11 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Elisa,

    My name is Heather and I am the Recruitment Coordinator for the School of Computer Science at UW. I came across your blog and am really interested in your academics, extracurriculars, blog and more.

    As I see that your blog is a way to help provide advice to students on their path to university, I was wondering if you would be interested in sitting down with me and chatting about your waterloo experience, what you have learned so far in the program and what advice you can offer to students.

    If you are available sometime this month to get together, that would be great. I would be happy to meet with you.

    I hope your classes are going well!

    I look forward to connecting with you.



  2. Pingback: Software Engineering @ Waterloo – Courses | there, then, and now.

  3. Hi Elisa,

    Thanks a lot for the, about me! I am currently stuck between choosing computer or software engineering at McMaster University(first year is general). I’m leaning more towards software, and I think this article has really helped me make my decision. I have one question tho, does the school prestige and co-op opportunities offered help you land the jobs you did or was it due to those extra programming skills and experience you developed?Were many of your co-workers students as well? As of right now, I have only learnt one language that being python. I’m just learning i wont be as equipped as the other students in my program .

    • Hi there, I feel that it is a combination of all the things you mentioned that helped me land these jobs. Having co-op/internship experience is extremely helpful because as you gain more work experience, employers become more interested in you and the skills you can bring to their company. School prestige is more of a factor for getting the interview but not for landing the job.

      Programming and problem solving skills are important, but many companies also look for culture fit. One can be extremely knowledgeable, but poor at communication, which can be a deciding factor for job offers.

      Overall, I wouldn’t be too worried about landing an internship. Just don’t think too big when trying to look for your first one, and if you perform well, you can keep looking for more great opportunities to intern at.

      Your other question about programming experience – it’s great that you started with Python, it’s a more modern language than what you’ll be taught in school (not sure what McMaster uses but I’m guessing Java or C++). The benefit of knowing Python – there are an abundant amount of companies that look for programmers comfortable in Python or Ruby (more lightweight languages). But as I’ve mentioned in other blog posts/comments, it’s not about knowing every language out there, it’s about problem solving, and and applying CS concepts that you learn throughout your undergrad. Languages should be easy to pick up if you understand your CS concepts.

      Best of luck and feel free to reply if you have more questions!

  4. Hi, I came across your blog on the Waterloo admissions brochure. I am currently in college in Quebec and I want to apply for Computer Science in Waterloo. I was just wondering if I need any background in programming in order to be accepted into the program?

    • Hi there, you do not need a background in programming to be accepted. Your first CS course that you will take at Waterloo assumes that you do not have previous programming knowledge. Good luck with applications!

  5. Hi Elisa,
    I am a high school student in IB who is thinking of attending UWaterloo for an Honours Arts and Business degree. Even though you are not an arts student, I’m wondering whether you could tell me anything you know about it: level of difficulty, class sizes, quality of teaching, co-op. One more thing: having previously attended an IB school and having also experienced university, would you say that IB better prepares people for university/Waterloo?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hey there,

      Some popular courses like Psychology are really large (500-700 person classes), but most first and second year classes are 70-200 person. Upper year classes are usually 50-100 person. I can’t really comment on quality of teaching for the Arts faculty as I haven’t taken too many humanities, and it really varies by professor. Most of the popular courses will have 1 or 2 great profs, and a few other profs who really aren’t as great.

      Just for clarity, I only did pre-IB during 9th grade for 1 term, so I never actually did the IB program. Many of my friends who did the full IB program claim that it has helped them prepare for university, but some of them still struggled with time management and maintaining a good work ethic. IB is just an extra load of unneeded work and stress on high school students. University is a completely different situation since you’ll be living on your own and have more life responsibilities. Everyone will have their own magnitude of change so it really varies by experience.

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