Q&A with Abby Di Laudo

Joining clubs at Western such as Women in Engineering and Engineers Without Borders was one of the best decisions I made in my first year. It allowed me to expand my social circle with like-minded peers while at the same time being part of initiatives that have truly enriched my university experience.

Abby Di Laudo

Second Year Civil Engineering

 

Abby is a student ambassador here to answer your questions. Click here to contact Abby.

Do you remember when you decided you wanted to pursue engineering?

I decided to pursue engineering in my senior year of high school when I found myself most interested in my physics and math courses. Several of my teachers encouraged me to pursue an engineering pathway due to my interest and academic success in these subject areas. My father studied engineering as well and I had the opportunity to work with him at a heavy civil engineering firm during my summers in high school. Seeing firsthand the role of engineers in designing and building critical infrastructure made me value the important role engineers play in society. I was also interested in how business can intersect with engineering which drew me to Western’s unique partnership between the faculty of Engineering and the Ivey Business School.

Why Western Engineering?

My parents both attended Western University and stories of their experiences there permeated my childhood. My dad’s graduating class picture still hangs in the Spencer Engineering Building and his vintage Engineering jacket has a special place in his closet. My parents took us to visit campus for homecoming events from a young age and I’ve always felt a strong connection to the university. I guess “Purple and Proud” might run in my genes. When comparing Western Engineering to engineering programs at other universities, I was drawn to the common first-year approach, as I wanted to experience an introduction to all of the engineering disciplines. I appreciated having that time to really consider my options and as result, I was able to make a more informed decision when I chose the Civil Engineering pathway. Western’s co-op format was also appealing as I liked the option of being able to complete a summer co-op as opposed to co-op programs at other universities that involve a more interrupted school year. The fact that dual degrees, such as the Engineering/Ivey Business combination were possible at Western was also a huge draw that ultimately made my decision to come to Western an easy one. 

Can you talk about your extracurricular activities at Western (clubs, teams, volunteer work, outreach activities, athletics etc.)? Why would you encourage students to get involved in extracurricular activities at Western Engineering?

Joining clubs at Western such as Women in Engineering and Engineers Without Borders was one of the best decisions I made in my first year. It allowed me to expand my social circle with like-minded peers while at the same time being part of initiatives that have truly enriched my university experience. It is so important to get involved in university life beyond the classroom as it builds a sense of community and opens up so many new opportunities. The insight I have gained about the endless possibilities in the engineering profession from activities and events hosted by these clubs has been invaluable.

How do you manage school-related stress?

As students prepare for the university experience, it is important to think about strategies to cope with school-related stress, especially during exam periods. I try to be purposeful in finding a balance between a demanding academic schedule in Engineering and activities that feed my non-academic interests. I joined a London running club during my first year at Western and I have found that meeting with a group to run the trails around the city a few times a week has been instrumental in alleviating school stress and helps me to regain focus for studying. For me, maintaining my physical health through eating correctly, getting adequate sleep, and keeping active is key to being able to power through those tough weeks of studying. Being proactive in setting up (and sticking to) weekly schedules for studying and completing assignments has also helped me to prioritize my time.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my friends, watching a good TV show, and exploring local restaurants, cafes, and trails.

Favourite Quote:

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." 

- Jane Goodall