Q&A with Jay Patel
What inspired you to choose engineering?
As a kid, I always read books on astrophysics and used the computer often. I found that I really enjoyed building things, so I started picking up on coding during late elementary school and middle school. I thought of engineering as a bridge between sciences, maths and actually building out my ideas; so I’ve always had an affinity towards engineering.
Why did you choose Software Engineering?
I initially came to Western with the intention of going into Mechanical Engineering. However, the common first year and my summer co-op helped me get an exposure to all the areas and really figure out what I wanted to pursue. Although I had built software before, Software Engineering was the last thing I wanted to do coming into university. As a result, I’m deeply grateful for Western Engineering's common first year as it helps students figure out what they are interested in.
Why did you choose Western Engineering?
I chose Western Engineering for three main reasons.
First, I loved the campus. I think it’s really important for you to click with your university’s environment if you plan on spending the next four years (and potentially last four years) of your educational career studying at a single place. Western’s campus is very exciting — it’s hard not to have fun during your school term! Western Engineering has a plethora of clubs and activities you can choose from and the entire community is extremely warm and friendly. We all help each other out with homework, assignments and overall help each other grow as individuals.
Second, the potential dual degree option with the Ivey Business School provided a strong combination for students like me, who are looking to go into more business-related positions. If you’re planning on a career in business, the engineering degree complements your education extremely well; and vice-versa, the business degree for your engineering-oriented career. The best part is that you get one-and-a-half years to decide if you really want to go through with the dual degree option.
Finally, Western Engineering’s common first year really helped me figure out which field I wanted to focus on for my undergraduate degree. I came into university thinking that Software Engineering was the last thing I’d want to focus on, but the first year helped me weigh everything out. By the end, I had decided Software Engineering was the way to go!
Can you talk about your residence experience?
Residence was unreal. I was placed on the engineering floor at Essex and I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, during the first week alone things got really exciting. I was meeting all kinds of people, having a lot of fun with my floormates and waking up every day smiling. Residence is a must-have experience for any Western student. It helps you settle into university, build your network, and make friendships for life. My roommates are some of the funniest and greatest guys in the world and I would not trade my residence experience for anything else.
What is your favourite quote?
“You truly are incorruptible, aren't you? You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won't kill you because you're just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever."
— Joker, The Dark Knight
What tips would you give to current and/or future students?
Go out often and meet as many people as you can! Building a network of friends and acquaintances on campus is vital. First, it helps you feel so much more comfortable and confident anywhere you go. Second, it’s important to have fun from time to time to destress — and what better way to destress than hanging out with friends? Finally, Western students are awesome. These people are all amazing in their own regard, and it never hurts to know talented people.