WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY

Established in 1911, Wilfrid Laurier University is located in Waterloo, Ontario, and is a truly venerable school [1]. With three main campuses (Waterloo, Brantford, Kitchener), 89 programs, and 19,000 students, they’re no hometown college [1]. The school has a wide variety of faculties, including: arts, business and economics, religion and world studies, social working, interdisciplinary studies, education, social sciences, political studies, liberal arts, music, and science [2]. The “Golden Hawks” are lead by their aptly named “Midas the Golden Hawk” [3]. The Wilfrid Laurier University Students' Union Clubs and Associations department administers over 130 clubs, with over 3,000 students; despite the small amount, there is still a healthy variety, with politics, cuisine, sports, etc. there’s a good chance you’ll find your own crowd to fit in with [3, 4]. Wilfrid Laurier is named after one of Canada’s most prolific and polarizing leaders, as well as the first French-Canadian Prime Ministers [5]. Their motto is “Veritas omnia vincit” (truth conquers all), and they’re number one in student life staff, andstaff according to 2020 Maclean [6]. Affiliations include (but are not limited to): AUCC, IAU, CUP, CBIE, and CUSID [3].

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For a User Experience Design student at Laurier

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What’s the class environment like? How often are collaborative work or group  presentations required?

Our class sizes are relatively small (around 30 people max). This is an advantage  compared to other programs because it makes it easier to interact with your professors,  and peers. You actually have a voice and you don't feel lost in a 300 person class. UX  design is a collaborative process, so we have a lot of group projects and presentations.  Each semester will probably have an average of 2 groups projects, depending on the  courses you decide to take. These group projects tend to last the entire semester as  they require multiple deliverables.

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

I chose the User Experience Design program because I saw that UX was a rising field  with many future opportunities. In high school, I was never really sure of what I  wanted to study. However, through networking and looking at what my hobbies had in  common, I discovered that I wanted to do something hands-on and creative. UX  design fit perfectly as it combines skills such as researching, prototyping, testing, and  creativity all together into one program! The thing that makes the UX design program  unique is that we focus on more than just digital interfaces. We also learn about  designing physical products, spaces, and experiences as well.

What’s an interesting quirk of your school that freshmen should know?

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Laurier Brantford is located right in the heart of downtown Brantford and it is a bit of  a smaller campus. This honestly just makes it really easy to make friends and build  meaningful relationships. You can walk from one side of campus to the opposite side  in around 10 minutes!

QUESTIONS

JUICY

5

What advice do you have for high school students applying to your program?

The only program requirement for this program is English at 70%. A design portfolio  is not required, but having background knowledge on basic design principles is  definitely helpful. Joining extra curricular and participating in clubs is what sets you  apart from every other applicant. UX design embraces diversity, so having experience  in a variety of industries will give you an edge.  

3

Can you tell us more about the user experience design program? What kinds of  employment does this program lead you to?

The User Experience Design program is offered at the Laurier Brantford Campus, and  is offered as a minor at the Waterloo Campus. Co-op is available through an  application process during your third year. Co-op lasts for 12-16 months, and students  come back for their final year. Co-op is optional, and not all students choose to pursue  it. Since the program has not had a graduating class yet, we do not have any alumni  working in the field yet. However, there are Co-op students currently working at  companies such as Ontario Digital Services, RBC, and McAfee.

 
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A very special thank you to our interviewee...

EDWIN LEUNG

Hello! My name is Edwin Leung and I am a third year student at Laurier Brantford studying  User Experience Design. I know that finding information about post-secondary programs can be  difficult, so I hope my interview gives you some insight as to what the User Experience Design  program is like! I have a YouTube channel where I make videos about university and lifestyle, so  check it out if you want to learn more! Feel free to message me on LinkedIn or Instagram if you  have any questions!

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For a Law & Society student at Laurier

2

What advice do you have for high school students applying to your program?

Take courses you love in your last two years of high school so that your passion and excitement for what you are learning will reflect in your grades, and hopefully lead to a higher entrance scholarship or increase scholarship opportunities! Be prepared to do a lot of reading! Law and Society courses come with lots of textbooks and case briefs, but man is everything ever interesting! Furthermore, do not feel like you are going into this alone. Here at Laurier we have a network of supports for students. If your mental health is taking a dive, you need someone to help you with citations, you want a paper edited, you need help picking electives or adding a minor, you want career advice, you need a part time job, you want to get involved on campus, you want to start a club, we have a resource for you which will do just that and more. On top of that, the Law and Society professors are so kind and such incredible people. Every one of them is passionate about what they are teaching and they want to help their students succeed. Never be afraid to go to their officer hours or hang back after class to ask any questions, have a conversation or pick their brain about anything to do with law school. I have formed great relationships with my professors and most of them started because they took the time to learn who I was. Here at Laurier, you are more than just a number in the crowd and that really shows through in the relationships you build throughout your time here! You will never be alone!

1

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

I chose Law and Society here at Laurier because I knew that I was fascinated by all aspects of law and I didn’t want to wait until Law School to study it! When I was looking for a law program, Laurier’s really stuck out to me as not only does Law & Society teach it’s students about the law (Canadian Law, International Law, The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Famous Trials, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, Immigration Law etc…) but it also teaches you how to really think critically about our legal systems, and how those systems impact and interact with our changing society! What makes my program unique to me is that it is so customizable! In my first year I took an elective called “Introduction to Indigenous Studies.” I was immediately fascinated with that field of study, so I added Indigenous Studies as a minor! Now, not only do I get to study Law on a campus with small class sizes and incredibly intelligent, interesting, and kind professors, but I can also delve deeper into understanding the past, present, and future of Indigenous communities and how I can help decolonize both the legal field and the academic institutions! 

What was your favourite class/elective & why?

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My favourite class so far would have to be “The Canadian Legal System II.” I loved this class because the professor taught it in an inquiry based learning style - which essentially meant that the class was led by student discussions! I learned so much in that class and got into some pretty heated debates for over two hours with my peers! It was definitely the highlight of my week (which is a lot to say for an early morning three hour lecture)!

QUESTIONS

JUICY

5

What kinds of things are there to do in your schools hometown?

We have so many beautiful parks and walking trials along the Grand River! It is so nice to get to walk 2 minutes and get to a cute picnic spot, enjoy the autumn leaves, or take a stroll in a winter wonderland! The city of Brantford also hosts many festivals throughout the year right in the downtown core! My favourites are the Taco Fest and the Jazz fest! They also have an outdoor skating rink in the colder months right in the middle of the city square! With so many restaurants, shops, trials, etc.. nearby, you will never be at a loss for things to do! 

3

How would you describe your first year experience?

I actually had this question asked to me by my Don in Residence when I moved out! What I wrote on the slip of paper as a response was; a totally hectic, exciting & enriching experience!! - Followed by a lot of hearts LOL! First year was amazing because the community here at Laurier is so warm and welcoming! I was so nervous coming to Laurier from high school! I didn’t know anybody on my campus and I had no clue what University would be like. But within the first week I had already made friends from all different years, attended campus events, joined multiple clubs, and sat through (and enjoyed) my first couple lectures! Here at Laurier the departments, professors, and students make it so easy to get involved, meet new people, make friends, and succeed in all aspects of your academics with loads of resources and support! My first year experience was truly golden and I wouldn’t change a thing! It really is great to be a Laurier Golden Hawk! 

 
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A very special thank you to our interviewee...

EMILY ERNST

Hello! My name is Emily Ernst and I am a third year Law & Society student with a minor in Indigenous studies here at Wilfrid Laurier University! Besides being a full time student, I am also a Laurier Campus Ambassador for Laurier’s Brantford Campus, as well as a Residence Education Advisor for Laurier’s Department of Residence! I have loved every second of my experience here at Laurier and I am always excited to meet and chat with future golden hawks!