First Year Engineering Leadership Conference

Hasan Ahmed - 2A Nanotechnology
Posted on: October 9, 2017

On September 30th, 2017, the University of Waterloo hosted the First Year Engineering Leadership Conference (FYELC). This conference caters to first year students, allowing them to experience what a conference is like and introduce them to other opportunities.

The day started early, with check-ins beginning at 8AM. However, first years were eager to show up (not only for the breakfast) and had a great first session with Diane Freeman, a Waterloo graduate and Civil Engineer. Students were able to ask questions about her professional and personal life, and gauge how Waterloo has changed over the years. It was also neat to learn that Diane worked on the new residence building at UWP!

After this, EngSoc executive came and had a presentation, which also included Dan Robertson’s information about attending conferences. First years were interested to see which schools they might be able to go to for the upcoming conferences, which are PEO – Student Conference at Ryerson on November 3rd and Conference on Diversity in Engineering (Nov 10th-12th  at McMaster). There’s an upcoming First Year Integration Conference in the winter term, which also enticed a lot of the audience. The rest of the executive also explained their roles and services, and even stayed for a Q&A session afterwards.

Following a short break, a panel was held with members from FEDS, Student Design Teams, Varsity Sports, and Clubs, in order to showcase how much you were able to get involved outside of class in not only EngSoc. The audience was able to ask a lot of questions about time-management and how much these extracurriculars impacted themselves and the University. It was a great way for open discussion to be held.

Afterwards, we had Wayne Chang from Conrad come to teach Networking 101. This was an extremely informative session with tons of resources and tips for first years to use. Wayne talked a lot about weak and strong connections formed as you networked, and gave a great insight on how to get started in networking. He also followed up by promoting Conrad’s services and making sure first years knew where they could go if they needed help.

After a lovely lunch, the afternoon followed. Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) came and spoke a little bit about the licensing process and what it means to legally be an engineer. They spoke about requirements needed, as well as where and who you worked for. They also handed out nice pens for the first years to keep, which happened to be black and gold like the University’s colours.

The afternoon closed out with The Student Success Office following with a workshop of their own, titled “Principles of Leadership,” highlighting important qualities and traits of leaders today. Engineers without Borders also came with a case study highlighting real issues in the engineering world and gave us tips on how to be good leaders when it was time for us to make important decisions. They explained this through the Volkswagen emission scandal, where they forged numbers to get past regulations. Finally, the FYELC directors had their own little Q&A session where we answered a lot of questions about time management and co-op, and also had a relax session in POETS afterwards with pizza. It was nice getting to know the first years on a personal level and interact with them, since most of the day was information heavy. The delegates were super enthusiastic about getting involved and made the conference a great experience.

C:\Users\hasan\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\22197417_616005425252409_1247866878_o.jpg (2017 FYELC Panelists)

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