Q&A with Mayuri Sothynathan

I thought that I would pursue a degree in chemical engineering. However, after being exposed to various subjects in engineering, I realized that. degree in electrical engineering would better suit my interests.

Mayuri Sothynathan

Fourth Year Electrical Engineering with Long-Term Co-op

 

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

Why Western Engineering?

I have always been a very curious and creative person. My curiosity inspired an interest in physics and mathematics. I felt that engineering was a field in which I could apply my knowledge in these subjects to creatively solve real-world problems. I chose Western because of the strong sense of community and the general first year. When I entered first year, I thought that I would pursue a degree in chemical engineering. However, after being exposed to various subject areas, I realized that a degree in electrical engineering would better suit my interests.

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

I would encourage ALL students to get involved in extra-curricular activities at Western Engineering! I think you are truly missing out on the full student experience if you don’t take part in the extra-curricular activities offered here. I have been involved in Women in Engineering, Sunstang, the Western Engineering Satellite Team, Undergraduate Engineering Society, and more! These were all great opportunities for me to make friends, amazing memories, and gain great hands-on engineering experience. These activities helped to shape me as a person and played a strong part in boosting my confidence as a leader and an engineer.

Study tips for current/future students?

It is very important to understand the concepts before they can be applied. I often reach out to my textbooks and/or my peers when I need extra clarification on concepts. I also find it helpful to summarize all I have learned onto one sheet. I strongly believe in trying all of the homework problems. This may be a waste of time for some, but this is the best way for me to practice the skills I learned in lecture so I can perform well on evaluations. In the words of Thomas Edison, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

It is important to note that the best way to study is highly subjective. The best advice I can give you is to learn about how you learn. This is a continuous journey, but if you know what works best for you, you can do great things!

Another tip - Time Management vs. Energy Management

Funnily enough, the most important thing I learned from my business class had nothing to do with the course content! One day, my professor spoke about how “energy management” is a much more valuable practice than “time management.” Often, when we are focused on managing our time to ensure that we meet both short-term and long-term goals, we make sacrifices to our energy levels. He suggested that during “high-energy times,” we attempt to accomplish “high-energy” tasks, while we do the opposite during “low-energy times.” Managing energy levels in this fashion allows us to accomplish tasks more productively and free up more time. Furthermore, it ties in various aspects of a healthy lifestyle (i.e. eating, sleeping, exercising, socializing) that allow you to lead a healthy and balanced life.

Although I still keep myself organized using a calendar app that is synchronized to all my devices and a “to-do list” summarizing my long-term and short-term goals, this approach has changed the way in which I approach academics entirely.

Favourite study spot on campus?

My favourite spot to study on campus is the Amit Chakma Engineering Building because of all the amazing memories I made there! It is a place that exemplifies Western Engineering’s sense of community. I never felt alone in my struggles because of the support system I built there. We also benefit from giving help to others. Teaching someone a tough concept or how to approach a difficult homework problem is one of the best ways to learn and understand it. If you can teach something to someone, you shouldn’t have any issues with it on an evaluation.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I enjoy seeing friends, playing the piano, singing, and working out at Western’s Recreation Centre. For as long as I can remember, music has played an important role in my life. I joke that for an engineering student, I spend a lot of time in the music practice rooms in Talbot College. I recently started painting and it has been so much fun! Despite how busy the school year gets, I insist that it is important that you find at least one thing that you enjoy that you do solely for yourself.  Having this in my life allows me to manage stress because it allows me to lead a healthy, balanced life. While it may sometimes feel like I don’t have enough time to fit this into my busy schedule, it has a direct correlation with my academic performance.

What is success to you?

Success to me is being satisfied with my work knowing that I put my best effort in. Although you may not always do as well as you hoped, it is important to take those instances as learning experiences. Instead of perceiving my downfalls as “failure,” I prefer to look at them as moments for growth. It is important to learn from our mistakes so that we can become better versions of ourselves every day.