Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Microsoft: Hiring Waterloo Arts co-op students for over 20 years

Tina Wilton poses with a prop rifle and Gears of War cutout figures.

Tina Wilton poses with character cutouts from the Microsoft Studios game Gear of War: Judgment. She's holding a replica of the Retro Lancer rifle, which my gaming buddies tell me is the third best gun in the game.

By Naz Kittani.

In the late 1980s, Microsoft Canada began hiring University of Waterloo co-op students. Not surprisingly, they mostly hired students from STEM programs on campus. But within just a few years of recruiting from Waterloo, the tech giant did something different.

They hired a Waterloo Faculty of Arts student.

Since then, Microsoft Canada has continued to hire Waterloo co-op students from diverse academic backgrounds.

Tina Wilton, a fourth-year Arts and Business student majoring in speech communication did a co-op work term at Microsoft. As a marketing associate on the developer experience team, she says she was encouraged to apply her creativity to her everyday work. “This role allowed for a lot of creative freedom and helped me to develop a more strategic mindset,” says Wilton.

Chirag Sheth sitting in front of a green screen and a video camera.

It isn’t just artistic creativity that can benefit traditionally tech industries. Chirag Sheth, a fourth-year Science and Business student, also had the opportunity to bring his unique skillset to the Microsoft office. “I think many people get discouraged that they don’t have a technical background and therefore can’t work at a technical company,” says Chirag. “In my experience, passion and the ability to problem-solve are just as important.”

Even Bill Gates himself has sung the praises of Waterloo talent. In a 2005 visit to campus, Gates said that some years the company has hired more people from Waterloo than any other university in the world.

What was the best part of working at Microsoft? Both students agree that it was their team at Microsoft who made their work terms extraordinary.

“My favourite part was the community of both co-op students and full-time staff. I had the opportunity to work with so many great people, each of them contributing to my personal and professional growth,” says Sheth.

Wilton echoes these sentiments. “My team quickly became like a family to me,” she says. “Some of my favourite moments were spent hanging out with my team and working on projects together.” 

As they both prepare to move forward in their career post-graduation, Wilton and Sheth credit co-op for their confidence in the future. “Co-op has made me realize what I want to do for the rest of my life,” says Wilton. “Each co-op placement has brought me closer to my ideal position.”

When it comes to sex, you're only as old as you feel

The closer you feel to your actual age, the less likely you are to be satisfied with your sex life, a University of Waterloo study has found.

The study looked at the attitudes of sex and aging of a group of 1,170 adults from their mid-40s to their mid-70s over a 10-year period. 

The group, which included people of diverse sexual orientation, reported that the closer people felt to their chronological age, the lower the quality of their sex life.

“What was clear from the data is that feeling younger had a huge impact on how people felt about the quality of their sex life and how interested they were in having sex,” said Steven Mock, an associate professor in Recreation and Leisure Studies at Waterloo. “For people in mid to later life, feeling young at heart actually appears to make a difference in the bedroom.”

The research drew upon data collected in the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study in the between 1995 and 2005. The MIDUS study  is a national longitudinal study of health and wellbeing in the United States and measures the physical and mental health of participants over a period of decades.

“It’s important to consider all of the different psychosocial and biological factors that might influence a person’s sexuality,” said Amy Estill, who led the research while completing her Master’s degree at Waterloo. “While feeling younger didn’t have an impact on how much sex people were having, it was quite clear that feeling older does impact the quality of the sex you’re having,” 

The study was recently published in the Journal of Sex Research.

Get ready to take the lane - June is Bike Month

Bike Month 2017 banner showing a bike rack full of bikes.

June is Bike Month at UWaterloo and across Waterloo Region. In partnership with TravelWise, the Sustainability Office is hosting challenges and events throughout the month.

Whether you’re an avid biker or a beginner, you can help promote and celebrate active and sustainable transportation modes to campus by riding on two wheels. 

There are a number of Bike Month events scheduled across campus, including:

For more information, please visit the Bike Month web page.  

Wednesday's notes

Spaces are going fast in Columbia Lake Village, according to a note from Housing and Residences. Apply today for fall 2017 graduate housing.

Just some of the benefits include:

  • 4-month renewable contracts
  • Live in a safe, quiet, clean community of grad students
  • Close to campus with seasonal shuttle
  • All-inclusive living (utilities, high-speed Internet, community events)
  • Option to live in a 2-bedroom (CLV-North) or 4-bedroom townhouse (CLV-South)

For full details visit the Housing and Residences website. 

Employers on campus next week hosting employer information sessions include Arista Networks, Redfin, Yelp & Yahoo. Visit the employer information sessions calendar for more details.

CTE closed Thursday

The Centre for Teaching Excellence will be closed on Thursday, June 1, for a professional development day and will reopen regular University hours on Friday, June 2.

Link of the day

World No-Tobacco Day

When and where

German Language Film Festival, May 17, 24, 31, 7:00 p.m., Princess Cinemas. Waterloo Centre for German Studies for more information.

Waterloo Women’s Wednesdays: “Mysteries of the Prime Numbers” lunchtime talk, Wednesday, May 31, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Grad House.

NEW - Successfully Negotiating Job Offers, May 31, 4:00 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208

Velocity Start: Ain’t No Model Like A Business Model, “Learn how to create a lean business model canvas”,Wednesday, May 31, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

NEW - It’s All About Your Skills, June 1, 12:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1113.

SERS PhD Seminar featuring Christine Barbeau, “The Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Climate Change for First Nations Living in the Canadian Subarctic,” Friday, June 2, 10:00 a.m., EV1-221.

Keystone Picnic, Friday, June 2, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., DC quad.

NEW - Volunteer: Launching Your Career, June 2, 12:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208

PhD Seminar, Bidder profiling by acquisition and analysis of market data in water distribution industry,” Milad Khaki, PhD candidate, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, June 2, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., DC 3323.

Eye Talks: Your Vision is Our Vision public education event and open house, Saturday, June 3, 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., School of Optometry & Vision Science. Registration required.

Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday, June 6, 1:30 p.m.,  NH 3407.

NEW - Effective Cover Letters- employees only, June 7, 12:00 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208.

NEW - Business Etiquette & Professionalism, June 7, 2:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208.

Velocity Start: Setup Your Business Like A Boss, “Legal and accounting considerations that will affect your startup,” Wednesday, June 7, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

NEW - Résumé Tips: Thinking Like an Employer, June 8, 1:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208.

Problem Pitch Competition, Thursday, June 8, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre Room 0101.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Friday, June 9, 9:00 a.m., NH 3318.

PhD seminar, “Adding mutation to dependent object types,” Marianna Rapoport, PhD candidate, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, June 9, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., DC 3126.

Velocity Fund $5K applications close, Monday, June 12.

Spring Convocation, Tuesday, June 13 to Saturday, June 17.

Distinguished Lecture Series, “Algorand, a new public ledger,” Silvio Micali, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Tuesday, June 13, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Banting postdoctoral fellowship preliminary applications due, Wednesday, June 14.

Biology presents a public lecture by Steven Scherer, "Decoding 10,000 Whole Genome Sequences Towards Understanding Autism," Wednesday, June 14, 3:00 p.m., STC 0060.

Velocity Start: Do People Want Your Sh*t? Wednesday, June 14, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Cryptography, Security, and Privacy Colloquium, “Average-case fine-grained hardness, and what to do with it,” Prashant Nalini Vasudevan, PhD candidate, MIT, Friday, June 16, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., DC 2585.

Senate meeting, Monday, June 19, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Distinguished Lecture featuring Professor Göran Andersson, "Research Challenges of the Future Electric Power System," Monday, June 19, 2:00 p.m., EIT 3142. 

PhD seminar, A biologically constrained model of semantic memory search,” Ivana Kajić, PhD candidate, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, June 20, 11:00 12:00 p.m., DC 2310. 

NEW - Bike Day, Wednesday, June 21, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Arts Quad.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

  • Job ID# 2017-1670 - Assistant to the Chair - Combinatorics & Optimization, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2017-1669 - Engineering Instructional Support Tutor - Engineering Undergraduate Office, USG 8 – 10
  • Job ID# 2017-1628 - Residence Facility Coordinator - Housing & Residences, USG 5

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2017-1689 - Information Systems Specialist (Business Intelligence (B1) Developer) - Information Systems & Technology, USG 11-13
  • Job ID# 2017-1690 - Information Systems Specialist (Integration Develop) - Information Systems & Technology, USG 11-13
  • Job ID# 2017-1691 - Information Systems Specialist (Workday System Analyst) - Information Systems & Technology, USG 10-12
  • Job ID# 2017-1678 - Research Associate/Project Lead - Coop Education & Career action, USG 9