During your first year in SAF, teamwork is everything

Thursday, April 23, 2020
by Isha, Rissalie, Karanbir and Nicole, AFM

Isha Lingawar, Rissalie Mouajou, Karanbir Nagi, Nicole Webber
Hey there!

Congrats on making it to the home stretch of high school! Don’t worry - all your hard work is paying off and the offers of admission are going to flood in (if they haven’t started to already)! But now, it’s time to focus on your next steps - post-secondary education. If you’re applying to the AFM program, then this is the blog for you!

One of the biggest misconceptions is that at UWaterloo it’s every person out for themselves. As we can say from our first year in SAF, teamwork is everything. A lot of you may be international students, or students who don’t have any friends from high school or their hometown to Waterloo, and you might be stressed about making friends. But don’t worry! Not only are we provided with many opportunities to participate in our community, we’re also placed in a unique teamwork setting - Crews!

Your Crew is essentially your team for first-year. There’s four to six of you, and you get to share plenty of classes and other team-building experiences with one another. The number of projects you do together really helps build a bond with your Crew, and make those 8:30am morning classes much less dreadful than they already are. We may not be the bestest of friends, but such an opportunity makes you go out of your comfort zone, and make unconventional friends which could be friends for a lifetime. As if that’s not enough, we also have our Crew families! These consist of six other crews and a greater diversity of people to work and network with. If you don’t necessarily find friends amongst your Crew members, you’ll most definitely find them within your Crew family.

Working in Crews has made us comfortable sharing our ideas and opinions more openly, and it has made us more responsible. When you know someone is counting on you, you’re much more likely to put your best foot forward. Our Crew also keep us accountable. You won’t just let yourself down if you skip a class, you’ll let your Crew down too. It’s made us more caring, as these are your friends now and you want them to be okay too! University may sound scary and intimidating right now, but trust us on this, that's what every single university student feels. Everyone here is so friendly and there’s always people looking out for you and your well-being.

You will never be alone! These will be the best years of your life :)

Individuals perform better and get more from their experiences when they are supported by a group of their peers. That’s why learning teams are used at Columbia Business School, work teams are used at Google, and training teams are used by Olympians. SAF Crews are groups of 5-6 students that support each other through the first year SAF experience. Crew members build strong working relationships with each other, attend events together and support each other’s professional awareness and academic success.