Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?
While in high school I was always involved with the arts, from taking fine art classes to photography, and joining every single art club. I knew my program had to allow me to be creative. During my fifth year, I took co-op and fell in love with entrepreneurship and start-ups. These two experiences drove me to find a program that fit both my passions, which is how I ended up at UW for Arts and Business. This program gave me the perfect mix of creative art classes and structured business classes. I also knew whatever program
I chose I needed co-op. This is a perfect way to get front-line industry experience, while allowing me to finance my education, and graduate with smaller debt. Waterloo is renowned for their co-op program, which is why I knew Arts and Business was the right decision. In addition, I don't know what I want to do after graduation. I like to explore different fields in business, and this program allows me to learn topics in marketing, economics, international business, just to name a few. Arts and Business allows me to explore my passions without being tied down to one thing. I want to study all aspects of business to cultivate a stronger understanding, and within time start my own business.
How would you describe your first year at Waterloo?
My first year at Waterloo was great! I got to meet so many new people, make lots of new friends, study things I would have never thought about before, and in general gain new
experiences. However my first semester was tough school work wise. If you ever hear someone say you need to hit the ground running in university, do not think it's a joke, it's very much real. My first semester, while I was having lots of fun I wasn't putting in as much work as I should have been. My grades were mediocre, and not something I was proud of. Second semester I took initiative and improved my overall average by 20%! Overall, even with the school year getting cut short, you will meet so many new people on campus, and there's always events going on to keep you entertained.
What do you think is special about Waterloo's campus life?
UWaterloo is situated in the heart of Waterloo, with the LRT and city buses ready to take you where your heart desires. On campus there are always events to check out, clubs to join, and people to meet. Second semester my friend and I would have an hour and a half before our next classes started, and we would often walk around campus exploring new
buildings that you wouldn't normally go in. We found lots of unique things around campus. There's always lots of people on campus, you never feel alone even if you're studying alone for that afternoon. I was worried about the one time my exam finished at 10pm, but that's the great thing about campus, is that it is always safe and you never feel worried about anything. Being on campus makes me feel motivated, since everyone is
smart and doing incredible things.
How would you describe the workload and work-life balance?
Work-life balance is tricky, however the best way to tackle it is to organize yourself. I used Google calendar on my laptop, and each class would be a different colour which helped me quickly visualize what was going on that week and what was my top priority. Each day I would write an attainable to-do list, and attainable meaning I knew I could finish everything that day, which kept me on track and motivated. Burnout is the worst
feeling when being a first-year. The workload is so fast paced, and living on your own for the first time makes it hard for you to stay motivated, but keeping yourself organized is
important. It's not easy for everyone to do this and I did sometimes break this ‘rule,’ but I always cut my studys off at 7pm. This allowed me to have time to hang out with my friends, or get an early night if I had an upcoming busy day. This small rule allowed me to change focus, and have some time to myself that did not revolve around school work.
It's important to have fun, practice self-care, and not focus on your school work 100% of the time.
For a UW Honours Arts & Business Student...
If you could go back in time, knowing what you know now, what would you tell your former self upon preparing for the application?
I wish I could give you a better answer, but my applications went very smooth. I’ve wanted to study at Waterloo for as long as I could remember, and got accepted into Arts and Business within a week of applying! I want you all to be successful as well, so here are some tips for success that I did which helped me. First, you get to apply to three places, use them all up. I know it sounds silly, but I did know a lot of people who only applied to one or two places. Take advantage of all three applications, and even if you don't like the place it's good to get your money's worth and it's important to have a
back up plan. I applied to two programs at Waterloo. Arts and business, and Global Business and Digital Arts. However, GBDA was too niche for me. My backup program was at Laurier for business just in case. Second, for Arts and Business it's recommended you take data management, in my opinion take the class even if it's only recommended, you will need those skills later on especially in second year when you take statistics. In addition, for GBDA the AIF form is required, however it's only recommended for Arts and Business, fill it out anyway. For you it could be the make or break point for admissions, and when I applied there was a chance to win scholarship money from your AIF application alone! One thing I can't stress enough is apply as soon as you can, do not wait until the deadline. Schools can see when you apply, and you have a better chance of them accepting you if they see you take initiative and take action. Plus it's nicer to get it off your chest sooner, and watch those acceptances roll in.
A very special thank you to our interviewee...
Hi! My name is Justine Scheifele and I am now a second year student at University of
Waterloo Honours Arts and Business program. I want to enhance people's lives through
fashion, which is why I am working towards starting my own sustainable clothing brand
that has clothing for every shape and size, helping women feel confident and beautiful in
their own skin everyday. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, I am
always open and happy to talk. Best of luck on your university journey, it gets tough
sometimes, but you will achieve great things!!