AGM 2013 - University of Waterloo

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If you are particularly interested in any of these sessions, please email the VP Communications; these are summaries, and more detailed notes exist.

Running a Competition

This session was run by Cheryl Pearce from Waterloo Cases in Design Engineering. She provided an outline on how uWaterloo prepares for OEC and the transition from WEC.

Key Points

  • WEC is essentially a selection process for OEC
  • One improvement for school competitions is to post analytics at the end summarizing results
  • Running OEC preparation sessions: Intro, present problem, problem solving, team solution, share top 3 strategies.

Feedback from Students

  • OEC needs to have more motivation and innovation
  • More mock competitions for practice
  • OEC Preparation Workshop; invite OEC alumni and judges
  • Incorporate time constraints
  • Have variety of competition problems
  • Emphasize Senior Design

Improving Faculty Relations

This session was run by Gordon Stubley, uWaterloo's Associate Dean of Teaching.

Key Points

  • Student-faculty perspectives differ because faculty manages more aspects than just student programs
  • Faculty looks at "time" much differently than students, considering a longer timeframes whereas students are in a more shortened timescale
  • Perspective and timeframe should be something both faculty and students work together to accommodate.
  • Engaging with chairs and deans is a good way to start faculty relation
  • WatB's president shared experiences in keeping a regular and active relationship with his Dean.

Women in Engineering Program

  • This is a new initiative from the Ontario Public Service
  • Women in their final year of study will be mentored by women engineers working for the OPS
  • Purpose is to help young women integrate into a male-dominated profession through career planning and guidance
  • Push for women in engineering for the public sector
  • Career Aspirations seems to be best conversation topic for mentors and mentees

Expanding Your Professional Network

Key Areas of Focus

  • Reaching out to the community of professional engineering and alumni
  • Finding a mentor in the same industry with similar interests or career path

Making a First Impression

  • The first 2 minutes are key to getting one's attention
  • Communication skills (eye contact, listening)
  • Focus on what sets you apart
  • Show respect and simple courtesies
  • Have an elevator speech ready (90 seconds) and business cards on hand
  • Keep your LinkedIn updated and research about the hosting companies at network events

General Tips

  • At banquets, eat at the same pace as others and include everyone in conversation
  • When emailing, edit and double check; follow-up a day or two after meeting the person, and mention the conversation you had
  • Prepare an outline for when you phone call, and smile when you talk; it helps to sound more friendly
  • At interviews, sit down after the interviewer.

How to be a Good VP External

Key Points

  • Represent the school well; your behaviour leads by example
  • It is your job to bring back information to your society. Write down notes that are relevant to your school
  • Get in touch with your PEO Chapter
  • Prepare your delegates by sitting them down in a casual setting and getting to know them
  • Re-group with delegates after sessions and ask questions about what they learned
  • Don't story-tell about your school when you answer a discussion; information shared at conferences should be relevant to all the other schools
  • Remind those who aren't chosen as delegates that there are many other ways to get involved, as well as pay their own way to attend
  • Be impartial in selecting delegates. Cover their names and ask others' opinions
  • Avoid using acronyms and try to explain what each conference is and the type of person who would benefit from it

Creating a Coop Community

Overview

  • ESSCO Connects is a program that began in Winter 2013 that aims to create network opportunities for coop students
  • Facebook Application that shows the general locations of coops signed up
  • Coops are then divided into sub-groups on Facebook
  • Moving to a new community makes it difficult to network, and ESSCO Connects may bridge the gap

Ideas for Future

  • Provide a catalyst to get people talking. Leaders from EngSocs create events for people to start meeting
  • Get more people involved by direct advertisement through EngSocs to students
  • Involve CFES
  • Keep old members in subgroups to introduce newcomers to the location
  • Market to all students in the area, rather than limit to coops so that more connections can be made

Marketing and Advertising Yourself

Key Advice

  • Your personal brand is built over time through good and honourable actions
  • That brand could be destroyed by one mistake and take a long time to build back
  • Degree of fit is important when considering a prospective job
  • Ideally, find a job where you fit without having to change your brand to accomodate the employer
  • Employers want an employee with degree of fit - e.g. values, ethics, technical abilities, soft skills

5 Stages of Forming a Team

Forming

  • Team is created

Storming

  • Tensions may be present within the team (e.g. competition)
  • Resolve this by directly addressing the problem; don't talk behind others' backs
  • Know your place within the team; unneeded help or too many leaders can hinder progress

Norming

  • Increasing trust, collaboration, and appreciation of diversity
  • Beginning to have a feedback system
  • Continue to address issues and strengthen your team relationships
  • Give and receive open communication - e.g. feedback and regular performance review

Performing

  • Stage of productivity, problem-solving and shared leadership
  • Open, easy comunication
  • Members seek constructive feedback
  • Be sure to not fall back to the storming/norming stages

Adjourning

  • Task is complete, or the executive term is over
  • Give closure: be sure to celebrate and to transition the new team