Q&A with Nadeen Elshawish

The opportunity to complete a combined degree with the Ivey School of Business and Western Engineering is extremely unique amongst Canadian Universities.

Nadeen Elshawish

Fourth Year Software Engineering Long-Term Co-op


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What inspired you to choose engineering?

Science and math were my favourite subjects throughout high school. When investigating future careers, I found engineering opened doors for various career paths that interested me, personally. There are a lot of opportunities for collaboration and creativity, two things that are important to me, and, ultimately, convinced me to pursue it.

Why did you choose Software Engineering?

Growing up, I’ve always had an interest in technology. In first year, I kept an open mind regarding which discipline I could go into, but I noticed I enjoyed the calculus and programming courses the most, confirming my interest in Software Engineering. I also researched the courses I’d be taking in upper years, and I was really interested in the software courses that were offered. I’m very glad I chose it.

Why Western Engineering?

I found the engineering program at Western focused on, not only learning the material, but applying the lessons taught in lectures to everyday problems. Western offers the common first year, which is a great advantage for anyone who is still deciding on what discipline of engineering they’d like to pursue. I also really loved the tight-knit community at Western. All the students are friendly and helpful, no matter who you are.

Can you talk about your experiential learning experiences (co-op, internship, ELI, PEME, Global and Intercultural Engagement Honour etc.)?

I completed a long-term co-op after my third year. I am very grateful I was able to work full-time before graduating. It was a unique experience that allowed me to learn so much and grow to be a better engineer. I was able to identify different topics I learned during my three years at Western and see how they were applied in the real world, as well as develop new skills to use in the future. It helped me gain a better idea of my career path after graduating and make connections in the industry. Because I was a long-term employee, I had many opportunities with greater responsibilities. This co-op experience has also given me the chance to further stand out when applying to full-time positions after graduation. Overall, the long-term co-op program was extremely beneficial and enjoyable, I’d highly recommend everyone explore the idea.

How do you manage school-related stress?

Prioritize! I know engineering students have a lot of coursework to do, but not everything has to be done immediately. For me, it’s best to focus on one thing at a time and slowly get all my work done. As more schoolwork comes up, keep track of items through a journal or online calendar, for example. Also, rest as much as you need to. Sleep is super important!

Study tips for current/future students?

Ask questions! TAs and professors are there to support your learning and I highly recommend taking advantage of office hours or email. Even asking your fellow classmates if you find yourself stuck. Also, making to-do lists of items that need to be completed, should be completed, and could be completed. It helps to stay on top of important deadlines.

Favourite study spot on campus?

The Amit Chakma Engineering Building has a lot of good study spaces. Most of my friends will study on the second floor if we need to collaborate on an assignment. If not, I enjoy quietly studying on the upper floors at a table facing the window. As a student in Software, I also enjoy going to the computer labs on the fourth floor.

What is your favourite quote?

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” – Aristotle