yconic - UW/WLU BBA/BMath Graduate - AMA
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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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Hey! 
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

Thanks
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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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Bump since I've seen more questions about Math/CS at UW and/or DD on the forum
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Are you aware of how Waterloo Math Faculty will look at repeated courses and how heavily the Euclid will affect your admission chances? I have a situation where I did not do stellar in adv functions. I applied to night school to repeat it and thought I'd drop of it if my semester 2 grades were high enough. Do you think this is a bad decision, and I should just move on to semester 2, and avoid the penalty?
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The Euclid has a much larger impact on scholarships than on admissions. It can help, but it isn't going to have the same impact that your grades or the rest of your AIF will have.

In terms of night school.... Honestly, it looks really really bad. Especially since it would be a required course that you're repeating. The exact penalty is applied on a case-by-case basis on the AIF, but unless you're going to get 20% higher, it probably isn't worth it -> it just looks really bad to have to repeat a required course.... That said, if your grade is low enough that you can get 20%+ higher, then your current grade is lower than what you would need to get in....
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Well my mark in functions was an 86. My other marks are 99, 96 & 88. So are you suggesting I should just drop night school before mid-terms come out? Also does UW even take repeated courses, do they avg or just take your first try?
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UW does take repeated courses, but for Math/Engineering they tend to include a penalty. They also ask why you're taking a course outside of your normal school (e.g. night school) so that is also a factor. The penalty for Math is applied on a case by case basis, so I can't say you will or won't get a penalty etc. 

That's also why I'm not saying that you should/shouldn't drop the course. But, if you look at it like this: 
- A 1 point penalty would mean you would need at least 92 just to get the exact same score as not retaking
- A two point penalty would need a 98

I don't know how large any of the penalties are, but keep in mind how high you would need to get to actually improve
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I applied for the CS/BBA double degree program at Waterloo and Laurier. However, I've found myself very interested in math as I take more courses this year. If I were to be accepted, would I be able to transfer to the BMath/BBA program in the first year?
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Switching into Math from CS is simple, though the later you leave it the more courses you might have to make up.

If you switch at any point before the start of second year though you would be right on the normal track for the Math DD.

Edit: I should add that you need to have okay grades in the math courses at UW to switch, but that really just means like 70s, and if you're struggling more than that in math, you probably wouldn't want to switch...
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What was your grade 12 average? My average will likely be in the mid to high 80's and I feel as if this won't be enough
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My average was ~96% 
The mid-high 80s likely won't be high enough to get into the DD programs.
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in the math side, is it possible to double major in statistics and computer science?
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Technically, the rules would probably allow it, but in reality, no.

To major in CS you need to actually transfer to CS (which is competitive and not guaranteed). Then you would still need to finish all of the required courses and I would guess that would probably be something like 60 courses instead of the normal 52. The exact numbers might be different but they would be close to that.

If you want to do CS and Stats AND Double Degree, you would be better off in the CS DD since there are less required courses that are not CS/Stat (even then, you would probably need to take a number of extra courses)
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does the double degree program allow you to double major in anything at all? (without taking any extra courses or going beyond the 5 years). how about double majoring on the business side?
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You can double major in pretty much whatever you want (within Math). The reason a CS double major doesn't really work is because there are so many required CS courses that are not part of the Math DD program (essentially every CS course in 2nd year on). You have 6-10 courses you can use for other math courses, but even if you filled all of those with CS courses, you wouldn't be able to finish CS and Stats.

For other combinations, it is possible, but how many (if any) extra courses you would need depends on the exact combination. For example, if you choose courses strategically, you can double major in ActSci and Stats while taking only 1 more course than you would need to for just ActSci. Flexible majors like C&O and PMath make it easier since there are more opportunities for double counting courses.

So yes, you can do a double major (whether you should is a different question).

For the BBA, you can do more than one specialization (there aren't really majors since they are only 4 courses), but only one goes on your degree I think. Doing two would take up most of your electives unless again, you choose some that have overlap.

I just want to slow you down though. Think about why you want to do a double major. Having two majors is not going to make a significant difference in terms of post graduation outcomes. One DD alumni did 6 majors (before they changed a couple of the rules), but his one regret was chasing how many accomplishments he could put on his resume/transcript and not spending time doing other things/taking interesting courses.
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I took grade 12 English in summer school and ended up with a 90. It is the same mark as my grade 11 average.  I read somewhere on a UW professor's blog that Waterloo does not penalize out of school courses if the final grade is the same/very similar.  I was wondering if this also applies to the faculty of math and if receving the exact same mark for both years will prevent any harm to my admissibility.
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Everything on Bill Anderson's blog only applies to Engineering. 

There is no guarantee you won't have a deduction regardless of the grade. Math tends to make decisions on that stuff based on the reason you took the course outside of your regular day school.
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Bump
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I got into both Queen's Commerce and the WLU/UW BBA/BMATH Double degree program.

If I'm more interested in the business side, which one do you think is better for maybe a career in finance/consulting?
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So this is a bit of a tough question to give a concrete answer.

Queen's historically has a strong recruiting presence with top consulting and finance firms. That said, at a LOT of these places I can find DD grads who are also there (or used to work there). Happy to give some examples if people want (though I will have to keep personal info for those people redacted)

Queen's strength is based on its alumni network and historical recruiting network. DD doesn't have that same network yet because it's a newer program. The this is, DD's network is growing, and a lot of the DD grads at those places are top performers.... Some companies ask those DDs "Where can we get more people like you?" so there is a shift coming in recruiting as well. I'm not saying that Queen's will ever be a bad choice based on recruiting, but there is a shift coming that makes it a little less clear cut than a few years ago.

I think the more important thing to consider is whether or not you actually want to do a math degree. If you don't want to do a math degree, then DD is definitely the wrong program for you. The program isn't designed to be a business degree with a small piece of math added. It's two full degrees, and if you don't enjoy half of it you won't like the program.
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hey north! I’ve a few questions 

1) how good is the bba/financial math dd? I like Math but i’d rather do financial math than the entirety of the math course - it’s more concentrated in finance + i suppose that will be good for finance jobs with hedge funding and investment calculations and what not. Do you know a lot of people in this DD? I know more people who’ve applied for BBA/BMath & BBA/BSc

2) how will the course load of this DD compare to that of AFM in UW? I haven’t gotten a proper answer regarding AFM on this forum because of all the trolls, but since UW was your home school do you mind telling me if you knew anyone from AFM and how they found the entirety of the course? I’ve heard the environment is really suckish with the competition and the people, I love the sound of it but imm in a toss up between AFM and BBA/Fin Math rn. Please give me some advice! 

P.S - just for more context I’m an international student


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1. Make sure you look at the required courses for the program. The courses are actually not all that finance centric.... There are a handful of 'financial math' courses, but that's it. I know a handful of people who were in the program. Anecdotally, none of them are actually in anything related to finance.

2.  A lot of this depends more on your comfort level and ability with math. The math courses required in AFM are very simple compared to math courses for math students. I wouldn't say that the workload for AFM is exceptionally hard (although I haven't taken those courses) based on the people I've talked to. 

The environment is created by the students, and unfortunately you have a lot of people in AFM who derive their self-worth from thinking they are 'better' than others. That leads them to comparing with other students and putting down other people just to feel better about themselves. 

I would say that the DD programs generally don't have that (and definitely not to the same extent). A big reason (imo) is that everyone struggles at some point in the DD program, whether it's with math courses or business courses, so people rely on others to help them get through the parts they struggle with. In return, they help other people out when they can. Are there still some people who try and compare themselves with each other? Yes, but it isn't the majority.


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Thanks a ton! 
Just a follow up-
So how different from the math DD is financial math? 
Ideally, I thought Financial Math would be more “finance” related. Hmph. And does AFM have finance openings or is that more of Laurier BBA? 
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Thanks a ton! Just a follow up- So how different from the math DD is financial math? Ideally, I thought Financial Math would be more “finance” related. Hmph. 

So the biggest difference is obviously taking Math at UW v Laurier. In terms of required courses, both have your standard math intro sequences of Calculus 1-3, Linear Algebra 1 & 2, Statistics, Probability, Intro to Proofs. Both also have an intro to financial math course.

The financial math DD then has 3 more financial math courses, and the other math courses focus more on the areas that might be applied to finance (differential equations, analysis, stochastic calculus). The Math DD at UW has more required courses in statistics, as well as an optimization course. The other math courses you have a lot more choice. You can choose to take a bunch of finance related courses (e.g. Derivatives, Fixed Income Analysis) and/or the theoretical courses that are used in finance (e.g. stochastic calculus, analysis). You can also choose to look at other areas of math like game theory, network flows, graph theory, enumeration, complex analysis, statistics, actuarial science etc.


And does AFM have finance openings or is that more of Laurier BBA?

Finance job postings exist for students in AFM -> they can apply to the same jobs on WaterlooWorks. There is going to be a larger focus on accounting than in BBA, and BBA is going to cover a much wider range of business functions. Both are going to cover similar finance content depending on the specific electives you choose.


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What kind of differences are there from getting into the Laurier side of the program versus getting accepted into the Waterloo side?
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It boils down to three core differences:

1. Residence. Whichever school is your home school is where you would live in residence. Since most people only live in residence their first year, it isn't necessarily that important

2. Scholarships. Your home school is where you pay fees and who you would receive scholarships from. Once you hit the 95% mark, Laurier usually gives more in scholarship money (though the majority of it is contingent on getting high marks in the program)

3. Co-op. This is the biggest difference. You use the co-op system from your home school. This also means that UW-based DDs have one additional co-op term (in the summer after first year) while Laurier-based students have this term 'off' (though you can find a job for that term as well). The co-op systems are different, but it is harder to say exactly which is better. Laurier has more jobs with traditional large multinational CPGs (for example, Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble) and UW has more postings with technology based companies (and in particular more postings in the US). In terms of things like accounting and finance, both have those positions (though accounting is probably easier through Laurier) and investment banking and sales and trading positions with all of the major canadian banks get posted at both schools. Laurier tends to have a few more buy-side positions (some firms like Gluskin Sheff are predominantly Laurier for co-op jobs) and UW has more technical trading positions.

The trade-off though is that while one system has more jobs in a certain area, it also has more students who are interested in that area. For example, a marketing position at Laurier might get 100 applications, but there are 50 jobs posted. So in theory half of those students would get a marketing job. In contrast, UW might only have 10 marketing positions, but only 10 people are interested in them, so it would actually be easier to get one of those jobs at UW (of course this is an oversimplified example). 
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Does the business degree help a software engineer working at, for example, Google? I.e. would getting promoted as a software engineer be easier with the business degree compared to someone with just a CS degree?
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It depends on you and the specific job. If you're looking at jobs that solely include development, then no, it won't really help unless you work to leverage it. How those opportunities come up will vary a lot from company to company.

If you're looking at more management positions or product management positions where you have a lot of interaction between a technical team and another functional team, then the business knowledge is very valuable. Lots of tech companies started hiring lots and lots of MBAs over the past number of years. The reason was because the companies didn't have the business knowledge to efficiently and effectively grow. That's why you see a lot of execs having MBAs - because the knowledge is important for them.

Now, a BBA isn't the same as an MBA (in terms of perceived value), but at non-exec level roles, the same idea applies. Every technical company is a business, and understanding how that business functions and how some of those functions can be improved is beneficial.

All of that said, don't do DD unless you're actually interested in getting a business degree for more than just "I'll look better on my resume". If you go in with that attitude you're going to hate most of the program because you don't really want to be in business.
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Thanks for the answer! I admit I am not very interested in business, but is it common to get an MBA after beginning in industry? Say I wanted to get promoted to a management position could I do a company funded MBA or is this uncommon?
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If you're not interested in business don't do DD.

MBAs are only for people with work experience. Part of the application is based on your professional experience. Some companies will pay for it, but a lot won't. It depends on whether they really need YOU to be the person moving up or if they just need someone with those skills. If they don't care as much about that person being you, they won't need to pay for it. Don't plan on an MBA right now though since you might not need one - it depends on where you end up whether or not you need it.
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How are you enjoying graduate school at the moment? Are you in a research stream or are you taking graduate level courses, and did you get research experience early on in undergrad? Had you not gone to graduate school what kind of jobs would have you applied to with DD? 

Thanks. And congratulations. 
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Grad school has been good so far. I'm in a PhD program, so the overall focus is research, but since I'm in first year, I'm still taking classes primarily right now. 

I actually didn't have all that much academic research experience when I applied. I leveraged a few projects that I had done during co-op terms (e.g. financial fee regulation, investment ideas, incentive structures for trade regulations) to illustrate some research potential. This is actually one of the biggest differences in graduate programs for business compared to other fields - there is a lot less undergraduate research, so more applicants have no/little research experience when they apply.

If I hadn't gone to graduate school I likely would have stayed in finance (where I did a couple of co-op terms) or in consulting.
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Bump
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Partying in st paddy’s?
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I am interested in the UW/WLU CS/BBA DD program. I am applying from the Laurier side. Is the cutoff average the same for 101 and 105D applicants? i.e. is the cutoff average the same for all canadian citizens and permanent residence regardless of which province you're applying from?
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The cut-offs that get quoted are based on Ontario HS courses. There are different requirements for each school system. The averages will be similar, but how many courses, which courses etc. will vary based on the school system. All of the specifics are listed here: https://www.wlu.ca/admissions-toolkits/undergraduate/step-1-applying-to-laurier/admission-requirements-and-info.html

In theory, the cut-offs are set so that the same caliber of student is admitted regardless of location. So someone at the Ontario cut-off would also be right at the PEI cut-off if they had been in PEI. 
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So here is my specific situation. I am a 105D student currently on gap year, and I finished full time high school in Ontario in June 2017. So since I am applying with Ontario high school grades, would the cut off averages apply to me?
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Also is priority given to 101 students compared to 105D, or is everyone treated equally for admissions as long as they are canadian citizens of permanent residents??
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For BBA all that matters is the school system. (I don't even think that there is a limited number of spots for international students).

So in your case, yes, the Ontario requirements would be the relevant ones.
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I am applying to the UW/WLU CS/BBA DD program, not BBA! Would what you said still apply to my case?
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Yes (to the best of my knowledge)
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Is there any advantage to a specific stream for co-op/academic terms? I know in engineering stream 4 (I think) is desired by most because the first co-op term is in the summer rather than after the first semester. If, for example, I didn't have a lot of relevant experience now, would delaying my first co-op term as long as possible be the best way to get the best jobs assuming that I will be developing my resume the entire time?
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Stream 4 is actually the stream with co-op after the first semester (stream 4 because co-op starts 4 months in vs. stream 8 starting 8 months in).

For any program outside of engineering, the first co-op term is in the summer after first year at the earliest. 

I personally would prefer having my first co-op term after 8 months of school (instead of 4 months) just because you have more time to adjust to university rather than trying to find a job 3 weeks into the semester.

I don't think delaying your first co-op term a long time makes that much sense. Sure, you might not have a lot of experience now, but getting experience is part of the point of co-op. You're likely not going to get an absolutely amazing job for your first co-op no matter what resume development you do while you're in school. You have (up to) 6 co-op terms and the first few are the ones that help you build your resume for the later ones. Delaying your co-op term just delays that process and will probably lead to some burnout from doing too many academic terms in a row.
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In that sense, would you advise against the computer science stream where the first summer is 'off' and the first co-op term happens after 2A? I believe in this one there are 2 co-op terms in a row in year 4 (as well as graduating the summer after the other groups). In this selection I noticed that many of the co-op terms are either winter/fall which I thought would be advantageous because there is less competition compared to the summer.
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The reason I'm not a huge fan of that specific co-op sequence is mostly that the first summer is sort of wasted. Realistically, most students who are 'off' in the summer are going to be trying to find a job to help pay for school. It's a lot easier to find a job using the co-op system than without it (especially for your first job), so all you're doing with this sequence is delaying your graduation to take 4 months of finding your own job...

I wouldn't say that the spring (May-August) term is any harder to find a job in but the overall impact is a little bit clouded by all of the other factors. Yes, there are more students looking for jobs across the country during the summer. BUT, there are also a number of companies that only hire during the summer (because they need to cover vacations etc.) so there are also more jobs. Also, there are some employers (though definitely not all) that only use WaterlooWorks to hire co-op students, so the number of other students looking for jobs is irrelevant in those cases. Other companies (including a lot of major tech companies) don't actually have hard limits on the number of students they will hire -> they basically take anyone who meets their threshold (which is admittedly somewhat high). So in those cases, if you're good enough, some of the competition is mitigated by hiring practices.
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What was ur average?
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A little over 96
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When u got accpeted
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January from the Laurier side, April Fool's Day from the UW side. Now UW does almost all of it's admissions for math/cs programs in May though
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How employable is a math degree from Waterloo (with coop)? If I get rejected to CS, but am offered an alternate offer to math coop, should I take it? Would I still be able to get those software engineering positions in silicon valley as a math coop student? Other than software stuff, what are the most employable fields you can work in with a math degree?
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Your degree doesn't force you into a specific job path.

How employable your degree is really depends on where you want to end up and ultimately, your job prospects are determined a LOT more by your personal skills and abilities than by your degree.

There are people with math degrees working in tech, finance, education, marketing, operations, insurance, consulting, statistics, etc. 

Can you get software jobs in math? Absolutely. 

Should you go into Math if all you want to do is CS? No. You won't enjoy it. If you don't want to be in math, accept a different offer.
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Since all the good questions were asked, I've got a weird one. How do you format the double degree on your Instagram bio?

I currently have "UW/WLU CS/BBA 2023" but it looks kinda odd.
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You don't.
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By how much do the laurier cutoff averages vary every year for BBA/CS DD? I am 1% above last year's cutoff, and am worried that I will not make the cut for this year. Also, on the laurier side, are the cutoff averages the same for BBA/CS and BBA/Math?
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I don't know what the changes have been on average, and really, the historical changes mean nothing for this year. The cut-off is based on the current year's applicants. If there are a lot more applicants, then the cut-off will likely go up more.

I don't expect it to go up significantly from last year, but of course that's just my guess. 

The cut-off averages were the same last year.
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"I don't expect it to go up significantly from last year"
Does this mean that the cutoff wont go up by more than 1%
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It means that I would be surprised if it went up a significant amount.

Look, you're trying to get me to say that no, the cut-off won't go up more than 1%, so yes, you'll get an offer. The truth is, I can't tell you that. Nobody on here can tell you that. Anyone who does is just passing off a guess as truth. The only people who can tell you that work in Admissions at Laurier, and the number one way they'll tell you is by giving you an offer or not. 

Nothing you do now in terms of asking will actually accomplish anything. I understand that it's frustrating and nerve-wracking to have not heard back from universities, but it is much better for you to try not to dwell on it, because all that will do is make you worry about it more.
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accepted march 27, no abs
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