Bill (Year 3)
What did you wish you knew before going to your university? What made you choose this institution over all others? What are advantages and disadvantages of your institution or campus? List any advice for incoming first-year students about your university.
I chose the University of Waterloo because the career exposures through co-op sets Waterloo apart from other schools. My program, accounting and financial management, has a niche focus on accounting and finance. These two areas provide a really good foundation for business in general. A disadvantage of the school is there is not much school spirit to unite everybody.
What did you wish you knew before choosing your specific program? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your program? List any advice for incoming first-year students about your program of study.
I wish I knew more people in my program, especially upper year students, to turn to for advice. The accounting and financial management program provides a good scope of both accounting and finance. However, there is a lot of competition for co-op. In addition, many students see the job spectrum as a hierarchy. For example, people will say finance or consulting jobs are better than tax or audit jobs.
What was your favourite university experience?
One aspect I really like about the program is the program has a lot of group work. You have the opportunity to meet people with different mindsets, personalities, and backgrounds as well as practice your soft skills. I enjoyed the group environments as it was good practice to work with different people.
What was your least favourite university experience?
There is a lot of competition to get involved with clubs. I spent a lot of time on my applications and preparing for interviews which distracted me from the academic part of the program.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
The hardest part is managing stress and peer pressure. It takes time to get used to the competitive environment. It is important to take care of your mental health. Time management also helps.
If you were able to take electives, what was your favourite elective? If you were not able to take electives, what was your favourite course and why?
I don’t have one specific favourite course. I enjoyed the finance courses because it is mathematically focused which is something I’m good at. I’m generally interested in the stock market and what is happening in the world. There are a lot of connections between the news and its impact on the stock market. Learning about finance helps you gain a better understanding of how things work and how it is applicable to the real world.
Overall, the experience is one of a kind. Your experience will be different from everyone else’s. Everything happens for a reason. In every situation, there will be a good and bad side. Try to focus on the positives, make the best of every situation, and don’t overthink.