Students from the ECE department reported an interesting incident last week when they received emails asking them for their contact information so they could be mailed an offer letter. The emails were seemingly sent to every single student, regardless of their current WaterlooWorks status or even of their stream, with many students in stream 4 confirming that they had all received the emails as well.
When the Tin Soldier reached out to NVIDIA’s University Relations department to inquire about the curious circumstance, their representative confirmed with us that it was not an elaborate prank or even a mistake in the slightest, and they had sent all the emails out of genuine intent. “We believe that the Waterloo ECE curriculum fulfills our requirements almost perfectly, and any remaining skills that the students may require can be developed in our workplace.” In response to our question regarding what the additional skills that students would gain, we were told that it involved “developing familiarity with industry-leading proprietary NVIDIA software”, and then added that they were hoping to discuss with the department to bring the current ECE curriculum into one that was further tailored to meet industry requirements.
Students’ response to the opportunity bestowed upon them was surprisingly mixed. While many would have expected nearly everyone to jump at the chance to work for a high-profile company in California, there were students that had concerns about what the job entailed. “I feel like the company is rather cult-like and not accepting of any change”, mentioned one, while another mentioned how “their business practices are rather scummy and they don’t really seem to care about their customers.” Students that had worked there before seemed to all offer eerily similar statements along the lines of “who needs to know what a gigaray is when products sell well and you get paid nicely?”
Of course, it is needless to say that the majority of students still took the opportunity without a second thought, their eyes glowing with anticipation of California and all that they hoped they could accomplish there. The academic advisors’ offices were lined up with students in stream 4 hoping to switch streams to take the chance. However, luck is not on the side for students that have already been matched through WaterlooWorks prior to this time. Even through persistent lobbying from representatives in the ECE department, they stand by their decision to ban any student that rescinds their current offer to take the NVIDIA position.
Certain concerns were raised by ECE professors and advisers about having such a large proportion of students working at the same company, all in a similar environment. They warn that it will heavily restrict the breadth of knowledge that the engineering program would hope to offer their students. When the point was made at a special ECE-only info session to the NVIDIA representative, they laughed it off. “The students will still be exposed to a wide breadth of knowledge as NVIDIA is now at the center of all computing fields”, and then added: “NVIDIA is a longtime friend of the Waterloo ECE program and of course we hope that our relationships can be only mutually beneficial.”