During my time at UWaterloo, I’ve picked up a lot of titles. President of Entrepreneurship Society at UWaterloo has been the main title I’ve associated myself with over the last year - probably because this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my university career.
Entrepreneurship Society (EntSoc) was a school club that has been around since 2011 but in the summer of 2014, my co-president, Michaela Angemeer, and I rebranded the club to make it relatable and open to all students again.
We took risks and threw some of the biggest club-run events on campus. We worked closely with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members to connect people in the entrepreneurship community. We’ve gained a lot of recognition as a club, our most recent achievement being Michaela and I getting on the list of the “Top 55 Rock Stars of Waterloo” by CyberNorth Ventures. This has been a whirlwind experience that I would not trade for anything in the world. I’ll be sad to pass this title on.
With graduation, I’ll also be losing my titles as English Major, Philosophy Minor, and on a larger scale Faculty of Arts Student. Most people associate these departments with a lot of reading and essay writing, but I really got out of it strong beliefs and opinions and an ability to communicate. People in the entrepreneurship community are always asking me why I chose English instead of business and, in hindsight, the answer is that my English degree let me figure out what I believe in rather than telling me a long list of best practices.
It is never hard to use the title “UWaterloo student” with pride. The school’s name in and of itself sets up a future where people respect your degree and the education you’ve worked so hard for. You have friends who will go on to be successful engineers, entrepreneurs, researchers and designers. To see this network in action is incredible.
As my graduation approached, I kept having this recurring thought: I’m going to be losing so many of the titles that define me. This was scary and caused a lot of uncertainty. I started looking for what new things I could pick up to replace the old ones. Then one day, I was talking to a close friend and she pointed out to me that it isn’t the labels that make me who I am, it’s the traits and skills behind all of these titles.
All of the accomplishments that I’ve had so far will be summarized in “UWaterloo Alumnus.” But calling myself an alumnus is more than just having a replacement title – it shows that I’m an entrepreneur, a risk-taker, an event planner, a marketer, a networker. I’m someone who takes on challenges, never turns down new experiences, loves being around people, and finds value in details and the big picture. The title doesn’t necessarily give these traits to everyone, but because of my personal journey at UWaterloo, this is what being an alumnus means to me.
I am so thankful for all the moments I’ve had at this university and I’m looking forward to what is coming next. I know that UWaterloo will always hold a very important place in my heart.