Monday, October 4, 2010

Ontario Universities' Fair

Were you at the OUF last weekend? I remember when I went (I can't believe I'm writing this) five years ago - it was an exciting mix of students, representatives, questions, swag and freebies, and piles of brochures. My dad tried to find out what the chances were that I could be a Community Advisor in residence (like a don) in two years before I had even applied to McMaster...but that's not what I ended up doing, and I'm glad. I'll tell you at some point about my house off-campus. The people in it are special; I have a hard time not talking about them, because they're pretty great.

Anyway, the point here is OUF. I usually volunteer as a student rep for Mac Eng but couldn't make it this year because of other things scheduled (i.e. a lab during the spot scheduled for me). But I have several friends who volunteered, and I wanted to clear up the questions that they got asked most often - specifically, what is co-op at Mac like, and what are all these different five-year programs about?

Co-op at Mac is super-flexible. You can enrol at any point up until your final year (I signed up halfway through first year), and work terms can be completed over 3 summers (4 months per work term), or 12 months after the halfway point of your program. One summer work term plus 8 months works, too. What this means is that if you like, you can spend a lot of time at a company and really integrate over a long internship - or, like me, you can change it up every summer, try new things and your degree length doesn't have to be extended. Co-op is also really helpful for applying to certain employers who only consider co-op students. This is not to say that you can't get a job without being a co-op student, but it does open doors. At any rate, even if you're not in co-op, Engineering Co-op & Career Services still has tons of resources and help for students, including mock interviews, workshops, networking events, resume critiques, and drop-in hours. If you're curious, go take a look at their website here.

This is getting a bit long (and a bit late) to cover the Engineering & Management, Engineering & Society, and Engineering & International Studies programs - I'll come back for those later this week. See you then!

P.S. By the way, I passed my driving test and got my full license - just before it was set to expire, too! It's a relief to have that out of the way.

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