Gaining an international experience is always an asset. I recently relocated to Quebec from Nigeria with my family and have only been living in the greater Montreal area for a little less than two years. I really yearned for an academic upgrade, but was unsure of what field of study to pursue.
I had heard of Concordia’s reputation even while living in Nigeria and liked the fact that it is an English university in the heart of the French city of Montreal. So, it had to be Concordia!
I searched through the many courses offered and found the Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, which, by the way, is only offered at Concordia. This seemed like a nice point for me to start, so here I am now at the prestigious John Molson School of Business.
First impressions of Montreal
My first impressions of the city were very mixed and I had many questions and doubts. Nevertheless, I would quickly find a positive response to these.
How would I cope in this soooo very French city with zero knowledge of the language? Maybe it was an opportunity to learn a new language and be soooo very French myself. Wouldn’t that be ‘trop cool’?
Moving to a new city felt like I was starting all over again! Would I succeed out here academically, career-wise and financially? But of course! This will be a good opportunity to fulfill all of my dreams and Montreal feels like a good environment to achieve these things. My career choices are still a bit hazy – there is so much to do, it gets so confusing – but I had to start from somewhere.
Would I be able to make friends and quickly grow a reliable network of people around me? Would my children fit in? How would the cultural differences impact on us all? Well, I guess it was a time of rediscovery for me. The kids will be just fine; they adapt quickly. Cultural shock! It was time to see how open-minded I could be.
Oh la la! The winter! Sigh. But at least I wouldn't need the air conditioning as much. Nigeria is summertime all year round.
So, as you can see, my emotions were everywhere, but I was pretty determined to succeed. I took it all one day at a time, opening up my mind to many possibilities and stayed optimistic.
First impressions of John Molson
My first impression of John Molson was “wow!” The building is so nice and I felt like I would definitely succeed just walking in through those doors every time I came to school. I remember telling my husband, “It feels like walking into the corporate headquarters of an organization.” I loved the amphitheater and felt that I could never have a bad lecture day in there. I had thought the university campus would be this big, secluded community with all of the buildings in the same confinement, but I was wrong. Right next door can be your favorite clothing store or restaurant, depending on your preferences. The numerous windows of the tall buildings overlook the very busy downtown streets of Montreal.
First impressions of my class
The class is very multicultural, just like the city. The diversity is so rich that my network was going to span farther than my imagination. I have friends now from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Africa and, of course, Nigerians like me. Can you imagine my reach now, just being in class every day with all these beautiful people carefully selected by Concordia?
The professors and tutors are very knowledgeable and the students are open-minded. Some of the courses are more difficult than others, but the tutorial classes offered by the university help a lot. My classmates are success-driven and organize reading groups to help each other with those difficult courses.
One thing for sure though, there was an academic shock! I did not realise how much of a time gap there had been since my last schooling and so I have to study extra hard. I’ve had courses like accounting, which I had never done before because my background is in Engineering. While it was difficult for me and a few others, for some, it was a breeze. Professional Business Skills was a more relaxing class for me, but the Statistics course, ayaya! So much work! But the professor and tutor definitely top my list of bests. With their help, it suddenly became the easiest course for me.
I guess fulfilling my academic dreams definitely started in a good way; the right people in the right city with a right mindset and at the right place. JMSB! Bien sûr!