How I chose McMaster and the Integrated Business and Humanities Program

October, 19, 2020


By Isla Gosbee

My name is Isla Gosbee and I was born and raised in Calgary. Shortly after starting my senior year in high school, my life felt very uncertain. I was unsure of what the “right” path was for me but knew, wholeheartedly, that I wanted to make a positive impact on society.

About a month into my last year of high school, a family friend reached out with an article about the Integrated Business and Humanities program (IBH for short) at McMaster University. After reading the article and doing my own research, I thought that the program was a perfect fit.

The Integrated Business and Humanities program provides its students with a traditional business education while blending humanitarian skills such as critical thinking, communication and leadership development.

My mom and I decided to make the trip across Canada to visit McMaster and learn a bit more about the IBH program. While in-person visits are not possible this year, I can assure you that the McMaster community both on and offline is welcoming and inclusive.

While I was visiting Mac, I had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Emad Mohammed, the IBH program director, who enlightened me about the benefits of the program. We talked about having smaller class sizes than most university programs, which allows students to develop personal relationships with their professors and partake in an interactive learning environment.

From that point onwards, I was certain that the IBH program and McMaster University was the right path for the change I wanted to make in the world. I decided to invest my time and commitment to my application to ensure I was accepted. 

Looking back, I do not believe any other program or school would have been a better fit for me as a student. McMaster has allowed me to grow and constantly be driven by integrity, community engagement, innovation and personal excellence.

To any high school student reading this, I would like to emphasize the importance of choosing your educational path based on what you think is best for you! I personally found this to be hard while I was in high school. I constantly questioned if McMaster was the best choice for me since it was outside of the Calgary, Alberta norm.

In high school, making decisions and creating your own path can be difficult, feel unknown and cause a lot of worry. When you make a choice that is rooted in what is best for you, as an individual and a learner, you’ll be driven by your passion and will see the success and learnings unfold.

If I could share one piece of advice to future students, it would be to prioritize what is right for you and the way you learn. Stepping outside of my comfort zone has greatly benefited me and in turn, I found my dream undergraduate program. Being a part of IBH and McMaster makes me excited to learn and be involved in my schoolwork. I could not be more thankful for the past and future experiences that McMaster University has provided me.