A Virtual Academic Year: 2020-2021

We are currently living through a period with many changes. Companies have seen volatile shifts in valuation, many workplaces have had to adapt to a remote-working environment, and many students settling back into the school year may find something missing from their usual routine: connection. A scarcer commodity these days, connection with peers and professionals is a vital ingredient for the enriched learning of business students, among others. For those concerned with the availability of opportunities to connect with like-minded students and established business professionals, as well as those seeking to develop their own professional skills– look no further, the IMI Business Association (IBA) and its activities will be of great interest to you.

Formerly comprised of the Undergraduate Commerce Society (UCS) and the Student Management Association (SMA), IBA was formed in March of 2019, when its first seven board members were elected, followed by the first draft of its constitution later in May. With 79 total members coming from the Management, Commerce, and Digital Enterprise Management (DEM) programs, UTM’s largest academic society is dedicat

ed to upholding and transcending the 40-year legacy of the Department of Management’s preceding student organizations, by fostering meaningful networking experiences and inspiring the business leaders of tomorrow.

Since its establishment last year, the student society of the Institute for Management & Innovation (IMI) has worked hard to establish its brand, offering a wide variety of events for Management and Commerce students to connect and develop their skills. With its wide range of corporate partners, IBA is able to provide many different circumstances for professional and personal development. From its Ready, Set, Market and Show Me the Green case competitions; to raising funds for Breast Cancer research with Dodge for the Cure; and its many networking events such as Business Banquet and Women in Business, IBA provides many different avenues of involvement with the business community. IBA’s corporate partners and sponsors for the 2020- 2021 academic year. While IBA provides many opportunities to connect with professionals and business students, the organization also has means and incentives for students to focus on developing their skills, through the Professional Skills Development Program (PSDP). The PSDP program breaks down skills and provides opportunities from six different categories. Completion of 46 PSDP points with specific distribution requirements across the six categories grants eligibility for a PSDP transcript notation. Find out more on UTM’s website at www.utm.utoronto.ca/management/psdp.

After having earned the title of UTM’s Academic Society of the Year in its inaugural year in 2019-2020, IBA was faced with a new challenge for the upcoming one: to continue enriching the student experience despite the remote-learning restrictions under which universities must operate this year. IBA has been quick to adapt, launching its live business interview series Industry Talks via Instagram Live over the summer. IBA will also be using tools such as Zoom to hold online meetings to engage students with the business community, such as its Navigating the New Normal webinar about getting hired in a transformed job market, as well as the upcoming Game Night, an opportunity for students to network with professors. In addition to using online tools, IBA will also hold in-person events when it can. In the upcoming BizFrosh, participants will have the option of attending either online or in-person. The Amazon-sponsored free online event will have games, challenges, and prizes. The $15 inperson component will additionally include food, gift bags, and other activities. For incoming first-year students, we encourage you to attend BizFrosh and explore the UTM Biz Class of 2024 group on Facebook to engage with other new students.

Despite the unique situation we all find ourselves in, the IMI Business Association is dedicated to providing an excellent student experience. Come join us if you dare to soar.