Software Engineering 2024

Hey! I'm Nick and I'm heading into my 2A term, studying software engineering. I came to Waterloo from a high school in Mississauga Ontario, where I actively participated in SAC and similar activities throughout the school board. In my spare time I enjoy learning new skills, listening to music and, as cliche as it might sound, going on adventures with my friends :) 

Nicholas Makharinets

Waterloo Engineering in one word:

Inspiring

I choose Waterloo Engineering because:

For me, my decision to pursue Engineering at Waterloo was motivated mostly by the prestigious co-op program, cohort system and opinions of trusted friends. Co-op at Waterloo is exactly what I needed to discover what I want to do, give me much-needed breaks from school and even ease the financial aspect of university. The cohort system here was also a big factor in my decision, I'm now surrounded by so many talented individuals, each of whom possesses skills I don't have, but more importantly, is willing to share their knowledge.

The best thing about my program is:

In my opinion, the best thing about my program is our cohort. Software Engineering consists of one cohort, with about 120 students. Throughout first year, I learned that each and every one of the students in my cohort has some unique skill, an expertise, so to speak. I love the amount of talent and knowledge I'm surrounded by at school, it pushes me to do better and never stop learning. I believe that this motivation to learn and the ability to message someone in the cohort for more information about something that interests you has made a huge positive impact on my time here at Waterloo.

About my Co-op experience:

At the time of writing this, I'm just about half way through my first co-op term. I'm working as a SWE (software engineering intern) at Zynga. In terms of job description, I mostly work on the Android side of Boggle with Friends (one of our games), but also occasionally take time to learn and try iOS development. I'm very happy with my position here because I not only get to make tangible contributions to the market product, but also have the opportunity to learn new skills on the job, make connections and receive invaluable mentorship from those on my team.

I wish I had known before I came:

Honestly, I wish I had known how to study 'smart'. As with most students admitted into Waterloo Engineering, I worked hard in high school, so I was no stranger to long hours of homework, balancing work with extra-curricular activities etc. But I soon came to realize that it's pretty unreasonable to do every homework question, cook, clean, sleep and preserve mental well-being at once. In 1B, I took what I learned first term, and began studying to fill gaps in my knowledge or become confident with material, instead of 'general practice'. This was a great choice for me, because I freed up a lot of my time, and still maintained the level of academic achievement that was right for me. Studying 'smart' doesn't mean not doing anything, but rather using the resources to prepare yourself in areas where you are less competent first, and spending remaining time polishing your knowledge after.

Outside the classroom, I’m involved with:

I'm involved with Engineering Ambassadors & the UWAFT student design team. As an Engineering Ambassador, I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge at open houses to students who are in the same position I was just one year ago. I'm also a big fan of the ambassador shadow program because I can give prospective students an accurate look into life as an engineering student, something I wish I had signed up for as a high school senior. I'm a part of the connected software sub-team on UWAFT, and I'm extremely grateful for the experience they gave me with mobile development. Without having joined UWAFT, I would have never learned mobile development and probably wouldn't have the wonderful co-op placement I do now.

One more thing about me:

I'd say I'm a pretty social and approachable person, and I pride myself in having a wide variety of interests. If you have any questions about life in SE or just want to talk about music or traveling feel free to hit me up :)

Contact me: nmakhari@uwaterloo.ca

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo