Posted by: Steph | December 5, 2006

Canadian Doormats

Everyone loves Canada, Canadians are so nice, so polite, in fact, it’s absolutely wonderful they way they let everyone……..walk all over them???

I am Canadian. Schulich is mostly not, which 95% of the time makes it a more interesting place, but sometimes I get a little bit frustrated with the generalizations made by a few about Canadians. Nothing is black and white… but I would like to touch upon some shades of grey.

Recently I was in a room with four non Canadians. Keeping in mind that I really really like most of these people, I started to get a bit offended when they started making generalizations about Canadians. Saying that we were passive, not driven to work for success, and just generally… blah. To be fair – I can’t remember any direct quotes because I was too busy steaming – but some of the generalizations were just wrong. I suppose that as a Canadian I was also offended because had it been four Canadians making generalizations about one of their countries it would have been seen as offensive.

One comment was made about low educational standards and this absolutely enraged me since this was based solely on the Schulich Standards. This is not the first time I have heard this from the international students. I think Schulich is an amazing school and I am learning a tremendous amount – but let’s be honest – my dog could pass some of the courses here and he isn’t even a particularly clever dog. And I am not even referring to the language issues, this is related to content only. The papers that receive a B- in 5150 would have failed in my Canadian undergrad courses.

The thing is, the Schulich bubble does not reflect the Canadian working world. At the levels of success that an MBA should be striving for the standards are higher than they are at school for the majority of the classes.

Canadians are very polite, but politeness does not mean that we are all pushovers. Underestimate us at your own risk. Polite people can be surprisingly tough. Cross them or take advantage of them and before you know it they will be politely saying “goodbye, and no, I will not be giving you a reference” and shutting the door with a smile on their face.

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