The Mentorship Spot
General Tips for uWaterloo AFM
By Hufsah Khan
Like many students, my first -year at university was really about growth and learning - not just academically, but also personally. Through taking advantage of several opportunities available in first year, from case competitions, networking sessions to even just student socials, I really felt that I was able to learn so much from others and explore my interests while learning how to keep organized. A lot of the difficulty of first year comes from a lack of time management, but by planning out my week ahead of time I was able to make the most of my time on campus. A huge part of this personal learning was through my involvement in clubs which helped connect me with others and gave me exciting opportunities.
In my first -year, I was very fortunate to be involved with clubs from my faculty as well as general Waterloo clubs which really helped differentiate my experience. Even though general Waterloo clubs may be harder to find or connect with, I found that they were so open and welcoming. One of such clubs was the Orphan Sponsorship Program for me, which was something I was really interested in as I wanted to continue fundraising and volunteer work through university. It was something that I really valued and enjoyed in high school so I had reached out to them on Facebook and attended a few meetings about once a month in first semester.
In my second term, I wanted to be more involved so I filled out a Google Form they had posted for their executive applications to take on a bigger commitment. From there, I became the Co Vice- President of our team and helped organize 3 larger events and set up smaller, bi-weekly meetings. I loved that I got to connect with like-minded students and met so many people I never would have bumped into otherwise.
On the other hand, one of the biggest clubs I joined was the Accounting and Finance Student Association (AFSA) through an application and interview process. It was also a bigger commitment with meetings at least once a week, so it was really important to plan my week ahead and ensure I could finish all my work in time. However, it was so worthwhile as it helped me meet so many other students in my program and connect with upper-years.
Apart from those clubs, I became an ambassador for the School of Accounting and Finance Outreach and Ambassador Program and also competed in a few case competitions through DECA U and CPA Ontario.
As a first-year, I learned the importance of putting myself out there and talking to lots of people. Some of the most valuable lessons I took from first year would be my insights into how I learn and my goal-setting through exploring all the opportunities available to me. I would definitely recommend taking your first year to explore your interests and learn more about yourself as those will help guide you for the rest of your life.