Q&A with Hossam Khalil

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

Talk to us about Engineering 
As a second-year civil engineering student, I have always been interested in structures, bridges, and roadways ever since I was very young. With an interest in physics, statics, and visual arts, I knew that I wanted to either be an architect or a civil engineer. Additionally, I am planning to finish up with a Masters of Architecture (MArch) upon graduation. Consequently, I believe that those careers possess the perfect mixture of my interests.

I was lucky to grow up in a time in which the Civil Engineering industry witnessed a huge development in the techniques used and the finishing of the large-scale projects. This advancement fascinated me and attracted me toward the discipline. Moreover, civil engineering is a very diverse profession in which an engineer can work in different positions and projects. There is lots of specialization such as structural, environmental, and transportation. You also have the choice to work in planning at the office or outdoors on the project site if you wanted to. And for me, I like the balance between both the office and field. Finally, the profession has a strong sense of accomplishment as you always have pride in witnessing your work coming to life in your projects and staying there as a recognition of your work.

Talk to us about your Western Engineering experience
From my experience in the first year, I have received tremendous help and guidance, which assisted in my transition to college. The one thing I have noticed here at Western Engineering that I have not seen anywhere else is how proud students are to be here and a part of this community. Throughout my life, I have moved to different cities and numerous schools. Everywhere I went, I have noticed how students complained about the place being bad and how they want to leave. In most cases, I have seen my classmates switching schools and still not liking where they have gone. For the first time in my life, I am in a community where everybody is proud to be a Western Mustang and this has worked well in promoting the university and its reputation. I believe that student satisfaction is a key factor in their involvement and their willingness to participate in more events. Consequently, engineering students are among the most generous and helpful students I have ever met. The amount of services available to students is outstanding. Personally, if I ever had any problems, I would go to the UES and I was always sure that someone would be able to provide help. This is what I would like to promote about Western Engineering.

I have been involved in various communities within the university. I have been an Executive Communications Manager at the Western Egyptian Student Association where our main goal was to maximize the number of people that come out to the WESA events through social media and word of mouth. As a part of the Exec team, we would be gathering up with the entire creative committee to discuss new ideas for our upcoming events.

Currently, I am an Event Staff at the Western Mustangs where I work home games for all sporting events and assist with venue preparation, event set up/take down, ticketing and concession, and provide a safe and enjoyable event for fans and spectators

In addition, I have been elected by the students to represent the 2nd year civil engineering class. My current responsibilities include posting weekly updates for our class (i.e. assignments due, quizzes, midterms, labs, tutorials, etc.). I have created a Facebook page where students can share files, share any ideas they have, raise concerns about courses, professors, tutorial/quiz times, or availability. In the page, I am going to be initiating polls where students get to vote and have a voice in any decisions we come up with as a committee. One of my goals this year is to invite students to social events, engineering clubs, and other ways of connecting with each other as well as different faculties. My commitment to this role includes meeting with the UES council biweekly and vote for the motions as well as participate in discussions that lead to the forward moving of the engineering society.

Tips for current and future students?
Believe it or not, I manage school-related stress by letting go. Whenever I find myself trapped in schoolwork and going through this one week where I have numerous assignments due, I just relax and burn off some steam. I found that if I go to the gym and have a good workout, it helps me a lot. I, of course, do not just leave the work undone, but I always make sure to keep a calendar with all the due dates, quizzes, midterms, etc. I also keep a whiteboard in front of my desk where I write my duties for the day. I make sure that I finish all these tasks before the day is done. Now, if I just say I am going to study all day I might be able to finish all these but with multiple breaks in between and losing focus too often. I find that taking a useful break such as going on a walk, hanging out, or going to the gym helps make the day better and make you more focused as soon as you get back.

I like to study by myself at home or in a quiet atmosphere to avoid distractions. When I come across a concept that I do not understand, I go on YouTube, ask my friends, or take a note of the concept and leave it for later. After studying on my own, I usually like to do a group study session with my classmates the day of the exam or the day before. I find this technique to work if you want to clear certain concepts up because most of the time there will be someone who can explain.

Study spots are all personal preference. My favorite study spot on campus is Weldon Library and this is where I do most of my group study. The second floor always has someone who does not mind helping out and is a good place to hang out too. Finally, I am not much of a coffee drinker, I like to drink my red bull in the morning of a stressful day, and it seems to work.


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