Success Maps

Entrepreneurship Success Map


All Pillars | All Years
1st Year (0-30 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Build entrepreneurial knowledge and skills by completing the 1st-year required courses.

Develop fundamental knowledge in business basics and various organizational interactions.

Match the program with your personal interests through the nine (9) credit hours in Humanities and three (3) credit hours in Social Sciences.

Explore your options for majors and minors by attending the Programs Day across faculties in February.

Register for classes as soon as registration opens. Classes fill early!

Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you have the right courses.

Gather information on Co-operative Education opportunities.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Develop management skills and an understanding of economic behaviour, market structures, and business basics.

Learn about business management and how to conduct a breakeven analysis.

Develop your presentation skills and enhance your ability to negotiate, debate, and use persuasive communication.

Employ business software to process and analyze data.

Improve your writing at the Writing Centre. Get expert feedback and incorporate it into your work.

Develop research skills by navigating online databases and the stacks at the Patrick Power Library. Take a virtual tour.

Build a résumé at a Résumé Seminar, to prepare for internships, scholarships, and summer jobs.

Start your Co-Curricular Record. Document your acquired skills from on- and off-campus activities, and volunteer work.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Attend Welcome Week. Make friends. Meet classmates, faculty, and advisors at academic orientation. Attend a session about a culture of safety and respect at Saint Mary's.

Introduce yourself to your professors after class or during office hours.

Visit the Business Development Centre and explore all the resources and competitions that are available for you. Consider participating in the Business Case Competitions.

Participate in the Mini Venture Trade Fair and be involved in the Sandbox program to experiment and bounce off business ideas.

Visit the Societies Fair. Explore student societies, including those that are culturally-based, before deciding which to join.

Explore the possibility of joining Enactus, an international community of students, academic, and business leaders using entrepreneurial actions to create a more sustainable world.

Try Speak Up!, a program where international students practice speaking English.

Stay Active. Explore SMUfit, campus sports, exercise, and recreation opportunities.

Apply for a scholarship. There are more than 260 available!

Need help with time management, organizational, or presentation skills? Book an Academic & Life Skills Coaching session.

Learn to budget your money. Attend a Financial Literacy workshop or get advice from Financial Aid and Awards.

Check in with Career Services to start discussing your career goals, related to your program. Experiment with different classes to see what you like.

When facing a personal crisis, get help from the Counselling Centre.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Consider courses with global themes for your electives.

Need a job? Create a HireSMU account to find available jobs.

Not from Halifax? Explore and discover all our cultural opportunities and have fun.

Keep current with local events. Read Pride in Your Shared Neighbourhood newsletter.

Travel while studying after 1st year. Investigate travel options beyond Canada at International Activities.

Obtain or update your passport in preparation for possible international travel.

Not from Canada? Browse Services for International Students for available support.

Attend International Night—an annual banquet showcasing SMU’s many cultures.

2nd Year (30-60 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Create a better understanding of the core aspects of entrepreneurial firms by completing the 2nd-year required courses.

Understand how statistics, legal issues, human resources, and communication play a key role in entrepreneurship.

Deepen your academic exploration with your six (6) credit hours of elective courses.

Develop your own business ideas based on acquired knowledge.

Thinking of changing majors or minors? Attend Programs Day for help.

Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you have the right courses and to declare your major in this year.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Develop an understanding of financial statements and the importance of a positive cash flow.

Recognize how individual and group behaviour can impact organizational operations and the importance of motivation.

Sharpen your communications skills and support managerial decision-making by turning data into insight based on business knowledge.

Grasp the importance of marketing, including market research and consumer behaviour.

Upgrade your writing with one-on-one tutorials at the Writing Centre or through online resources.

Learn advanced researching techniques at the Library.

Update your Co-Curricular Record to keep track of your accomplishments and set new goals.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life


Apply your classroom learning and improve soft skills by joining some student societies

Join the Spark Zone and meet students with similar interests; sign up for entrepreneurship competitions and apply your knowledge while receiving advice from successful entrepreneurs.

Participate in intramurals. Demonstrate your team skills and character to future employers and admissions officers.

Browse the Scholarship List and match your cover letter to the scholarship criteria. Apply between February and May.

Need more academic support? Contact Personal Counselling or Academic & Life Skills Coaching.

Seek Career Counselling. Explore the core competencies of your major, and career possibilities related to your strengths, interests, and values.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Discover ways to give back to your community, from local to global. Come to the Volunteer Fair held every September, or speak to a Career and Employment Coach at Career Services.

Get involved with activities outside of your major and minor. Employers like well-rounded candidates.

Expand your professional network. Visit the Startup Canada and Entrevestor websites, and attend events held by Innovacorp, an early stage venture capital firm based in Halifax.

Attend a LinkedIn photo shoot and seminar with Career Services. Put your best (and most professional) face forward!

Keep your HireSMU Account updated with accurate contact information and most recent résumés.

Consider applying for the Co-op Program at the beginning of your 2nd year (30+ credits). Gain work experience over three terms.

Visit the International Activities office for a study-abroad program or an international field study course in your 2nd - 4th years.

Explore options for international internships in your area of study.

3rd Year (60-90 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Reinforce the personal qualities that reflect the entrepreneurial mindset while completing the required courses for your 3rd year.

Visit your Academic Advisor to ensure you’re on track to meet graduation requirements.

Meet your Faculty Mentor/Department Chair for help with course selection, career advice, or certifications.

Thinking about graduate school? Contact Career Services for options and admission procedures, and begin planning for applications with your Faculty Mentor/Department Chair.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Develop strong systematic planning, control, and project development skills while focusing on teamwork, analysis, and decision making.

Enhance your managerial skills while focusing on performance measures, cost allocation, budgeting, and taxes.

Understand the financial markets, including mergers and acquisitions, and develop the ability to manage financial resources.

Develop a sense of the dynamics around family owned business and experience the challenges of starting a new venture with the creation and operation of a business during one term as part of a project.

Improve your research skills and grades by visiting the Library and using the Research-by-Appointment service for one-on-one help.

Visit the Writing Centre for workshops on Exam Writing & Preparation.

Update your Co-Curricular Record.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Get to know your professors. They are excellent contacts for reference letters. Chat about your future plans for 4th year and beyond.

Attend the Research Expo. Learn from the research and critical analysis by peers and professors. Also, showcase your own research project.

Get ready to apply for the Venture Grade Capital Fund, a new joint initiative between a group of Canadian venture capitalists from Silicon Valley and Innovacorp, giving students the opportunity to manage and run a Venture Capital fund.

Join campus societies in your field. These provide opportunities to network with the industry and professionals.

Run for a leadership position in a campus group.


Apply for over 200 scholarship and bursary awards.

Focus on summer or internship jobs within your major or career field of interest to gain specific experience and build credentials.

Visit the Career Development Centre for help with tactical job searches, including using social media, information interview, fine-tuning your résumé and cover letter, and practicing interview skills.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Attend the Halifax Career Fair in September and March. Discover career opportunities and employer expectations.

Let your contacts know your major. Seek out potential employers for information and interviews.

Connect with angel investors through First Angel Network and consider pursuing a Master’s degree with a strong focus on innovation. Visit SMU’s MTEI program website for more information.

Explore new internships designed to help international graduates gain experience in Nova Scotia.

4th Year (90-120 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete required courses for your fourth year and define your career path when choosing your electives, while transitioning to work or graduate school.

Complete a CAPP Degree Evaluation in Banner.

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Discuss SMU graduate opportunities.

Contact your Academic Advisor and Faculty Mentor/Department Chair to ensure you are on track for graduation requirements and post-graduation plan.

Apply to graduate. Fill out an application for graduation form and submit it to the Service Centre. Get your picture taken for the yearbook.

Consider graduate schools or professional programs. Start early, and ask your professors and the Writing Centre to review your personal statement, cover letter, and applications.

Request transcripts, if required.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Apply your knowledge, critical thinking, and decision-making skills to identify, diagnose, and recommend appropriate action for real managerial problems.

Think like an entrepreneur while creatively solving problems, identifying opportunities, and implementing effective strategies.

Be able to develop a business plan and evaluate the overall feasibility of a project.

Build expertise around risk taking and risk management.

Show creative thinking and analytical skills, and strong time management.

Before you graduate, do a final update of your Co-Curricular Record, and request an official copy.

Visit Career Services to prepare to clearly and persuasively articulate all you have learned at Saint Mary’s (in and out of class) to an employer.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Serve as Department Student Rep. Speak to your Department Chair.

Enter your best research paper for the Academic Writing Awards.

Get recognized for your involvement in the classroom and in the Saint Mary’s community. Apply for the Student Leadership Award.

Apply for other awards, including the SMUFU scholarship.

Participate in the Starting Point conferences and connect with other students like you. Participate in every competition available to test your business plans and take advantage of our 3D printer to create a physical sample of your idea.

Brush up on your Financial Literacy. Receive guidance for a successful and healthy financial future, including student loan repayment.

Your degree can open the door to many types of careers. Use Career Counselling to discover where you want to go and how best to get there.

Plan to attend Career Services’ 4-week Job Search Seminar Series before or after graduation.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Be prepared to apply, interview, and network when school begins, to maximize your chance of receiving some job offers before graduation.

Take advantage of your knowledge and expertise to connect with some of the biggest venture capitalists in the region such as Build Ventures, Volta, Planet Hatch, Propel ICT, and Innovacorp or go national with Futurpreneur Canada. If you are considering working on a developing start-up, you cannot miss the opportunity to contact Venture for Canada.

In addition to the Halifax Career Fair, attend some career fairs specific to your program. Bring your résumé. Prepare in advance to speak with recruiters and potential employers.

Apply for the Halifax Connector program. Meet with a Halifax professional in you field your interest.

If you are a co-op student, arrange for your final work term placement early.

Are you an international student interested in staying in Canada and receiving permanent resident status? Contact the International Centre.

Get in contact with the SMU Young Alumni Association to begin your next phase as a Santamarian.

Remember, you have access to Career Services for three years post-graduation. Use these services to help you continue to get the most out of your degree.