Celebrate 100 Years of Commerce

Share Your Commerce Memory

Did you know that Queen’s University offered the first Bachelor of Commerce degree in Canada? This September, the 100th Commerce class will begin their studies at Smith School of Business.

Do you have a story or memory of your time in the Commerce program? Favourite professor? What you did for fun? Hardest course/exam? Most important thing you learned in Commerce?

Share Your Story Read our Stories

Explore our past.
Be part of our future.

Aysha Tabassum, Comm’22

Second Year Commerce Student, Certificate in Social Impact

Hometown: Scarborough, Ont.

My ultimate goal is to enter into law, and I felt that the courses and experiences offered at business school would give me the most options! Other degrees are fairly limited, but at Smith you get a chance to try a bit of everything, and develop skills that you can apply to almost anything. Don't be afraid to explore unconventional interests, because there is a wealth of opportunities available to you. Anything that you love doing is worth doing.

Emmanuel Genene, Comm’20

Fourth Year Commerce Student, President of Edge

Hometown: Brampton, Ont.

Many people come into Commerce programs with the sole intention of securing their first jobs. If I could give one piece of advice to incoming students, it would be to deeply reflect on what you want for your life; not only for the next five years, but for the next 20. You don’t have to have it all figured out – explore and let your ambitions evolve, but it’s important to check in with yourself regularly so that you aren't in long-term pursuit of things you don't actually want.

Dakota Lavery, Comm’20

Fourth Year Commerce Student, Varsity Athlete – Cross Country

Hometown: Hiawatha, First Nation

I think you need three things to be happy and motivated: something to work towards, something you are passionate about, and someone you can try to impress. When you identify these, you’ll almost always have at least one thing to be appreciative of. Commerce is looking for motivated students who go beyond academics, so get out and be creative.

John Sibbald, BCom’18

Management Consultant for Oliver Wyman in Boston, Mass.

Hometown: Sutton, Ont.

A highlight of my time at Smith was co-founding Q+, the LGBTQ+ network at Smith. Although it was a challenging journey, I love knowing that it leaves a lasting impact on the students and alumni who get involved. Attending business school is something that will only ever open doors for you. Having a thorough understanding of the way that business works will be valuable regardless of your desired career path. Be bold.

Eva Wong, BCom’00

Co-founder of fintech startup Borrowell

Hometown: Whitby, Ont.

The three things that have been consistent during my career are that I wanted to learn as much as I could, work with great people and do work that mattered. For a lot of people, it’s hard ‘to be it if you don’t see it,’ and so I’m happy to be out there as someone who doesn’t have a technical background and who'd never been at a startup before, just to show that it can be done. We need more female founders, especially in fintech, who are getting the funding to be able to grow and scale.

Bonnie Zhang, BCom’19

Management Consulting, Toronto

Hometown: Richmond, B.C.

Everyone at Smith is willing to go above and beyond to help you, and there are endless resources available. You just need to think about what you want to achieve, and build up the courage to ask for help. The Loran Scholars Foundation supported and challenged me to do more than I thought I could. From trying new jobs in the non-profit sector in London, England and government sector in Halifax, to mentoring 50 students as a residence don, I would not have been able to do it without Loran!

Joanna Griffiths, BCom’06

Founder, CEO and Inventor of Knix

Hometown: Toronto, Ont.

You only live once and it's within anyone's power to take responsibility for their lives and do the most that they can with it. The intimates category needed to change. Women deserved better products and there was room for product reinvention – to really create products that cater to how women live today. Knix’s focus on innovation and on being a very inclusive brand, that is truly by women for women, has existed since day one.

Heather Evans, BCom’16

Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, pursuing a Master of Global Affairs.

Hometown: Kingston, Ont.

In high school, I was interested in foreign affairs and international development. I decided that since business heavily influenced the world, it would be helpful to understand how businesses worked. The Commerce program at Smith opened doors for me I never expected. I always think of Smith whenever I ask someone to ‘Tell me more.’ These three words help me continue a conversation with anyone.

Aysha Tabassum, Comm’22

First Year Commerce Student, Certificate in Social Impact

Hometown: Scarborough, Ont.

Emmanuel Genene, Comm’20

Third Year Commerce Student, President of Edge

Hometown: Brampton, Ont.

Dakota Lavery, Comm’20

Third Year Commerce Student, Varsity Athlete – Cross Country

Hometown: Hiawatha, First Nation

John Sibbald, BCom’18

Management Consultant for Oliver Wyman in Boston, Mass.

Hometown: Sutton, Ont.

Eva Wong, BCom’00

Co-founder of fintech startup Borrowell

Hometown: Whitby, Ont.

Bonnie Zhang, Comm’19

Fourth Year Commerce Student, Loran Scholar

Hometown: Richmond, B.C.

Joanna Griffiths, BCom’06

Founder, CEO and Inventor of Knix

Hometown: Toronto, Ont.

Heather Evans, BCom’16

Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing,
pursuing a Master of Global Affairs

Hometown: Kingston, Ont.