Architectural Engineering 2023

Shein Saunders-HenningHi! My name is Shein and I'm in the 2023 class of Architectural Engineering!

Waterloo Engineering in one word:

Rewarding.

I chose engineering at Waterloo because…

My program, Architectural engineering! The program was introduced in December 2017 while I was really struggling to figure out what I wanted to do. As soon as I heard about it, I knew that was the program I had to be in! It combined everything I was interested in, and allowed me to be both creative and logical at the same time. Additionally, the co-op program also played an influential role in my decision. It allows you to gain real world experience while in school, and figure out what you actually want to do with your degree!

The best thing about my program is:

I always like to say we get the best of both worlds! We get to express creativity through our studio courses, by using design programs, sketching and model making, while also applying practical knowledge in maths and sciences, such as in our mechanics and calculus courses!

About my co-op experience:

Co-op has been an amazing experience! It has allowed me to try out different opportunities in order to get a feel for what I want to do once I graduate. For my first co-op, I worked for an electrical contractor in Ottawa. At first I was really nervous about it, a new city (including a freezing Ottawa winter!) and a job that wasn't exactly in my field of interest. It ended up being an amazing experience, as I learned so much about the construction industry, including project management skills! The biggest takeaway from that job was that you can gain valuable experience regardless of what type of job you get, so don't limit yourself while applying! My second co-op job was with St. Michael's hospital in downtown Toronto, which was an extremely unique experience! I worked as part of the redevelopment team to help upgrade the existing campus and build a new patient care tower. The opportunity allowed me to understand how hospitals work as well as gain in-depth knowledge about construction in healthcare, as it is unlike anything else. So far, I love the co-op program, as it has allowed me to gain real world work experience, explore new places and try new things!

I wish I had known before I came..

There are an abundance of support available on campus and through the engineering faculty, so take advantage of them! Professors, TAs and other students are just a few examples of the great resources we have available. The engineering faculty has created a very supportive environment for all of its students, and everyone is there to help you succeed, so don't be afraid to ask questions!

Outside of the classroom, I'm involved with:

Engineering Ambassadors, orientation, Women in Engineering, Engineering Society and Student Ambassadors!

One more thing about me:

I was in your shoes a couple years ago, and definitely understand how hard it is to pick a university and a program! My advice, pick whatever feels right for you! I'm always happy to answer questions, so feel free to reach out and send me an email!

Contact me: srsaunde@uwaterloo.ca

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo