“Is a degree from the University of Waterloo worth paying $100,000 in tuition fees and living expenses?” This is a question I’ve heard many students bring up, including myself. Having studied at Waterloo for over three years now, I’ve realized why this $100,000 investment is absolutely worth it.
The main return on investment of a UWaterloo degree is the network of Waterloo alumni, staff, and students. In my brief university career, there have been numerous moments where the Waterloo network has helped me out. Here are four memorable experiences where I’ve realized the value of the Waterloo network effect first hand.
1. Unlocking career opportunities through the Waterloo network of alumni.
Thanks to the hard work of Waterloo staff and alumni, there’s thousands of co-op postings on WaterlooWorks (formerly Jobmine). I’ve also found great success by tapping into the Waterloo network. During interviews, I’ve heard several times “Oh you’re from Waterloo, one of our engineers is also from Waterloo.” Just like that, I’ve gained instant credibility from mentioning I was a Waterloo student. In my last two co-op terms at Axon and Addepar, I even helped convince my employers to hire UWaterloo students through WaterlooWorks.
2. Building long-lasting friendships.
Through my studies at UWaterloo and co-op terms, I’ve met many incredible people, and built great friendships. Due to Waterloo’s well recognized co-op program there were always other Waterloo students to connect with in the cities I traveled to for work, so making friends was a less daunting task. In ten years from now, I’m certain that some of my best friends will be the individuals I met as a student at UWaterloo.
3. Exploring the Rocky Mountains in Colorado with a Waterloo Math lecturer.
During my recent co-op term, I travelled to Boulder, Colorado to visit my friend Justin, a fellow Waterloo student who was interning in the area. Coincidentally, we discovered that Martin (our former MATH239 lecturer) was also in the area, so we planned an impromptu trip up to the Rocky Mountains. As you can probably tell, it was quite chilly and windy at an altitude of 12,000 feet!
4. Diving into the world of entrepreneurship through the Velocity community.
During Fall 2015, I lived at the Velocity Residence, which offers students an opportunity to live in an innovative and entrepreneurship focused environment. Although I didn’t work on a start-up, it was an amazing experience living with other ambitious students. I’ve built strong friendships with many of the people I’ve met, and I’m sure our paths will cross again. In fact, two residents from the fall cohort were named Thiel Fellows for their entrepreneurial ventures!
So here I am today, I have no regrets in choosing Waterloo. Thank you alumni, staff, and students for all the work done in building the Waterloo network. I hope you’ll join me in continuing to strengthen the network and provide new opportunities to current, past, and future students.
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