Jawad here! I just started my second term at the University of Waterloo for Electrical Engineering. If you have been following my blog, thanks a lot; and if you haven’t, welcome to Jawad’s version of Waterloo Engineering.
Right off the bat, 1B is WAYYYY COOLER than 1A!! So if you get into Waterloo Engineering, study hard in 1A because 1B will blow your mind! The courses are much more technical and hands-on. For example, we are working with Android phones using Java this semester. My labs involve reading sensors from phones, and you even design GPS, pedometer etc. for your own personal phone! How cool is that?
We are also working with Altera FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) in our digital circuits course. To summarize that course, we learn awesome Boolean Algebra and binary math in lectures, and then code that into circuit boards during labs. The lectures and the labs are very relevant and it makes the course that much more interesting.
Another huge difference between this term and last is obviously co-op and JobMine. I am applying for jobs this term since my co-op term starts in May 2014. How JobMine usually works is that employers put up jobs in three rounds. The first and the second round happen back to back for one weekend each and each student gets 50 applications to use. After that, the continuous round starts which goes on till the end of term. Employers post jobs daily and there is no quota on how many jobs you can apply to. Our first round is already over and today is the second day of second round. Don’t have any interviews yet but fingers crossed for a few very soon! JobMine definitely adds on to your workload but it is worth the effort as the jobs are usually very interesting (not to mention jobs from Google, Facebook, IBM, Blackberry and so on). I would strongly recommend working on several versions of your resume during the break between 1A and 1B terms so that your resumes are up-to-date. As for cover letters, a generic cover letter is strongly discouraged. Cover letters only add to your package if you are really passionate about the job and can channel your passion into the letter you are writing to the employer.
Other than JobMine, cool courses and university stress, I am also looking for a place for next fall. All four of us roommates have decided to live together next year as well (Roommates aren’t that bad, see?) and we have another friend of ours joining us. Looking for a five bedroom place is a little tough for a low price as most sublets don’t offer places for 5 people at once. We are also preferring something really close to the campus which will cost us more as housing prices go up depending on how close you are to the university. Going out today to look for a condo (5 bedrooms, 2 washrooms) as a matter of fact; hope it works out.
That is how my life has been for the last few days! Email me or comment on the post if you have any inquiries. Good luck picking universities! Peace 🙂