Choose electives you are passionate about!

Waterloo student sitting at a desk with a tablet open in front of them, writing notes about electives in their notebook.
Written by Caitlin, student

I think there are a lot of students out there who are just like me – maybe you're one of them. You know you want to complete a degree but you aren’t quite sure which subject to choose.

I enjoyed so many different classes in high school that narrowing down my university career to just one area of study seemed impossible.

I started in the Honours Arts and Business program here at the University of Waterloo because I thought I might like to work in speech communication, but I used my electives to take courses in science.

Well, it turns out science was more my style. I ended up transferring to the Science and Business program within the Faculty of Science. This is where I attended my first Science and Business workshop – a unique series of classes that challenge you to investigate and, in some cases, solve business problems in science.

My instructor talked about intellectual property and it fascinated me.

During a second-year workshop, my instructor talked about intellectual property and it fascinated me. I was excited when we took a business law course as part of the Science and Business program. That's when I saw this topic as a viable pathway. I could easily see myself using the scientific knowledge I gained during my studies to regulate, commercialize, and govern science from a legal perspective.

Transferable skills are key 

I always knew I wanted to take my education beyond my undergrad, but I never quite knew what that would look like.

I’m so happy my program was flexible enough to allow me opportunities to discover my passion.

One of the keys benefits to this flexibility is the varied skills I’ve learned along the way. They’re transferable to all kinds of careers. As I continued to take more and more elective courses in law I realized it was quite common to see scientific case studies pop up in my textbooks. I understood the language within those cases and felt confident when writing reports.

Living the law life 

I applied to several law schools in Canada and received offers to all of them. Faced with a choice, I’ve decided upon a school that will help me establish a career in commercializing science through patents and innovations, and I'll learn how to legally manoeuvre through the process of bringing science to market.

I’m excited and passionate about law and I would never have discovered this without the amazing experiences I had here at Waterloo.

If I look back on my journey, I’m nowhere near where my Grade 12 self figured I would be. I’m extremely happy with how my university experience has helped to shape my future into something I’m confident is the right choice. I'm grateful I took the opportunity to choose electives I was passionate about. I look forward to continuing on this path and seeing where the journey takes me.


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