Q&A with Dalton McPhaden

Even though the engineering course load is heavy and it's easy to feel like you don't have time, I believe that it's important to find time for the things you enjoy and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Dalton McPhaden

Fifth Year Software Engineering and Ivey HBA


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

Why did you choose Western Engineering?

I chose Western Engineering because I believed it would be the best program to prepare me to be a critical thinker and an effective problem solver. Engineering is more than just a degree; it teaches you how to think. I also chose Western Engineering for the exceptional student experience and the strong sense of community.

When I was thinking about university, I was actually split between studying engineering and business. Ivey Business School paired with Western Engineering provided me with the perfect opportunity to pursue both. With these two degrees, I expect to be well-equipped to solve real-world problems and make impactful decisions.

Why did you choose Software Engineering?

I really enjoyed my programming class in first year and decided that I’d like to study more of it. I was interested in a few other disciplines as well, but I’m glad that I had the common first-year experience before making my decision.

I chose software engineering because of its ability to be applied to so many aspects of the world, ranging from improving our day to day lives to solving global problems. The various ways in which software solutions can be applied are fascinating. I’ve always wanted to study in a field in which I can make a difference, and I believe that studying software will allow me to do that.

Can you talk about your residence experience?

In my first year I lived in Saugeen-Maitland Hall. Being from out-of-province, the traditional style residence was great for me because it allowed me to meet so many people so quickly. Living in residence is definitely an unforgettable experience.

How do you manage school-related stress?

I play intramural hockey and soccer every week. It’s a great way to take my mind off school work for an hour while getting exercise. Leading up to university, I always played sports and was worried that I might not have the time anymore. Even though the engineering course load is heavy and it’s easy to feel like you don’t have time, I believe that it’s important to find time for the things you enjoy and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Study tips for future students?

Study earlier rather than later. It’s easier said than done, but if you at least try you’ll find yourself less stressed and much more prepared when exams come around. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help.

Best place to get coffee on campus?

Anywhere and everywhere, coffee is coffee and you will learn to love it.

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