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Queens Essay Example

Queen’s has an optional PSE for all students, but also has additional mandatory questions for certain programs, Bachelor of Commerce being one of them. Thus, below you’ll find a Queen’s Commerce Essay Example. For admissions consulting services, we recommend the folks at Or read the latest Queen’s Commerce Application – How to Get In for 2017.

General PSE

List any Award or Distinction that you have earned in the last 4 years. Please indicate if each is a High School (HS), Community (C) or Other (O) Award/Distinction and briefly explain in the space provided (maximum 90 characters with spaces). Please also include the year the Award/Distinction was received.

Awards/ Distinctions

Advanced PADI Diver-Over 20 successful scuba dives around the globe (O)
Certified Lifeguard-Over 100 hours of training and a 100% safety rate (O)
1st Place, DECA Provincials-Co-led a team of 10 and fundraised to attend competition (HS)
Certificate in Leadership, Global Leadership Academy-Completed rigorous program (O)
English Award-Obtained highest academic standing in Grade 12 English with 97% (HS)


Co-leader, DECA-Conducted 10 practice workshops with team; 1st place provincials (HS)
Co-captain, Hockey Team-Scored 9 goals, 25 assists, and acted as role model for team (HS)
Assistant Coach, Youth Hockey-Volunteered 50+ hours with youth hockey team (C)
Me to We, Volunteer Abroad Trip-Volunteered for one month at an orphanage in Kenya (C)
Leader, Global Leadership Academy-Completed 9-mth leadership development program (O)


Lifeguard, Toronto Pool-100% safety record, promoted to senior staff in one year (O)
Intern, CampusRankings-Business analyst intern, deriving new insights on site traffic (O)

In an essay of 300 words, or fewer (approximately 1950 characters with spaces), write about your goals for your time at Queen’s University and beyond. Your answer will be evaluated for content and writing style.

Only the most successful companies make long-term strategic plans, and I believe the success of this discipline translate into life as well. I have three major goals I hope to accomplish over the next five years: experience everything I want at university, obtain an exceptional career, and place in the top 5% of an international athletic competition.

Queen’s University helps me achieve all three of these goals. For one, the experience I hope to obtain at Queen’s will be truly second-to-none. Studying a diverse range of business and non-business topics, gaining internships, studying abroad, and participating in extra-curriculars are all activities I hope to pursue. Since I eventually aim on going into entrepreneurship, I intend to not specialize my studies, and rather study all aspects of business to build a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding. I would, however, like to obtain an internship in second year with a growing technology-related startup, and in third year with a management consulting firm.

From a career perspective, I’m not opposed to working in any industry in particular – I’m more concerned with joining a company that that values employees as their number one asset, such as McKinsey & Company or GE. I also want to work for a company that represents the same values as my own, and in some way, helps significantly improve the state of the world. Meeting these two factors will allow me to build my business acumen, grow within the company, and enjoy my career before pursuing entrepreneurship.

Lastly, health and fitness has always been a priority for me. I’m currently an aspiring triathlete, and would like to improve my times by 5% each year while at Queen’s. The university was ranked by CampusRankings having the best recreation and sports facilities in Canada, so it will directly align.

Commerce Essays

  1. In 300 words, or fewer, please describe one of your greatest strengths. Given the knowledge you have gained about the Queen’s Commerce Program, describe how this strength will help you to succeed in the program.

People often associate the term ‘strength’ for a skill. Skills help people accomplish things, and thus open doors to opportunities in career and life. But what if these opportunities aren’t the ‘right’ ones? What if we’re pursuing things that inherently aren’t aligned with what makes us happy? There’s simply no way of knowing this unless you have the one strength that I believe precedes all the rest: a clear sense of purpose.

Purpose, in my opinion, is the foundation for a happy and successful life. I know who I am, what I want, and why I want it – allowing me to make the most authentic decisions and consciously/ subconsciously pursue the right opportunities. It’s the reason why I get out of bed in the morning, it’s what keeps me going when times get tough, and it’s my internal compass that keeps me on the right path toward my goals.

The Queen’s Commerce program offers an unprecedented set of opportunities to its students. You can choose courses from several different departments, exchange programs from dozens of countries, and extra-curriculars from countless clubs, committees, and competitions. Therefore, having a clear sense of who I am and what I want out of the program is paramount to having an extraordinary experience.

The program will test me in various different ways, from rigorous quantitative analysis, to group presentations, to projects that require high degrees of creativity. There’s no single skill that will allow me to succeed across these diverse demands of the program. Rather it’s the fact that I am aware of my strengths and development areas that will allow me to get the most from this exceptional education.

  1. Choose one extracurricular activity or one employment opportunity you have listed on your Personal Statement of Experience. In 300 words, or fewer, describe the impact of this experience and the greatest learning outcome for you.

My year with the Global Leadership Academy (GLA) was the most transformational year of my life. Deciding to take a gap year between high school and university was difficult at first, but I feel more self-aware, confident, and skilled than ever before – a necessary year off that will act more like a year ahead in the long-run.

The program requires its students to accomplish six things before they can graduate. In this essay, I will focus on one of accomplishments that I feel had the most impact on me and others: solving a problem in my community.

After volunteering for a youth hockey team in a low-income region of Toronto, I was exposed to the challenges these families and kids face. Hockey is an incredibly expensive activity – the equipment, ice time, transportation, and time commitment makes it difficult for lower-income families to get involved. I conducted a large-scale data gathering and analysis activity to attempt to prove my hypothesis that these families want to play, but simply cannot afford it. I conducted a survey with over 500 respondents and analyzed the results, which in fact proved my hypothesis.

Next, I came up with the idea to run a hockey equipment drive, getting donations from families across the city – mainly for helmets, sticks, and skates – the essential pieces that allow young kids to learn the basics of the sport. We collected over 100 pieces of equipment and then decided rather than donating it all now, we run a series of workshops to teach the kids how to play. However, ice rentals were incredibly expensive, so we found free outdoor rinks and hosted five workshops across the city.  We then donated the equipment to the kids we felt showed the most passion, need, and potential.

The above Queen’s Commerce Essay Example cannot be re-used or copied in any way but rather is just an example and should be used for guidance.

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Campus Rankings

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The RCS Library is delighted to announce that a significant recent deposit of essays from The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition has been added to its on-line catalogue Janus (ARCS 20). The competition, originally established in 1883 by the Royal Commonwealth Society, and now run in partnership with Cambridge University Press, is the world’s oldest international schools’ writing contest. It reflects the society’s enduring aim to foster the creative talent of young people throughout the Commonwealth by encouraging literacy, self-expression and imagination.  Last year’s competition, which attracted almost 13,500 entries from primary to Sixth Form students from virtually every Commonwealth country, emphasises its continuing success. The theme of the 2017 competition is ‘A Commonwealth for Peace.’ The library already holds essays from 1922 to 1985 (with some gaps), and all surviving prize winning entries from these years have been digitised and are freely available on the Apollo digital repository.

The latest deposit includes prize winners from the years 1991 to 2009, and a very large collection of commended and other essays for the years 2002-09, totalling more than 20,000. The essays represent an excellent resource for many fields of research relating to education, and for assessing the opinions of intelligent, articulate and engaged young adults throughout the Commonwealth on a host of contemporary political, social and cultural issues. It is impossible here to list all the topics for each year, which range from the light-hearted to the serious, or to single out individual essays. The essays are occasionally accompanied by examiners’ reports, which contain insightful comparative analysis of entries, as an example from 2009 illustrates. One examiner of essays written by thirteen to sixteen year olds (Class B) commented upon the originality, insight and eloquence with which many responded to the themes ‘Tracks’ and ‘The Long Way Home.’  Many reflected upon the theme of war: its aftermath, consequences and the return to a home country after fighting abroad, while others addressed concerns of especial relevance to young adults such as unwanted pregnancies, abortion and abusive relationships.  The examiner concluded, ‘It is remarkable to see such young writers master such sophisticated themes and topics spurred by such vague titles.’

A dedicated and conscientious team of Reader Services Assistants in the Rare Books Department have listed each essay, recording name of author, age, school, country, gender and essay topic. Thanks to their hard work, it will be easy for researchers to quickly sort through the essays, identifying for example, how many students from a particular country or gender answered individual questions, whether they lived in the developed or developing worlds, or studied in state or private schools. In the Class B examiner’s group discussed above, for example, 62 of 150 writers (almost half), were inspired by the theme ‘The Long Way Home.’  They represented thirty different countries, with the three largest numbers of entries drawn from Singapore, Pakistan and India.  Many of the essays are illustrated, especially by younger authors, accompanied by beautiful original art work or photographs, which reinforce their themes. The three examples shown here were the work of eleven and twelve year olds from Class D 2009.

Researchers wishing to view these recently-acquired essays and their listings, and to request reproductions, must first consult staff in the Royal Commonwealth Society Department.

A catalogue of the full collection may be found here.