Humans of UWaterloo

Super quick post, but I just wanted to share a little project that my lovely friend Danielle has created. It’s called Humans of UWaterloo, inspired by Brandon’s Humans of New York page. Danielle’s page is available on Facebook so please do check it out and give it a like! It’s so lovely being able to take a moment to get to know someone briefly on campus! :)

Celina
1A Electrical Engineering
University of Waterloo

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Females in Engineering

After blogging, doing Engineering tours, and attending Fall Open House, I have noticed that many people are curious to know the female enrollment stats in the Faculty of Engineering for many reasons. Whatever the reason may be, here are some of the stats I have found and some thoughts on being a female in Engineering.

The Faculty Statistics page on the uWaterloo Engineering webpage currently show some of the stats from 2012. Keep in mind that these statistics do not include Architecture. The stats show that 18.5% of all Engineering undergrad students were female and 22.3% of all Engineering graduate students were female. There were 36 professors who were female, which means 13.4% of all Engineering professors were femaleThat includes our lovely Dean of Engineering, Pearl Sullivan who also once served as chair of the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Department. She is the first female Dean of Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

As a student who may be interested in entering the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo, you’re probably curious to know the stats specific to first-year students. Well in 2012, it looked like this:

stats

 

You can see in the table that it really depends on what engineering program you’re in and of course, it varies each year. Perhaps this is a surprise, but I’ve heard that uWaterloo has the largest percentage of females in engineering in Canada. I think that’s great! Being in the work force now, I can tell you that there are very few female engineers but we definitely exist! I personally work with just male engineers, but I know some bigger teams have a couple of female engineers.

I don’t personally think too much about the female to male ratio in engineering. In my opinion, it’s all about doing what you love. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter as long as you are happy with what you are doing and you are getting along with your team.

What are your thoughts on women in engineering? Did you expect more or less of us? Do you think we need more female engineers?

Celina
1A Electrical Engineering
University of Waterloo

My Experience With The Job Hunt

Marieta’s post, Apply, Interview, Rank, Repeat, is a great post on what the co-op job hunting process is like. Everyone has their own personal experience with the job hunting process though, so I thought I would share what my experience was like with this first co-op term.

Job hunting is stressful, to say the least. While you’re drowning in school work, you’re expected to carry the weight of having to find a co-op job on your back. It’s tough. Reality is, as a first-year student you’re going to run into more challenges with the job hunt than upper-year students. Experience is important and it’s something that comes with time. When I say experience, I’m talking about all sorts of experiences from work experience to experience in your career field. What kind of knowledge do you have in this specific area? How about that area? It is perfectly okay to not know many things and you have to accept yourself for this lack of experience and knowledge.

To keep things simple, you need to know that there are two rounds. There is the first round where you apply within a week and then afterwards, applications are closed and the interview process happens. Typically, this is where a good chunk of the upper-year students and a lucky bunch of first-years get hired. Afterwards, there is the continuous round which is where new jobs get posted daily and you can apply to as many jobs as you want.

I got two interviews in the first round, and was ranked for both. I had an interview with Curtiss-Wright for their Controls Defense Solutions sector, and Skywave Mobile Communications. I was ranked for both and didn’t end up with either jobs. I was disappointed.

In the continuous round, I ended up getting a few interviews in November and then I was scheduled for seven interviews during the two weeks of exams. I ended up with four interviews in one day hours before my ECE105 exam but when rankings came out, I received two offers and I accepted the one for General Dynamics. Between the start of the continuous round and my wave of interviews though, I had to apply to about 150 jobs both on Jobmine and outside of Jobmine. I started sending my resume to companies and received either no responses or a rejection from these companies. It was incredibly disappointing to see new emails popping up each day saying that the company is not interested in hiring you or they have already selected someone else. That’s hard when the end of the semester creeps up and you’re still unemployed.

So for me, it took hundreds of applications to receive thirteen interviews, eight of which I attended. What I guess I’m trying to say is, don’t ever give up even though it can be incredibly tough. Co-op may seem like a very positive thing but it’s not always easy to get and you should never feel bad about not having a job for the first couple terms.

If you’re looking for co-op right now, good luck! Let me know if I can give you any sort of tips or suggestions. :)

Celina
1A Electrical Engineering
University of Waterloo

First Impression on My Co-op Term

Man, co-op terms can be amazing.

This is my first co-op term and I am working for General Dynamics Canada in Ottawa as a NATO AGS Software Engineering co-op. Yes, it is a wicked first job. For security reasons, I cannot speak much about what I do other than that I work with military and defense technology, I guess. So far, I haven’t done much work but I’ve learned about my team’s project and what goes on within my company. I’ve had the opportunity to look at the production plant and aircraft component construction so far, but next week I’ll be looking into tanks. How sick is that!? I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity with GD Canada. It’s an incredible start for me, as I do plan on working for the aerospace and national defense industry in the future.

I have to admit though, getting used to a new environment can be tough. It can be so overwhelming trying to get the required training done and your workstation set up, etc.. Plus there have been so many terms and acronyms for me to remember! It comes with time, I’m sure.

I’ll try to talk more about my co-op term later without breaking any rules. Feel free to ask more about co-op though because getting this job was a stressful and confusing process. More on that soon.

Celina
1A Electrical Engineering
University of Waterloo

1A – COMPLETED

Ah, it’s over. It’s aaalll over.

What a strange feeling it was to have over the holidays. The feeling that you don’t have to do anything. No homework, no assignments, no studying. Just whatever you feel like doing. It honestly felt as though I wasn’t being productive enough and I that I should have gone to review my notes or finish an assignment. Instead I watched movies all day, played a new game that I got, Starbound, and went skating. What a great ending to a fun term. Don’t get me wrong, it was super tough, but in the end it was very satisfying when I finished all of my exams and didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

The first term of university was amazing. Frustrating and stressful at times, but still a really great experience that I do not regret even one bit. You know how as the years go on, it seems as though the semesters/terms/years go on it just goes by quicker and quicker? Well 1A felt as if only one month passed as opposed to four, and in that time they crammed so much more material than I was expecting. It’s quite a leap from high school to university. High school students need to realize that it won’t be easy. It may not even be at fun at times when stressful situations arise and deadlines are to be met. But if you truly are interested in the topic that you are studying, then in the end it’ll feel worth it.

I think the thing I liked least that I’ve encountered was the classmates who were always so negative about everything. The ones who blamed the profs, who got angry when the TAs weren’t marking fast enough, that the midterms were too hard, etc. I definitely was not confident in my marks either just like most of my other classmates, but keeping a positive attitude is important. University definitely is what you make of it, nobody is going to hold your hand through it and make it easier for you. You need to work a bit to keep a positive attitude.

If you go into university and you’re used to acing everything in high school, it will be a big shot to your ego. You WILL feel as if you have failed, even multiple times throughout the term. You WILL be severely disappointing at times when you realize that you’re not getting the marks that you have been getting before. But the thing you need to remember is that you’re surrounded by other smart people who are just as in shock about their marks as you are, and all you really need to do your best relative to others. The grades you get in university don’t reflect your understanding or “smartness” in the same way that they did in high school.

Just remember: Try your hardest, don’t give up on the first sign of not doing as well as you’d hope. Keep going and don’t get discouraged, but mainly have as much fun as you can! You’re in your program (hopefully) because you’re interested in that topic. Enjoy it!

Marieta
1A Computer Engineering
University of Waterloo

Introducing Biomedical Engineering at uWaterloo

Starting Fall 2014, Biomedical Engineering will be the 14th engineering program available at the University of Waterloo! Currently, the program will be accepting an initial class of 45 students.

Just like any other Engineering program at uWaterloo, Biomedical Engineering will be a co-op only program but unlike the others, it will be an 8-stream co-op program with a unique 8-month co-op term between the 3rd and 4th year. Admission requirements are the same as the other Engineering programs and it is anticipated that individual selection will be from the high 80s. Biology is not an admission requirement, although it is probably recommended.

Personally, I think it’s an incredibly interesting program and there is definitely a demand for Biomedical Engineers these days. My best friend is currently studying Engineering Sciences at U of T, focusing on Biomedical Engineering. She says it’s a tough program but there is so much to learn and it’s all very interesting to her. I’m sure if you’re interested in Biomedical Engineering, you will love the challenge the program will be here at uWaterloo.

If you’re looking for a bit more information on Biomedical Engineering, check out Prof. Anderson’s post here and keep up with his blog for details coming up soon. Of course, the link to the main page on Biomedical Engineering is here and here is some additional information on entrance requirements.

Good luck on your applications and don’t forget to keep the questions coming!

Celina
1A Electrical Engineering
University of Waterloo

Apply, Interview, Rank, Repeat

Woah, where did the time go? This term has gone by soo fast! From my experience in university, the term goes by quickly and finals are upon you just like that. *snaps* In no time you’ll have your friends going up to you asking whether you started studying yet for finals, and your confused look will give it away that you hadn’t even though about it yet. Which reminds me, I should be studying instead of procrastinating by writing this blog… : D

When you’re in a co-op program such as Computer or Electrical Engineering like me and Celina, not only will you be spending majority of your time finishing up assignments and trying to catch up on sleep every week, you will also have the responsibility of trying to find a job for the next term. In a co-op program, you will be switching between going to school for four months and working at a company for four months. This involves some planning and work beforehand to actually find a job though. This process is all done on a site called Jobmine, where you do all of the searching, applying, and ranking of jobs in the term before your work term. For me and Celina, this is the time that we are looking for jobs.

So far my experience with Jobmine and looking for jobs has not been terrible at all, as opposed to what some people have experienced. It’s pretty simple, mostly intuitive, and if you get stuck or want some clarification there are always resources to guide you through the process. Basically how it works is that you write a resume and possibly a cover letter (for those jobs that you really want or that require them), you upload it to Jobmine, and choose jobs that you want to apply to. Your resume will be sent to those employers, and from everyone that applied they choose a certain amount of people to interview. Those people then do their interviews, and from that set of people the company ranks those that they would want to hire. For those that got chosen, this is the end of their journey until next term. For those that didn’t get the job, the process repeats. Over and over and over again.

Thankfully I have already found a job for the next term, so I’m out of the job searching loop! What they seemed to love asking me about in interviews though, hint hint, is the extra stuff I did on my own time. All of the people who interviewed me seemed quite interested in a game that me and a couple of friends made with Java back in high school. Don’t underestimate the importance of outside-of-school projects! Spend at least some time practicing skills or creating something, even if it seems silly and worthless at the time. These projects are a great way to show off your skills and may even help you become better at something that you have always wanted.

For those in software or computer, I would recommend writing a program or learning a new language, and then posting an app or program that you made onto Github, which is a code sharing site that enables employers to see your programming style and skill. Don’t worry if it seems confusing at first. You’ll get better, you’ll figure it out. (Also don’t forget about Google – a great research resource where you can find useful tutorials!)

Alright, I’m off to go study/sleep, whichever one seems like the better choice at this hour. I would love to hear about your experiences with looking for jobs guys, whether it’s through Jobmine or outside of the co-op program! What kinds of things did they ask in your interviews? Did they seem more interested in your past experiences, and if you didn’t have any did they seem more interested in your projects and what you do outside of school? Comment below. :)

Marieta
1A Computer Engineering
University of Waterloo