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From ABCs to PhDs: A Day in the Life of a Business Student
Christine Noorloos is in her third-year at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. She shares a day in her life as a business student.

This is the first in a series of articles by five college and university students who reflect on a typical day studying business, chemistry, education and more.

7:30 – Buzz. The alarm clock. Again! I take my time waking up and slowly roll out of bed. After the traditional bagel with peanut butter I review some of my notes and am off to class.

Christine Noorloos

9:30 – The last class before the test. I’d better pay attention! That’s the thing about accounting – even though it’s an early morning class I have to be awake to understand what’s going on. Today we are analyzing a case on when revenue recognition should occur in a business. We discuss when revenue should be recognized and where honesty and integrity come into the picture. I find it amazing to see how Christians can be a shining light in the workplace through the decisions we make.

There are so many ways of creating loopholes in accounting, yet a Christian is called to be honest and act with integrity in all we do, even if we suffer under pressures from colleagues in following these principles.

10:45 – Back at my dorm. I read the Time-Out (daily newsletter) and realize Coffee House is in one week. That might be fun to go to. I discuss plans for the weekend with Amy, one of my dorm mates. This reminds me to call my mom and tell her about my plans to come home this weekend.

11:00 – Do the routine email and Facebook check. Nothing too exciting there so I better get on to doing some homework. I have yet to prepare for the group meeting tonight!

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12:30 – Back in class. This time it is operations management. I open my bag and realize I’ve brought the wrong textbook. Thankfully I am sitting by a friend who is willing to share. The professor is talking about going on a field trip in a few weeks. That should be fun! Though I am not a marketing student, I do enjoy the break of having a “non-accounting” class where it is mostly class discussion and lecture versus the large amount of question preparation for my accounting classes. We discussed just-in-time manufacturing, which includes the concept of kaizen (a Japanese word for “continuous improvement”). The professor reminded us this is also a biblical principle. Philippians 3:12 and 2 Corinthians 13:11 call us to strive for perfection. I was once again reminded of the applicability of the Bible to all aspects of our lives. It even applies to manufacturing systems!

2:00 – After grabbing a chicken-caesar wrap from the cafeteria and checking my mail, I head to my dorm to say goodbye to Amy who is leaving early for the holiday weekend.

2:15 – Homework beckons once again. I am still preparing for that group project tonight. This is what happens when I procrastinate. The information I am getting is fairly interesting though. It is amazing how many disclosure rules there are for an annual report.

3:30 – Accounting. This class is definitely a challenge for me. Today we are introduced to the calculation of diluted earnings per share, something I had never actually heard of before. That is the wonder of accounting for me, being introduced to so many new concepts and ideas while trying to understand the logic behind them. Sometimes, as I am discovering today, understanding this logic can be difficult.

Fortunately, I have finished all the homework for this class as the professor has decided to collect a question for marking.

5:00 – Back at my dorm, I decide to finally start doing something I had also been putting off to the last minute: vacuuming the dorm.

6:30 – Once again it is time to do some homework. This time it’s taxation. Taxation – just the word makes my brain hurt! First I have to try to understand what the Income Tax Act is saying and then I have to try to apply the multiple rules to try to solve the problems.

I can’t put it off any longer if I want any time free this weekend.

8:00 – I quickly walk to my business group meeting in the library. I left a little late but I am happy to see that not all of the other group members have arrived. Once everyone gets there, we head to a study room and start discussing how we should tackle the project. We choose to start to prepare a list of our criteria as we generate and discuss our ideas. Thankfully I finished preparing my notes for the meeting so I can contribute to the discussion.

The deadline for our annual report criteria is next week so we set out to get as much done as possible. After 2.5 hours of hard work we’re almost finished.

11:00 – Back in the dorm. I recap with my roommate what happened in her day and make plans to get ready for bed. Tomorrow is a busy day and I definitely need to be more awake tomorrow morning than I was today!

Originally published in Faith Today, January/February 2009.




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