Hello! Emily here. I’m a third year MECH student, specializing in Mechatronics. I’m originally from a small town in South-western Ontario, which is actually where I did my first year of University, during the Covid-driven online year. You might be wondering, what was it like doing your entire first year online? Well, I actually found it alright. I was worried about making friends and finding a community within engineering while being alone in my bedroom, but apparently everyone else had that worry as well, which lead to countless group chats, zoom calls, and friends I am still close with in person.
With the transition to in-person classes in second year, it sort of felt like starting completely new again. This was my first time living on campus, first time living alone… but again, everyone was in the same boat. The MECH 2 group became quite close, and we all managed the transition together.
Well, at least the transition to third year must’ve been easy then, right? Not exactly. After spending all day everyday with my friends in MECH 2, I wasn’t used to not having the same classes as everyone. I was the only one in my friend group taking the Mechatronics stream, which meant we only had a few overlapping classes. In addition, third year is when people’s schedules start changing due to co-op. Some people will take a 12 or 16 month co-op right after second year, so they will be a year behind, until they catch up in forth year. However, these changes also gave me the opportunity to connect with people I didn’t get to know as well in MECH 2, and people with similar interests as myself.
I have done 2 four-month co-op terms so far. The first one I did back in Ontario, for a small company that designed and manufactured storage racks for car parts on the assembly line. Before working there, I honestly didn’t know that car part storage racks was an industry. My second co-op term was with Engineering Services at the Vancouver Airport, which was a really cool experience. Although my role was primarily reviewing HVAC and plumbing drawings, everyone there wanted you to make the most of your time there, which resulted in airside visits, tours of the secure side of the airport including the baggage system, and most excitingly, a hangar visit to get up close to some impressive planes.
During my third summer in University, I decided not to do a co-op term, but rather to develop other skills and gain different kinds of experience. In addition to my Work Learn with MECH Student Services, I am doing some statistics work with a professor I reached out to last term, and am also taking time to work on some personal projects. Since this is my first summer in Vancouver, I’m trying to take every opportunity to spend time climbing in Squamish, and will also need to take some time as I prepare to head out for my exchange next term in Germany.