What is one advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?
The one piece of advice I would give high school students when applying to my program would be GET INVOLVED. I was in a number of volunteer placements and extracurriculars throughout high school such as the library, the TRCA CYC (Conservation Youth Corps), Stage Crew, YES4MH, the Bottle Project and many more. I also attended hackathons such as Hack the. North, CitizenHacks, and WolfHacks. Hackathons are so so important because they give you real world experience and can get you in touch with companies that can propel your career even further. You also get to hang out with friends or make new friends and have a great time. I got so much free stuff from Hack The North that I had a completely full laundry bag of it. The food at hackathons is great too :).
Does your school have a co-op program?
For a University of Toronto Computer Engineering Student...
Why did you choose Computer Engineering at UofT, what makes it unique to you?
I chose Computer Engineering at UofT because since I was a child, I have always been a whiz at computers and have always wanted to change the world using them in my own unique way. Since Grade 5, I have been the unofficial tech support for my schools, repairing computers and solving tech problems for my fellow teachers and students. I was recommended by my Grade 8 teacher to pursue Computer Engineering and I found a passion in software and hardware alike. I took courses in high school such as computer science and computer hardware technology that challenged me and led me to find which sort of computer engineering I wanted to specialize in. It’s unique to me because it is the number one engineering program in Canada and it is close by to where I live. From the people I have met through Frosh events, the community is welcoming and very helpful to incoming students.
UofT Engineering has a co-op program called PEY (Professional Experience Year). This is a 12 to 16 month paid work term you do with
a company after your second or third year. UofT provides a portal to apply for jobs and you apply to whatever you please and go for interviews to hopefully get an offer to work with a company. As you’re with UofT, it’s really not hard to get a job and you can get in touch with some solid companies. I’ve gotten a job with Rogers this summer and I’m planning to do my co-op with them in the future if things work out. Employers don’t even look at your GPA when hiring you, they care more about the things
you’re involved in so
there’s no need to
worry if you
have a 2.5
How would you describe the supplemental application process? Do you have any advice for how to stand out?
For UofT Engineering, all students must fill out a student profile. In this profile, you outline a timeline of your academic history, list all of your extracurricular activities inside and outside of school, and a personal profile consisting of a written 250 word response to a question and a 2 and 3 minute video response to 2 questions. The personal profile is the hardest part of the process as it is impromptu and you can only do it once. There is ample opportunity to practice beforehand so make sure you’re at your best when filling it out. The best advice to stand out is to just be yourself. Admissions officers are looking for candidates that are honest and truthful with their answers and have a passion for what they do. As I said in the previous question, being involved is super important as having no extracurriculars limits your chances greatly even if you have amazing grades.
A very special thank you to our interviewee...
Hi! My name is Karnbir Saini and I'm an incoming first-year student to the University of Toronto's Computer Engineering Program at the St. George Campus.
I am an aspiring singer (I post covers on my IG!), a mental health advocate, a badminton player, and a gamer.
I want to make a change in the world and having been through my fair share of struggles, I want to be a positive impact and improve the lives of those around me.
Feel free to connect with me on any of the social medias I've posted if you have any questions and I wish you all the best for your post-secondary journey. Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves!