, you’re basically never alone. All these factors made the transition from diploma to degree much easier as well.


 Q2: Why did you choose the HST degree?

A: I like the HR program overall, I like the people, and the support that comes along with it. I’d like to pursue my CHRP (Certified Human Resource Professional) certification as well.


Q3: What advice would you have for students transferring from their diploma to degree?

A: Be ready for it and actually want to do it! Degree programs have a lot more team based projects where students will have to make time both in and out of school. A sense of independence will eventually be adopted since responsibility has increased. I recommend not working two jobs, or even a job at all given the course work, but sometimes this can’t be helped. Also try and not take time off after the completion of your diploma (if you’re planning on pursuing a degree). The information you’ve learned is still fresh and thus will help with courses within the degree and plus if you wait too long you may get discouraged in coming back to school.


Q4: What do you wish you knew then, that you know now?

 A: Though all students are pretty much guided throughout the program there is something I realized. Most universities send out their co-op students during the summer whereas Seneca students send out their co-op students in September. This allows a higher chance in getting placements since the month of September signifies, ‘Back to school!” I find co-op is extremely beneficial for related work experience.


Q5: Are there any services that HST students should take advantage of while in their degree?

 A: There are a few services I can suggest:

  • The Learning Centre (tutoring sessions really help)
  • Meet and Greet Events
  • HRSA association (complete case competitions while gaining hands-on experiences that looks good on a resume)

 Overall I’d say to really get involved and volunteer!


Q6: What are your plans after you complete your degree?

A: I would like to get my CHRP and then start working basically. I’d also sign up as a member at HRPA (Human Resources Professionals Association). They provide assistance in preparing for the NKE (National Knowledge Exam).


Q7: Lastly just for the students to know: What diploma did you transfer from and when? & what semester are you currently in?

A: Diploma program: Business Administration – Human Resources
When: June 2013
Current Semester: 6 of the Bachelor of Commerce – Human Resources Strategy and Technology Degree


Seneca Diploma to Seneca Degree – Application to Acceptance

03/14/2014

Hey guys! Welcome back to the first week of school AFTER reading week. We’re almost done, only a month and a half to go!!

When I last left off I had mentioned a meeting with the Program Coordinator of the HST program (Bachelor of Commerce – Human Resources Strategy and Technology Degree). This meeting went well and was extremely informative.

If you are a student in my shoes and your GPA is below the minimum I would honestly recommend speaking with the coordinator of the degree program you are looking to transfer into, before you start worrying. For example my cumulative GPA currently is sitting at a 2.9. The minimum GPA required for the HST program I want to get into this September is a 3.0. This is where my meeting with Mr. Luthra comes into play.

On March 5th at 12:30 pm I had met with my soon-to-be Program Coordinator for the HST program I’ll be (hopefully)starting in September. His name is Mr. Puneet Luthra. He was completely approachable and easy to talk too. The meeting lasted about 15 minutes and I basically was able to learn everything I needed to know in order to ensure the transition from my diploma program to the degree program would go smoothly. BUT… there were a few conditions to be aware of before continuing with the credit transfer. I have to maintain my GPA of 2.9 and I must graduate in order to gain a conditional acceptance. A conditional acceptance is an offer stating that the student will come into the program on probation for the first semester and will be required to maintain an average GPA of 2.5 or higher in order to continue.

 transfer form

This was quite satisfying to hear since I was really worried about not getting in (See - it helps to ask questions!!) Also, since the HST degree program is similar to the Human Resources diploma program I am currently in, it wouldn’t make sense for me to go back and fix the courses that I did poorly in. Good thing I got that information clarified. Once the Q&A with the Coordinator is completed and you’re 100% sure about the degree program you want to get into, you can then proceed to filling in the “Diploma to Seneca Degree – Pathways Transfer Form”. For those applying at a different institution the process will be a bit different. Seneca diploma to Seneca degree involves no fees and only needs a form to be completed for the procedure to be finalized(YAY SENECA!). I've included a picture of the form you can pick up from Registration, the Degree Coordinator OR the Degree and Credit Transfer Office, for future reference!

I hope everyone found this post helpful and that it offered some insight and direction. I encourage everyone to ask questions! DON’T be afraid of setting up advisement appointments, meetings or even sending a simple email. Here at Seneca I find that everyone is ready to help no matter the case! Take care guys and I’ll see you next week!
 

STUDY WEEK! STUDY WEEK! STUDY WEEK!

02/24/2014

Hey Guys!

So I just finished my last midterm not too long ago and thus begins… reading week!! Just wanted to let you all know that I’ll be seeing everyone the following week and opening up with a very special upcoming post! Stay tuned!

P.S Good Luck on current midterms as well as those after reading week. ENJOY the much needed downtime since we all deserve it!!

P.P.S Attempt to study during the break, even though I know most of us will leave it till Sunday!

Students laughing about studying over study week


Degree Transfer Advisement Appointment - What's That All About?

02/19/2014

Hey everyone!

Hope midterms are going great! Can’t wait for that reading week right?!

So I just had to let you know about my first advisement appointment with a Degree Transfer Advisor. Overall the meeting was extremely beneficial in terms of future references and planning. I came across many tips and was provided with advice. I encourage everyone to always ask questions!! I’m telling you this because I learned my lesson four years ago when I attended Ryerson University. You need to always ask questions and you need to actually look for a few of the answers on your own. Nothing is just going to be handed over to you; it’s like walking around with a self-inflicted blindness! Many of us can’t help it however, since that is the type of mentality that’s been fostered and created during high school. Now I know better and I wanted to let everyone know how an advisement meeting can truly be beneficial.

My appointment was on Thursday February 13th, 2014 for 12:30 pm, in D2000 at Newnham. It was my first time meeting with someone from the Degree and Credit Transfer Office and so I was asked to fill out this yellow appointment card. On that card I had to state some basic information (name, contact info etc.) and towards the end I had to list the Universities/Colleges along with program names that I was interested in pursuing after my diploma here at Seneca. Soon after, I met with a lady by the name of Victoria Baker and the session lasted about 20 minutes. She was extremely helpful and seemed genuinely concerned about my future.

The first thing I learned within 5 minutes of the appointment was something very important and I just had to let everyone know. You know that D you might’ve gotten during your first year of University almost 4 years ago? Well it hasn’t been forgotten and it never will…your GRADES will always follow you! Your past post-secondary transcripts (if you went to University/College previously) will consist of every possible grade you have achieved during your duration of being a student and will follow you wherever you go. In order to move on with the session I had to disclose my past and current academic history to Victoria. She went over the three options that I chose: York University, Seneca College, and Ryerson University. If you are currently a student looking to transition from College to an Ontario University you would have to apply using the OUAC 105 D application form. You get three choices and the fee would be around $200. This price is subject to change depending on how many choices you have (more than 3 choices, transcripts you are sending, etc.).

So Human Resources is the program I’d like to pursue a degree in. Starting with York University

York University:

Programs Offered (In my field!): Human Resources Management (BHRM) & Human Resource Management (BAS)
Minimum GPA Needed:

  • BHRM: at least a 3.0 but due to the competitive nature of this degree, students are usually being admitted with a higher GPA (along with a 4U Math OR QNM106 & QNM222)
  • BAS: at least a 3.0 but due to the competitive nature of this degree, students are usually being admitted with a higher GPA (along with a 4U math OR QNM106 & QNM222)

Amount of time I will have left to get my degree once I transfer:

  • around 2.5 years

In my situation, where during my first year at Ryerson my grades weren’t as good as they should’ve been, along with my application to York I would have to send them a Letter of Extenuating circumstances, outlining what happened at Ryerson and what I’m currently doing at Seneca to help maintain good grades. This is to assure York that what happened 4 years ago at Ryerson will not happen again. The transfer process can take some time since it involves having Seneca send your transcript over to York.

Ryerson University:

Programs Offered: Business Management (BComm) (I’d start with direct entry into the Business Management program)
Minimum GPA needed:

  • at least a 3.2 GPA (but due to the competitive nature of this program, students may be required to have a higher GPA)

Amount of time I will have left to get my degree once I transfer:

  • 2-2.5 years

Ryerson University is a great place to go to, however based on past experiences it isn’t the place for me. In this case as well, transfer of credits may be a longer process then some of my other options.

Seneca College:

Programs Offered: Human Resource Strategy and Technology Degree - HST (Co-op) (B.Comm)
Minimum GPA needed:

  • at least a 3.0 GPA

Amount of time I will have left to get my degree once I transfer:

  • 2 years

In this case since I’m already a student at Seneca the overall transition process would go over smoothly. I will complete a Seneca Diploma to Degree Pathways Transfer Form which is FREE(you can pick it up at Registration, in the Degree Transfer Office OR when speaking with the Degree Program Coordinator). What Victoria recommended however was that I should speak with Puneet Luthra, the Program Coordinator for the HST program. This is important because although I’m supposed to be graduating in April, I have a few remaining courses to complete before I graduate and will end up graduating at the end of August 2014. Talking to Puneet Luthra will ease the transition process and let him know I have applied and anticipate beginning in September, pending I meet all admission requirements. Also this degree program comes with a Co-op work experience which the other 2 degree programs do not. I will not only gain knowledge from both the diploma and degree programs but also related work experience as well.

In all three cases (Ryerson, York and Seneca) depending on your GPA the diploma to degree program will allow you to complete your degree in less than 4 years, again as long as you meet the admission requirements. In some instances, you may just end up with more transfer credit then others. Some important information to note for fellow Business Administration - Human Resource students is that on Monday March 17th from 10am-1pm there will be a Seneca Diploma to Seneca Degree event, taking place in front of the Library at the Newnham Campus. They will be promoting all of the degrees that Seneca has to offer and students will be able to apply on the spot!

Hope this was a helpful insight for all of you and hopefully everyone remembers that important event on Monday March 17th, 2014. GOOD LUCK ON MIDTERMS!!

Options!

02/10/2014

Hi everyone I’m BACK! I know it’s getting pretty hectic at school with midterms coming up BUT today’s blog topic is one that I found both interesting and actually kind of fun. The shocker is that it’s related to school and since those two words are never usually used in the same sentence…well you get it. The topic is “Which University should I go too?”

It all started off with me thinking about my future and what it is exactly that I want to do or see myself doing. I remember back in high school, decisions weren’t that difficult to make. You basically had others make the choice for you. Parental influence coupled with “where are my friends going?” usually had a heavy influence. SO my decision was finalized and I decided to head to Ryerson University. My stay at Ryerson, however, was cut short and I then found myself taking a year off school to really think about my future. I eventually found my way back to school and ended up here at Seneca. The diploma program is great but seeing as I’m almost done I’m now faced with the same dilemma that I once faced almost 5 years ago, ‘Where should I pursue my degree?’. Except now I’m prepared. Here are my options: York University, Ryerson University or our very own Seneca College.

I’ve decided to compare the 3 options using a chart. It’s based on three key elements that influence my decision in choosing my ideal institution.

York University

Welcoming Atmosphere?

I’ve called York once before to ask about a specific program and entrance requirements. The lady on the phone was a bit impolite and I felt as though she rushed me off. It was at that point in time I wondered “Are they so big that they don’t care if they lose a prospective student?” And just so everyone knows I’m not undermining the University as a whole based on one person who could just be having a bad day, BUT first impressions do count.

Resources Available, Accessibility

I’m sure York University has many resources available for its students. I have a few friends that went there and even said the same thing, the only thing they ever complained about was accessibility. From what I can see, the campus is so large, filled with many students that information about available tips, study help and other resources may not be easily circulated to reach each and every student. Apart from this issue…classes are so far apart from each other…and it’s quite easy for first years to get lost.

Distance

This will obviously be different depending on where you live BUT for me York University is just too far. I drive, but I know parking is quite expensive there and during bad weather I’d never want to go to class. There are go buses that go directly to York but again, it’s about an hour and a half bus ride. Driving on the highway would take about 40-50 minutes…on good days.

Ryerson University

Welcoming Atmosphere?

In terms of friendly atmosphere, Ryerson was not all that bad. Independence reigned supreme basically. I felt like I was part of a school of fish, everyone going one way, following someone…. At the end however I felt just like a number. Staying back to talk to a professor involved fighting other students to get to the beginning of the line or even gain a spot. There was no unity just a mechanical world…well in my opinion again.

Resources Available, Accessibility

Honestly, Ryerson University had the same problem as York. Apart from classes being far apart as well I knew nothing of what Ryerson had to offer its students. I’m sure there was much BUT I guess I never heard of it nor where to generally head to if I did need any help. I’m sure as years passed by I’d eventually know where to go but as a first year I felt extremely lost.

Distance

The commute in getting to Ryerson highly frustrates me. Since I depended on the subway I had no control over when accidents happened and shuttle buses were used. Anything could happen…I remember I had an exam at 8 am and having to be an hour late because there was an accident that happened. Even though shuttle services were available…I still was late. Parking is also expensive downtown and very inconvenient as well.

Seneca College

Welcoming Atmosphere?

I remember calling Seneca College right after I hung up with York University. The man on the phone was in no rush and was super nice. He helped me navigate the website and taught me how to find the information I needed without having to wait for someone to help. If I only remembered this individual’s help I would’ve thanked him now for helping me make my decision. At the end of our conversation he said “I hope I’ve helped you today and maybe I’ll even be seeing you at Seneca. Good luck and take care” I mean…who says that anymore?!!!

Resources Available, Accessibility

Stepping into Seneca was an entirely different experience. Finding my classes was so easy! Signs were displayed everywhere! Talking to professors was easy. I didn’t have to find resources such as tutors, tip sheets, job fair information, workshops for resume writing/interview skills etc. These resources found me. Emails were constantly sent out to remind students. Booths were set up to explain what the school had to offer its students. Seneca does care about the students, we aren’t just consumers to them, the students and alumni are what make a school.

Distance

Whether it’s driving to Seneca or busing I never had any issues. If there was something wrong with my car I’d take the bus, if there was something wrong with that particular bus there were many other routes available to get to Seneca. On good days, by driving, it takes me 20 minutes to get to school, on bad days due to traffic 40 minutes (Which is good day for York). By bus it takes me less than an hour sometimes even 30 minutes (depends on the route).

When looking at this chart it’s very obvious where my heart lies. I will pursue my Bachelor of Commerce here at Seneca College. The atmosphere is wonderful and welcoming, accessibility to resources is simple and the close distance is a bonus. I just wanted to let everyone know though using the degree transfer guide (Hard copy is available in room D2000 or you can check it out online) is an excellent way to help make your decision as well. I used it to review my options and realized that I can complete my degree in only 2 years here at Seneca, which is an even BIGGER bonus! Take care everyone and hopefully you’ll find this blog post useful in deciding your own paths!


What Brought Me to Seneca

01/21/2014

Hey guys before we get down to the gruesome details of my potential road to success I would like to first introduce myself. My name is Calista Selvarajan and I’m currently in my 6th semester here at Seneca College. The program that I’ve finally decided to devote my blood, sweat, and tears too would be the Business Administration Human Resource diploma program. I’ve come to realize that my life feels like a roller-coaster ride. In the sense that it’s completely filled with moments where I’m at my highest (happy, content, NOT confused!) and moments where I’m at my lowest (confused, unhappy, KILL ME NOW!). BUT I wouldn’t have it any other way since it’s those same moments that actually shaped who and what I am today! And I also know I’m not alone in feeling this way. The life of a student is kind of like an adventure. The goal is to get to that happy bright place (great marks = great life) that has somehow etched itself into our minds, born and developed by parents, family, friends and experiences. So I completely understand the pressure that’s put forth unintentionally by people that only want the best for us.

NOW going back to the task at hand… the purpose! What’s the point of this blog you might ask? Well I don’t know if you felt the same way but when I started my first year of university at Ryerson I felt completely detached from the school itself, I felt like a number! The classrooms contained anywhere from 200 – 300 students, the teachers were polite but didn’t seem open and good luck asking questions considering the fact that you’re one of 50 other students waiting to ask! I felt lost and very confused. It’s feelings like these that aided in preventing me from further continuing my education (at the time). Seneca changed my bitter opinion of school. As soon as I walked in the atmosphere was welcoming, smiling teachers and students ran the hallways, people actually care to have a conversation, everything was just different. And this is one of the main reasons for starting this blog; it’s a guideline for surviving! I’ll let you know about the many services Seneca offers its students, important and easy to miss tips and most importantly ADVICE which is directly derived from personal experiences. Whether you’re a new student, a current student or even a grad, you are not alone in this adventure!

When looking at this chart it’s very obvious where my heart lies. I will pursue my Bachelor of Commerce here at Seneca College. The atmosphere is wonderful and welcoming, accessibility to resources is simple and the close distance is a bonus. I just wanted to let everyone know though using the degree transfer guide (Hard copy is available in room D2000 or you can check it out online at www.senecacollege.ca/degreetransfer) is an excellent way to help make your decision as well. I used it to review my options and realized that I can complete my degree in only 2 years here at Seneca, which is an even BIGGER bonus! Take care everyone and hopefully you’ll find this blog post useful in deciding your own paths!


 **The views expressed in this blog are those of the student bloggers and do not represent those of Seneca College.

About Calista

Calista

Calista Selvarajan
Business Administration – Human Resources
6th Semester Student
Newnham Campus