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QUESTIONS

For a Recent Graduate of Mac's Auto Eng. Program...

JUICY

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Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

When I was starting my applications for university, McMaster’s Bachelor of Technology program

was still relatively new and unknown compared to their characteristic B. Eng. I first heard of it at our

high-school’s university fair, but other than glancing at the pamphlet, I did not pay much attention to it.

A few days later, my best friend had described their aspiration to apply to the program, explaining to me

their reasoning and the program’s strong points, and it made me consider it further. I originally wanted to go into B. Eng, into the very competitive

Mechanical stream, an objective fueled by my love of cars. B.Tech already offered a dedicated Automotive and Vehicle Technologies stream, exactly what I was looking for, paired with an abundance of hands-on labs, a focus on co-ops; on-the-job experience, and even management courses to provide you with a Certificate in Business Management from Mohawk upon graduation. The small classes allowed for a tightly knit community with your fellow classmates as well as actual face-to-face interaction with your professors (as opposed to yelling from the back of a large lecture hall), were just the icing on the cake.

How would you describe the workload and work-life balance?

Personally, I found it very overwhelming early on. It was hard for me to get adjusted to all the freedom of not having parents or teachers coming after you (making sure you’re studying or doing homework or whatever it may be) but once you get over that hump and take responsibility for your own schedule, it becomes very manageable. Sure, sometimes it can seem like there is not enough time to get everything done; between a test at the end of the week, a project/presentation in two days, and an assignment for tomorrow, it can seem like much, but everything is given to you months in advance. It’s up to you to plan out how you’re going to tackle it all. Once you get into a good rhythm, free of procrastination and waiting until the last minute, everything becomes more manageable with plenty of

free time to spare for friends and hobbies.

What do you think is special about the McMaster campus life?

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The McMaster campus, in my opinion, is one of it’s biggest selling points. There is an abundance

of green spaces, including a large open area right in the middle where you might see students enjoying picnics, playing frisbee, or dashing through on their way to class. Directly behind (and attached to) the campus is the Cootes Paradise Conservation Area, with a hiking trail that takes you through a forest, down to the lake, providing gorgeous views throughout the day - a perfect place to unwind. Besides the

physical aspect of the campus, all the people I’ve run into, whether it’s at the Pizza Pizza in IAHS, the

Bookstore in MUSC, or anywhere else on campus, have been extremely friendly and helpful.

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How would you describe your first year experience?

It was very intimidating at first – this was the “grown up” life. I was now one of those university students I had heard so much about, who had everything figured out and were on the journey to the adulthood ideals we all dream about. It seemed like a lot of students in my classes were feeling similar. We had come from all over the province, abandoning our friends from high school and our communities, but it didn’t take long for us to realize we were all in this together and there’s no one out there who has it “all figured

out”. New friendships were formed, the professors and faculty helped us get accustomed to our new classes & to the university, and slowly but surely, we all continued on our paths

in life.

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What is some advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?

Continuing your education with post-secondary studies can be a very big and stressful decision, which will require a lot of thought and planning for your future. You have to remember that life is one long learning process, and university isn’t always about figuring out what you want to do but also about what you don’t want to do. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend selecting a program because of it’s prestige or because someone else told you to; school is a lot more difficult when you’re forcing yourself to be there. You have to pick a program that you feel will be right for you, and one that you will want to participate in. It can be hard to find motivation for something you’re not passionate about.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

ALEXANDER ZYGMUNT

A Recent Graduate of the Automotive Engineering program at McMaster University.