Discover Women in Engineering 2016

It’s fascinating how life goes full circle.

During the last weekend of May, I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer with Women in Engineering to host 80 Grade 12 girls as they percolated one of the most important decisions of their lives thus far one last time.

Last year, I was also invited to the Discover WiE event; however, I did not attend it.

Fast-forward a couple of months to moving into residence for the first time. It turns out that some of my dorm-mates knew each other from attending this event. Later, I also discovered that some of my fellow Chem 2020 peers had also met each other through this event.

Thankfully, life has the unique characteristic of coming full circle. As soon as I found out that WiE was still looking for volunteers for this special day, I immediately signed up.

After my circuits CDT, I made my way to St. Paul’s. Once again, construction got the better of me for a couple of minutes while I figured out which entrance to take, but I was lucky to have made the right decision. A couple of turns and a staircase later, I came across the soon-to-be registration table and Lyndia Stacey, the new Program Coordinator for Women in Engineering. Other volunteers trickled in, and from there, we designated roles and waited for our participants to arrive.

On top of being able to experience living in residence for a night, our girls heard from Mary Wells about the purpose of Discover WiE and her advocacy for increasing female enrolment and engagement in STEM; Dr. Stacey Scott spoke of her representation on behalf of the Faculty of Engineering for UW’s HeForShe campaign; two strong, inspiring women who work at Square also gave our girls some insight into their journey to where they are today; and finally, current B-Soc President Hannah Gautreau also shared four years’ worth of university, EngSoc, and co-op experience. To wrap up the night, The Water Boys performed for us at St. Paul’s—what a treat!

The next morning before wrapping up the event, we heard from another three amazing ladies from Christie Digital about the benefits of co-op; they provided our girls with some insight on how to craft a résumé and how to make up for the lack of work experience—I remember worrying about that not too long ago.

At times, I’m still in dismay that I was one of those girls less than a year ago—eager, excited, and nervous to pen a new chapter to my life in UW Engineering.

I remember chatting with Ryan Pyear during March Break Open House 2014 and asking him about choosing 4-stream versus 8-stream co-op. While eating dinner at the Sedra Student Design Centre in E5, I had a moment to recall that moment two years ago with Ryan. It’s probably something he hears a lot from current students, but from what I can imagine, it’s what keeps him and other faculty members involved with Recruitment motivated to continue inspiring and encouraging future generations of engineering students.

Hopefully, the majority—if not all—of our girls have accepted their offers to Waterloo Engineering. Who knows? Maybe next year, some of them will be the ones volunteering with Women in Engineering for this special day.

And who knows? Maybe they will find themselves as part of this circle, too.


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