Manning School of Business News and Highlights

Sheldon McDonald: From Football to Footnotes
Sheldon McDonald was a linebacker with the Acadia Axemen Football Team before moving into the BBA Honours program and completing a thesis on the impact on corporate efficiency, specifically Jensen’s free cash flow argument and how it relates to agency problems within firms.

When I first came to Acadia, I was always in the weight room, doing any extra training I could do. I wondered why I was not applying this effort to my school work. I said to myself, You’re already here, getting your education and your degree, so you might as well work hard at it and commit to it and make it something to be proud of. So I began to look at school work in the same way that I looked at sports. I didn’t expect to enjoy school as much as I found that I did. I found that once I immersed myself completely into it, the more enjoyment I got out of it. It’s almost like the same feeling from winning a big game as doing really well on a midterm, or getting a really good grade in a course. This was unexpected, but super rewarding. It definitely changed the way I look at education.

Sheldon McDonald

A lot of people talk about wanting to go into management roles, where you need to be able to lead a group of people, or to be able to show your work ethic, your ability to do things, and attention to detail. But you can’t really do anything professional without working as a team or in a group. You may not get along with someone, but you still have to be able to work with them. In the case of football, you have to be able to work together to win the game. And in the case of business, you have to do the same thing to achieve the company’s objectives.

I decided to pursue the honours program when my professors asked me if I’d thought about doing some post-graduate work. The more I looked into it, the more I realized that the honours degree gives you the one-up, especially if you’re applying to other schools. It gives you that one extra thing. The opportunity to do a project in honours is different than course work, which is essentially being guided by a professor or being lectured to. Honours is a project that you do on your own time, including figuring out the way you want to do the research. Learning those skills at the undergraduate level will be valuable for when you do post-graduate school work or when you enter the workforce. For example, since there’s a lot more self-guidance in the BBAH, you can be put on a big project without supervision because the honours program has already taught you to make critical decisions by yourself. And, at the end of the day, you can point to the honours degree and say, I did it. It was something that you took upon yourself and did the work yourself. So, I think the honours program is great.

About the Manning School

Founded in 1957, the Manning School at Acadia University is home to over 600 students from over 20 countries. With 23 faculty members from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, the Manning School offers small classes that encourage concentrated interaction between students and faculty. Our students have opportunities to learn outside the classroom through co-op placements, projects with local enterprises, and international exchanges. Firmly rooted in a rich institutional legacy that personifies the very essence of a liberal education, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Acadia is challenging and flexible, allowing students to explore a broad range of interests and producing well-rounded graduates who are well-positioned to pursue varied professional opportunities. As testimony, our graduates work in leadership roles across Canada and around the globe, with many having made their Acadia BBA degree a pathway to prestigious graduate programs.