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UW/WLU BBA/BMath Graduate - AMA

I've seen a lot of misinformation flying around this forum about a lot of programs, so hopefully I can answer some of those questions with more details. 

About me:
- Graduated from the BBA/BMath Double Degree program
- My home school was UW
- Involved with a lot of clubs and activities on both campuses
- TA'd for courses at both UW and Laurier
- Co-op terms in teaching, operations, systems work, and finance
- After graduating I worked in communications at UW and worked closely with people from the admissions team (no, I cannot tell you how likely you are to get an offer)
- Currently in a graduate program in Operations Research 

Feel free to ask any questions you have about the DD program, Math/CS at UW, or Business at Laurier. If I don't know the answer, I will try to direct you to the appropriate people.

Disclaimer: All answers are my opinion are not the official positions of the University of Waterloo or Wilfrid Laurier University
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Why not queens commerce?
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Primarily because I was interested in math. If I had not gone to DD, I likely would have just done a BMath at UW instead, so I didn't really look at other straight business programs.

In terms of other reasons:
- I didn't know what I wanted to do, so having co-op was a big benefit in terms of the number of different places you could work to try different jobs/industries
- Cost: I personally couldn't justify the high cost of the program
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Easy online electives other than uu150 and cp102? And how was the interview process for co-op and what job experience did you have prior to applying?
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I was in DD so didn't have electives, and I didn't have to apply to be in co-op. 

I did have some prior work, but not in a traditional business setting. I had been a camp counselor and developed and ran a leadership development program for that camp. 

Edit: Take whatever you're interested in for electives, since you'll pay more attention and probably do better as a result.
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How was the course load?
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This will vary a lot from person to person, but the course load is only slightly more onerous than any other university program in business or math/cs. 

In terms of number of courses, you are still taking the same 5 courses per term (although you need to take 6 twice or do a course over a co-op term twice), so each term has approximately the same work load (more details below). The extra courses come in the form of two additional academic terms (8 for a regular single degree program, 10 for Double Degree). The reason DD is a little bit harder is that you are only taking 'core' courses. There isn't any room for easy electives or courses that you can just ignore until the midterm/final.

Within a term (I'll focus on first/second year here, since upper years depend on your course choices) you'll have ~15 hours of lectures (5 classes, 3 hours per class) and ~5 hours of tutorials/labs each week. That means you're only in class for 20 hours a week. Compared to HS where you're probably in class for 5-6 hours a day, so 25-30 hours a week. 

The actual work comes from (in math/cs and econ) weekly assignments, and lab prep/group assignments for business. You''ll probably have 4 assignments/week (3 math/cs and 1 econ). The business assignments are spread out more, but are larger.

Math/CS assignments might take on average 5 hours each. Econ probably an hour. Lab prep would be under an hour as well (in general). So in a given week, you're looking at 40 hours of work -> so basically a full time job.

Some weeks (e.g. with business assignments due) will have more work, others will have less. But, it is 100% manageable, it just takes time management, and yes, you can still have a social life. It all comes down to priorities. If you spend Monday-Thursday going out and partying or watching Netflix, then you probably won't be able to go out on the weekend. But, if you spend some of those days doing some work, then you'll be fine.

First term is usually a big jump/change for people, but after that, you figure out what works best for you, and that makes it easier as you go on even though the content gets harder.
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I am going to be applying to the WLU BBA/BSc program (not joined with UW), and I was wondering what your thoughts were on it? (friends who have done it, job opportunities, workload, etc)

P.S. I'm super interested in combining a technical element with a business degree just so I can perhaps go down either path, maybe both, if I were to graduate

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I can't speak to a whole lot of specifics, but a lot of the same things are true about this program.

In general, there will be less technical jobs available at Laurier. That's just because the co-op system was really developed with the BBA program in mind, and that's where a lot of employer connections are. That said, there are technical positions available, and there is a lot less competition for them than some other jobs just because there are fewer CS students at Laurier.

In terms of workload, the business/econ requirements are the same as what I described above. I haven't taken any of the Laurier math/cs courses, but I would guess they are similar in terms of structure to what I described above, but I would also guess that they are a little bit easier than the UW courses. There will also be fewer options for CS courses in upper years just because there are less students in CS at Laurier.

In terms of jobs, the biggest thing is that you aren't limited in what you can apply to. If you want to apply to a marketing job you can, and if you want to apply to a systems development job, you can. For jobs that overlap two areas, you often have to show why that overlap is beneficial for an employer (since most employers graduated well before interdisciplinary programs were a big thing), but it can lead to some interesting responsibilities during the work term.

I don't know that many people who were in the program (it's a fairly small program) but I did work with one person when I worked at PepsiCo. They were working with the Food Service team specifically with some of the systems (I think it was financial reporting systems?). 
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Has it been beneficial to have 2 degrees that support one another?
Do you know if its true that they only look at ABS / AIF if your average is a little under the cutoff?
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I would say for me that having both degrees isn't the important part, but the experience of getting both is what was beneficial. By that I mean that the degree is just milestone - it's really just a piece of paper. Technically, I didn't need both to get to the point where I am today. However, I wouldn't be in the program that I am now without having gone through both degrees.

Right now I am in a PhD program in Operations Research. In the areas of OR that I am most interested in, you might be researching things like innovation diffusion through social networks, or dynamic pricing schemes to maximize revenue. In terms of application, these are both business oriented problems. But the actual solutions involve a lot of in depth mathematical analysis. For me, I wouldn't have been interested in this research area without being in business, but I wouldn't have the technical background without the math degree.

So in general, having a second degree isn't important -> it's the additional skills and experiences that are beneficial.

For admissions, I believe that Laurier only looks at the ABS after the set a cut-off, and it is for students within 3% of that cut-off.

UW uses the AIF as a core component for every admission decision, and it is looked at for all applicants.
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