Hey there! My name is Kha Nguyen and I’m in Systems Design Engineering’s class of 2023.
Waterloo Engineering in one word:
I choose Waterloo Engineering because:
Waterloo was the only university to have offered an engineering program that had something like Systems Design. Also, the co-op program is a huge perk.
The best thing about my program is:
The community feel of Systems Design. Our upper years establish a strong connection with us at the very beginning of 1A by pairing us up with an upper year mentor, holding resume critiques, and many more events. Everyone becomes very friendly with one another, and it’s a nice, warm, community feel. We also host other events, like Coffee House, to get everyone more involved within the SYDE community. Another thing is that you learn to see the world from a systems and design perspective. You see how everything fits together in one piece, how amazing everyday designs are, how everything can be improved, and you see the world like no one else has before. This is the beauty of Systems Design.
About my Co-op experience:
I’ve only completed 1 co-op term as of now, but I worked at Vidyard, which was a Systems Design start-up based off an alumni’s FYDP! I had the opportunity to learn a bit of software and web development skills, as well as other technical skills as well. I was fortunate enough to have an abundance of Waterloo grads (especially grads in SYDE) working at Vidyard, so I had the chance to network and build connections with them, as well as being able to seek out career or personal advice very easily, even from the CEO! Having this sort of mentorship during my co-op term had a great impact on me and provided me with a new perspective on navigating the world.
I wish I had known before I came:
How much your grades are going to drop, how rough the co-op search is, and how your mental health is one of the most important aspects. I already knew that grades were going to drop, but the co-op search in 1A and 1B hit me pretty hard. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to get some form of job experience, or do at least 1 side project (because frankly, coming into Waterloo, I didn’t have of that at all). Because of the overall structure of engineering at Waterloo, you’re bound to get impostor syndrome at some point in your academic career. However, knowing all of this, your mental health is the most important and it is the thing that keeps us all going at the end of the day. Learn about all the resources available, talk to your friends, and take care of yourself.
Outside the classroom, I’m involved with:
I play badminton at UW Badminton Club, I’m a part of the Engineering Society, and I’m (hoping to be) involved with Engineering Orientation for Fall 2019.
One more thing about me:
I’m someone who’s into foosball, parkour, rock climbing, playing guitar and singing. If you want to know more about Systems Design, the admissions process, or life at Waterloo, hit me up!