BMSA Podcasts – BMSc/HBA (Dual Degree)
Updated: Feb 1
Podcast Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0TcmMPyPwMIpvBF0QA0apw?si=rrhzCfoCSB6GCufNYmSN8Q
Interviewer for BMSA = Kaitlin
Interviewee in BMSc/HBA = Rebecca
Kaitlin: Hello everyone and welcome to another ITR session with BMSA where we interview senior students in the medical science program in order to give you guys a better background for your intent to register choices. My name is Kaitlin Lees and today we’re joined by Rebecca Young. So, Rebecca why don’t we start off with you telling me a little bit more about yourself.
Rebecca: Thank Kaitlin! So, I am 21 years old and currently in my 4th year at Western, but I am doing a dual degree with Ivey and Medical science which is a 5-year program. On the medical sciences side I am in the IMS module. Aside from academics, I love to paint and play piano in my downtime. I’m also really into sports as I used to compete in karate and play competitive soccer before coming to western and now, I’m really just involved in intramural sports such as soccer, footstall and flag football.
Kaitlin: Oh my god that’s great being involved in so many things outside of classes it definitely makes the university experience better! I’m kind of curious about the combination of business and science, it seems really interesting, would you mind telling me a little more about how it all works?
Rebecca: Of course! As I mentioned the dual degree is 5 years, you do the first 2 years of undergrad in the typical entry level medical science program and then in 2nd year you go through the Ivey application process. Once you’re accepted into Ivey which is mostly based on your grades (meeting the minimum average of 80%) and also focusing on your extracurriculars, you are entered into HBA1 which is technically your first year of Ivey so your 3rd year of university will be all business courses. If you can keep up your average, then you are accepted into the dual degree where your 4th and 5th year will be combined Ivey and med sci courses so technically your 4th year [of undergrad] is 3rd year med sci courses. Typically, with the dual degree you will have to overload one or two semesters so for example this year in both semesters I am taking 6 courses instead of 5. Although the workload is a little heavier it is definitely manageable and worth it when you graduate with two degrees.
Kaitlin: Definitely. How have you been liking it so far? I’m interested in hearing how you manage to balance out business-oriented courses vs science-based ones?
Rebecca: I’m loving the dual degree so far. Business and science courses are very different in my opinion, definitely in terms of the way the classes are taught, the types of exams and assignments you do and overall the way you have to think through a business or science problem. It’s nice to have the two subjects to switch between when you need a break from one or the other. In terms of balancing the two sides I find it really comes down to how you study and how you learn as a student. Ivey requires a lot more preparation time before classes, but science requires more time after the classes to understand in my opinion. If you can find a balance between learning based on knowledge for science or application-based learning for business and try to solve problems, it will be easy to manage both business and science. You really need to understand your strengths and weaknesses as a student to get the best out of the program.
Kaitlin: It sounds like a great experience. Was there something in particular about this combination that made you choose it?
Rebecca: For me I was always interested in both business and science coming out of high school. I loved science but I knew that post grad I didn’t want to go to medical school or be a researcher. I knew I wanted a career in business so for me Ivey was really the perfect opportunity to explore interests in both business and science and leverage my way to a career with either just business or ideally at the intersection of business and science. That was really the main reason why I was interested in doing the dual degree.
Kaitlin: Now that you’re more than halfway through, what something that you wish you knew before choosing to do a combined degree?
Rebecca: Admittedly, my older brother also did the dual degree, so he was able to tell me a lot about it when I was still in high school. Without his knowledge what I wish I knew was to really prepare in advance. When I was in second year it is really helpful to think about what 3rd and 4th year med sci courses I wanted to take so I could draft out my schedule far in advance. When it comes to scheduling for the dual degree you need to know which prerequisites you need for science in order to take courses you’re interested because when you’re taking that extra year of business and science the course load is of course a bit heavier, but you really want to make sure you get into the science classes you’re completely interested in and will really like or else it will be a bit of a drag to have to overload.
Kaitlin: Definitely and having older siblings or knowing someone who’s been through it is always a huge help. Just to finish things up here do you have any final words for 1st/2nd year listeners who may be experiencing some confusion when trying to pick a path for the rest of their time in undergrad?
Rebecca: I would say that if you’re confused it is completely okay! It is really great that Ivey does this opportunity for a dual degree so even if you’re slightly interested in both business and science the dual degree is super beneficial. If you’re an AEO student right now I would recommend focussing on your grades and keep those up while maintaining extracurriculars because Ivey really considers those in their application process. For any students who may be completely set on only doing med sci and going to med school or becoming researchers there are a lot of benefits to doing a dual degree and getting some basic business knowledge. Especially if you’re considering being a doctor who has their own practice or if you want to become a very successful chief of surgery or CEO of a hospital there are a lot of benefits to having a business background so I would recommend keeping an open mind about your options. Overall if you do go to Ivey and you do the dual degree I would recommend not getting too caught up in the “Ivey Bubble” as we like to call it. Make sure you’re maintaining strong relationships with your friends in med sci and in other programs. Overall, just try to have fun with whatever choice you make because university is the best!
Kaitlin: Thank you so much for joining us today Rebecca and providing some insight into this unique dual degree. This was BMSA’s ITR session for the combined Ivey/Medsci program. Check back on our website and social media platforms for ITR podcasts for other modules with new students next week. Thank you for listening and hopefully this has been helpful!