McGill Or Queen's Commerce? Accepted to both for undergrad.

As a teenager, I don't have a clear idea about what I want to do in the future, but I'm currently leaning towards something along the lines of becoming business consultant, potentially in Toronto. I don't think IB or trading is for me. I'd like to preface that the cost of attendance isn't a deciding factor.

I've come up with the following pros and cons list so far (I could be wrong about this):

McGill:

Pros:
- Great international reputation for the school as a whole (I care about prestige)
- Montreal is a great city
- Great campus
- Large and diverse student body
- Great party/social scene

Cons:
- Its rank is declining (apparently it's underfunded by the Quebec government? Ouch. It seems like this affects student life and opportunity)
- People say that the business faculty just rides along the prestige of the rest of the school, while it's not prestigious on its own; the consensus seems to be Ivey (#1) > Queen's (#2) >> McGill (#3) in terms of business
- Grade deflation and stress? I don't mind work, but apparently student morale is quite low at the university. If this is true, it can be a deterrent for me, since I want a balanced lifestyle.
- A lacking school spirit, contrasting my preconceived notions about what university life is like
- Forced to live off campus after the first year. Doesn't seem like a community driven atmosphere

​Queen's:

Pros:
- Arguably the best all around undergraduate business program in Canada (this is a pretty big factor for me)
- Smaller class sizes; I feel like I would learn a lot more during lectures
- Great school spirit, leading to a high student morale
- Great party/social scene once again

Cons:
- The school seems to be virtually unknown outside of Canada. This matters to me since I've been working to get into a prestigious school for a while. McGill has this prestige. Why is Queen's ranked so low on lists?
- Primarily Caucasian student body (I've been in very international schools my whole life with a good mix of people, but I'm not Caucasian). I don't have a problem with Caucasians, just potentially with a homogeneous student body.
- Kingston? Seems fine but I've always lived in a metropolis like Tokyo, etc. I'm open for a change though.

I think it boils down to McGill having more prestige, but a seemingly weaker program, while having a lower student quality of life (from what I can tell), while Queen's lacks prestige, but has a stronger program and quality of life. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about this. While I care about academics, I'm also expecting college to be more like how US universities are in terms of lifestyle; I'm considering some universities over there as well.

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Comments (4)

Apr 1, 2019 - 11:29am

arsh.bhole_1, hey, look at the bright side, at least you didn't get a ton of monkey shit thrown at you...here is my best guess on threads that might be helpful:

Fingers crossed that one of those helps you.

Apr 4, 2019 - 5:01pm

It's a really difficult decision. They are both really good schools with great programs. The question you should ask yourself now is where do I see myself going the next 4 years. Close your eyes and the first school that pops up boom go for it.

Any choice will be the best choice. Itl be fun if you told me which school you ended up choosing.

Wish you da best
//P

Most Helpful
Apr 5, 2019 - 3:12pm

I was in your shoes in terms of deciding undergrads about a decade ago (holy crap I'm old). Here's how I view your situation:

  1. You want to potentially end up in Toronto - Queens would set you up much better for it. 58% of Desaultel grads stay in Quebec, and only send about 18% to Ontario.
    https://www.mcgill.ca/desautels/career/employment-stats

  2. Rankings don't matter - McGill was much better known internationally in the past, but less so now. There's a large contingency of Ivey and Queens grads in NYC, SF, and many other major cities. I don't see this quite as much for McGill - but someone could correct me if I'm wrong.

  3. Queens Grads make slightly more money - Employment report - Smith: $61,583 vs Desaultels: $57,339 (not that significant, and you'd probably make the same if you were going for consulting regardless of undergrad)

I feel icky as an Ivey grad advocating for Queens, but based on your stated goals, I think you would find yourself better positioned coming out of Smith vs. Desaultels. Ultimately, go with your gut feel. Don't let prestige influence your decision as much as how you see yourself fitting into the campus. If you love McGill more than Queens, you would be more willing to get involved and contribute to the student body, which will in turn make you a more hireable candidate.

Best of luck and happy to answer any other questions you may have.

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