Bethany Johnsen

Mechanical Engineering 2024

Picture of Bethany
Hey, I’m Bethany (but most people call me Beth). I am in Mechanical Engineering 2024! Unfortunately, the lamb I am holding in the photo isn’t mine… I don’t own sheep… But my uncle does!

Waterloo Engineering in one word:


I choose Waterloo Engineering because:

I wanted to continue to push myself to be a better person. In high school I was in the International Baccalaureate program, and I knew leaving that program I wanted to continue to push myself. I wasn’t always sure about Engineering, I never really considered it until some people suggested I look into it. Once I did begin to consider it I had people suggesting the University of Waterloo to me. I attended an event at UWaterloo called Catalyst for girls in grade 11 interested in Engineering, and that was really the event that sealed the deal for me… 3 years later since that event, and I have no regrets!

The best thing about my program is:

The diversity of the courses we take. Since 1A I have taken courses about design, coding, calculus, electrical devices, I have even taken a gender studies course! 

The courses really made me passionate about my major, but my friends helped me a lot along the way. The cohort system allows me to stay with the same 100 (or so) students for my entire university career and it makes it feel very close knit, and I can confidently say I know at least 80% of my class by name!

About my Co-op experience:

I am currently in my second co-op and I work as a junior mechanical designer for a manufacturing company. I arranged my own job outside of WaterlooWorks and have really enjoyed myself, working directly with engineers and learning lots about mechanical design, the manufacturing process, and working in a team. Co-op allows me to discover what engineers work on, who they work with, and what my future “everyday” could look like! 

I wish I had known before I came:

Believe in yourself. Be confident in your abilities, you will lose out on more opportunities by not trying because you don’t think you can, then you will by trying and failing. 

Outside the classroom, I’m involved with:

  • Engineering society: I have been a class rep for all my terms so far, and I will be a director for the spring 2021 term!
  • UW Mechanical Engineering Mentorship Program
  • Women in Engineering Mentorship program: This is a newly introduced program! For the next year I will be mentored by a graduate who is currently working as an engineer!
  • In March 2021 I was on the UWaterlooLife Instagram page for a student takeover!
  • Intramural volleyball player.
  • UW cooking club member.

A fun project I’ve completed:

In 2A, Materials science 2 has a project where you select a previously implemented design and redesign it. My project group selected a fence in my hometown that has been standing for over 100 years to study. It was so interesting to discover more about different materials that go into the fence as well as welding, casting, and other metallurgy.

One more thing about me:

I am a huge animal lover! Ask me about my cats and I may just have to go off on a tangent!

Contact me: