The Mentorship Spot
My Experience with Clubs at uWaterloo
By Zaineb Malik
A year ago, I began my first year in the Accounting and Financial Management program. I was very nervous at first – it was my first time being away from home and living in an entirely new city. However, as the year progressed, I began to love being on campus. I got involved with a variety of clubs in my first year, such as SOAP (Student outreach ambassador program), Women In Finance, and ACE Consulting Group. Through joining all these clubs, I made tonnes of friends in various years and programs. Meeting all these people and forming so many new friendships made my first year so much more enjoyable. One of the biggest contributors to having a good university experience is having good company – I believe that any place can be fun as long as you are with the right people. My first year of university really reflected that mindset, as it was the friends I made along the way that made it a great experience.
Through SOAP, I was given the opportunity to give back to my school community. This club was centred around welcoming incoming first years and promoting the school to 12th graders who were still deciding what program to pursue. Through various events such as fall open house and some online webinars, I was able to help calm the nerves of incoming students and help them feel at ease about this new chapter in their lives. I love to help people, so being a part of SOAP was very rewarding.
As an Associate on ACE Consulting Group, I was given the opportunity to get involved with the renowned start-up community in the KW Region. Waterloo is known as the Silicon Valley of the North, and coming into university I knew I wanted to get involved with the entrepreneurial community in one way or another. When presented with ACE, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to pursue that goal. During my year on ACE, I worked on 3 different and unique clients, helping create deliverables ranging from market research to COVID predictions. I learned many valuable technical and soft skills and made some incredible friends along the way.
In my role as Communications director for Women in Finance, I got to take part in helping start a club. As a member of the founding team, I got to experience all the hard work and effort that goes into getting an organization up and running. This taught me so much about ambition and organization – without drive and without good organizational skills, it is hard to be successful in turning your visions into a reality. In my role, I got to meet tonnes of inspiring women who broke the glass ceiling and helped create a more welcoming space in a traditionally male- dominated field.
All the clubs I took part in gave back to the communities I was a part of, while simultaneously providing me with valuable lessons about the world. I highly recommend getting involved with the school in whatever capacity you are comfortable with – learning doesn’t just end in the classroom. Clubs are a great way to learn more about who you are and meet like minded people, which ultimately makes your university experience much smoother.
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