Day in the Life with Rachel West (March)

March 4, 2021 |
Contributed by Rachel West, IBH Level IV

Rachel West

What is something that inspires you to succeed as a student?

Something that inspires me as a student is seeing other young people’s success in adventurous and exciting career paths. I’m inspired to chase my outside-the-box dreams by people who are bold enough to take risks, and it is paying off.

One of my favourite quotes is “may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears,” by Nelson Mandela. I think one of the reasons I love it so much is that it goes against my nature.

I tend to gravitate to the comfortable, inspiring me to see people truly living out that quote. The success of others motivates me to imagine a world where my fear doesn’t hold me back. I love seeing the hope that others have for their lives and the courage to make it happen.

As someone studying business, do you think it’s essential to be a positive force for social change?

I think being a change-maker is really important in every area of your life. The only way we continue to become better as a society is to challenge the status quo. In business, this can be challenging because there’s often historical precedence for doing things and a lot of pressure to succeed. Still, it also makes it so much more impressive when someone creates impactful change.

It can be easy to follow the status quo when there’s a tried and true method already in place, but that’s not where the magic happens. The magic happens when people are brave enough to speak up and ask important questions. I know I’m surrounded by the right group of people when they get excited by the potential of change rather than threatened by it.

Leading with questions bookWhat is the most important learning you took from your business education?

So far, the most important learning I’ve had from my education is how to ask the right questions. While not every Integrated Business and Humanities class explicitly teaches this skill, they have all given me the tools to decipher the right question to ask in different scenarios. Business professionals are problem solvers, but often half the challenge is knowing what the problem to tackle is. This type of critical thinking requires a curious mind. My classes have taught me constructive methods to get to the root of a problem and then uncover the questions that will ultimately point to powerful solutions.

Stream in winter

What do you look forward to doing post-pandemic?

When I think about life after the pandemic, I’m immediately excited by all the opportunities! Many university students dream about that summer after graduation, and it’s become almost a rite of passage to backpack across Europe or explore Asia. For myself, I hope the summer of 2022 after I graduate is one full of new experiences. I would love to be able to hop on a plane to Hawaii, go on a road trip out West, and see some of my favourite artists in concert. Even more importantly, I’m looking forward to human connection. There’s nothing quite like sitting down to talk and laugh with friends for hours, and I’m so excited for when I can do that in person again.

Rachel West Headshot

Rachel West

McMaster University Integrated Business and Humanities Level IV
DeGroote School of Business

Rachel is an Integrated Business and Humanities Student at the DeGroote School of Business currently completing a year long sales and marketing internship at PepsiCo Foods Canada. Throughout her time at DeGroote, Rachel has been highly involved in the DeGroote Commerce Society, JDCC, and Canada’s Next Top-Ad Exec. In her free time she loves to cook, paint, workout, and spend time with her friends and family.

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