Queen’s Commerce Supplementary Application

Written by Fernanda Munoz and Matthew Tran

Queen’s Commerce (Smith School of Business at Queen’s University) is renowned for its excellence, innovation, and leadership in business education and research.

From establishing the first undergraduate business degree to creating ground-breaking programs and courses in areas that include artificial intelligence, analytics, cultural diversity, team dynamics, and social impact, Smith has always been at the forefront of preparing its students for a bright future.

They deliver an outstanding learning experience due to their small class sizes, personal attention, individual and team coaching, opportunities for specialization, and their deep commitment to student success. Do you want to be part of this community? Keep reading to learn how to deliver a killer secondary application essay!

How to apply to Queen’s Commerce?

All applications are made online through the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC).

After submitting your application to OUAC, you will be required to complete the Supplementary Essay (SE). This document will consist of two short essay questions that will give you the opportunity to show more about who you are and the things that you are passionate about!

These essays will act as your personal portfolio and will be reviewed by two members of the Commerce admission team. So, it is very important that you take the time and effort to plan and write them as complete, well-written essays that tell YOUR story and show who you are.

Why is the Queen’s Commerce Supplementary Application so important?

Admission for Queen’s Commerce is a two-stage process that consists of academic record being reviewed first and followed by an assessment of your Supplementary Essay. Once the minimum academic requirements are met, the decision on your admission will be based on the assessment of these essays, so it is extremely important to pay attention to both parts of your application!

The Smith School of business received up to 7,000 applications per year for 500 first-year positions and they only make offers to those applicants who are able to effectively convey the qualities and values that are compatible with their community.

They are looking for students who are well-rounded, bright, enthusiastic, and inclusive, so make sure to portray these values in your essays.

How to Access your Supplementary Essay Questions?

In order to access to your Supplementary Essay question on SOLUS Student Centre, you must follow these steps:

  1. Go to [my.queensu.ca](https://my.queensu.ca./).
  2. Log into your Student Centre using your NetID and password.
  3. Click on SOLUS (red tab on the top-right corner of the MyQueen’sU dashboard).
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the Admissions heading.
  5. Click on the “Personal Statement of Experience and Supplementary Essay if applicable” link directly below the heading.

Stay ahead of the curve: Important things to know

  • Each applicant will be presented with 3 questions randomly assigned from a large bank of questions. Of the 3 questions you receive, you will be required to answer 2 of your choosing.
  • Answers are all limited to 2000 characters, which usually represent about 330 to 350 words.
  • Supplementary essays must be submitted within 30 days of the date that you first open the questions. The only exception is if you open the questions fewer than 30 days from the final document submission deadline, in which case, you would have less time.

Some examples of questions you might encounter are:

  1. Describe an activity or an initiative that you were involved in, share successes and challenges that you experience during your involvement.
  2. Tell us about who you are. What elements have shaped who you are today?
  3. What is important to you and why is it important?
  4. If you could start an organization to help a cause or community or need, what issue would it address and why?
  5. Describe a transformative experience that led to a better understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a problem you’ve solved or one you’d like to solve. What did you do? Why did you feel it was important? And what steps did you, or would you take to solve it?
Goodes Hall, Smith School of Business, Queen's University - +VG Architects

Stay on your A-game: Tips and Tricks to start writing

  • Allow your passion to shine through in your writing
  • The impact of your experiences is more important than the achievements themselves. Focus on impact rather than results
  • Write in your own words
  • Start writing your essay early! (and make sure to send it to our amazing essay editors to make sure your message gets across)
  • Discuss a variety of volunteer and leadership experiences. If you do not have a lot of experiences to talk about, try to avoid copying the same experiences word for word in each response. Instead, take a different approach in each essay (i.e. one focused on community service and what you did for others, another focused on your leadership and the skills you gained.)
  • Discuss how you will contribute to the Queen’s community and Queen’s Commerce by referencing clubs/opportunities you want to join or start. Describe how your past experiences and the skills you’ve gained will help you make an impact at Queen’s.
  • Make sure to include a hook:
    • Try to avoid directly answering the question in the first sentence of your response, this can be repetitive and boring. The committee receives hundreds of applications, so you want to guarantee yours stands out. Let’s jazz it up!
    • A hook is one or two sentences at the beginning of your essay that capture the reader’s attention and makes them keep reading. It can be a personal story, a powerful statement, identifying a need, etc.
  • Choose only one volunteer activity to focus on for each essay. Then use the STAR structure to describe your involvement!
    • Situation (who, what, when, where): This is where you give context to your readers and introduce them into your world.
    • Task (your objective): Show your goals and make sure to explain the reason why you decided to get involved in the experience you decided to talk about. This will show your values and interests.
    • Action (what you did, how you did it, skills you used): This is the most important part of your essay, this will be where you get to show (not tell) your skills and action steps.
    • Results (qualitative or quantitative proof of your success): You can talk about the impact your actions had on the community, but you should also mention the impact that your actions had on your team and on yourself.
  • Be creative!

Make sure to read through this rubric to see what the committee reading your essay will be looking for. It is important to read it before you start writing so you can better decide what you want to talk about and what the best way to approach it would be.

Want to be extra prepared for applying to Queen’s Commerce?

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