It took Ludwig Lie a while to get used to the University of Waterloo. Compared to Jakarta, it was cold, he was very homesick, and he didn’t feel like he belonged in the program he had chosen.
Lie chose Waterloo because it had the largest Faculty of Mathematics, and it had a co-op program. He knew his interest lay in finance, and once he discovered the Financial Analysis and Risk Management (FARM) program, he made the switch, and his experience improved.
The rigorous courses were challenging. Lie realized that if he could keep the grade point average needed to stay in the FARM program, he was capable of anything. This realization boosted his confidence. Thanks to the available resources, his friends and the occasional reminder from his parents, Lie is proud to say that he graduated on time.
“Whenever I was struggling in my first year, my parents would ask me, ‘what’s the first reason you went to Waterloo?’” remembered Lie.
One of those first reasons was co-op. Lie had co-op jobs in Canada and home in Jakarta in the public and private sectors, everything from startups to large companies. It gave him the chance to try and find what he liked.
“I finally found my passion after my last co-op,” said Lie. “I would be applying for consulting roles for full-time.”
In fact, Lie was so interested in finance and consulting that he volunteered at 180 Degrees Consulting, working with a pro bono client in the education space. He managed five people and helped lead the project with a resulting increase in revenue. The opportunity gave him leadership experience and was a great way to expand his network.
“It’s really hard to find your passion,” commented Lie. “I kept working hard, reaching out, and finding my vision, mission and goals in life. The real world is tough. But we’re tougher because of Waterloo.”
That hard work paid off. Now that Lie has graduated, he is interning at Infosys headquartered in India.