Sarena Zhang

Architectural Engineering 2024

Sarena Zhang
Hi! My name’s Sarena and I’m in Architectural Engineering class of 2024. I love playing sports, painting, watching Netflix, and hanging with friends! If you have any questions about Architectural Engineering, Waterloo Engineering in general, student life, co-op, etc., feel free to reach out and I’ll gladly answer any of your questions :)

Waterloo Engineering in one word:


I choose Waterloo Engineering because:

Waterloo Engineering especially caught my eye through: 1, It’s reputation, and 2, It’s co-op program. I knew that I wanted to be a part of a co-op program because of how great it is at preparing you for the professional world and giving you insight on what you might want to pursue in the future. I also had a strong interest in both Architecture and Engineering, so I found Architectural Engineering to be a great fit.

The best thing about my program is:

What I love about this program is how many doors it leaves open even after you graduate. Architectural Engineering opens a variety of career paths for you whether that be in Architecture, Structural Engineering, Building Science, or the Construction industry. The concepts we learn in class, and projects we do in studio, tie in with all of these different fields, and better prepares you for your co-op terms, and career.

About my Co-op experience:

Going into this program, I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to pursue after graduation. I figured co-op would be the best way for me to explore the options I had and get a taste of what it’s like working in each industry.

  1. EllisDon – Proposals Coordinator: Working for one of the top building contractors in Canada, I spent my time in office working on building proposals where I worked with engineers, planners, schedulers, and estimators to put together proposal responses to submit to potential clients in hopes of being rewarded the construction project!
  2. EllisDon – Project Coordinator: I was located on-site in downtown Toronto at a 50-storey building for CIBC Square. I met with the architects, owners, and sub-contractors on-site to discuss site progress and issues. I also submitted drawings and documents to the architects, and structural consultants for review.
  3. Davroc & Associates – Project Coordinator: I worked on a variety of projects all over GTA, with site visits a few times a week. I would help write site review reports, conduct surveys, and create drawings in AutoCAD.

I wish I had known before I came:

I thought one of the hardest parts of uni was getting into the school – nope. The hard work continues, and it requires lots of motivation, and time management. But what I realized is, these types of skills take time to develop and it’s not worth beating yourself up about when it doesn’t come as naturally as you’d hoped. You’ll eventually find that balance between your study life and social life! Take it easy on yourself and enjoy your time here as much as you can cause it doesn’t last (even if you’re only in first year)!

Outside the classroom, I’m involved with:

Engineering Ambassadors: I joined the Ambassadors team during COVID-19, so most of my involvement has been with EngChats where I speak with prospective students and answer any of their questions!

Soccer Intramurals: I recently started a team for soccer intramurals this term and it was a great way to get exercise and get away from the desk!

A fun project I’ve completed:

My 2B project included designing a reclad (a new wall system) for the Village 1 (student residence) building. The goal was to increase the energy efficiency and user experience of the building by insulating it better and allowing more daylight to enter through the windows. This project was especially interesting, because my co-op following this study term involved a very similar reclad project where I got to spot the similarities between my own design and a professional’s design.

One more thing about me:

I’m planning on going on an exchange for my 3B term, so feel free to ask questions about that as well!

Contact me: