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Waterloo Engineering: Which Co-op Stream to Request

A photo of albud289 albud289
I got an offer to Waterloo for mechanical engineering. The coop stream can be either stream 4 or stream 8. Stream 4 means having my first work term beginning in January 2013. Stream 8 means having my first work term beginning in May 2013. Which stream would you prefer and why?
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4 replies
 
A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles
My brother told me to take 8 (he did 8 though, so could be biased) because it's better to at least by on campus for your entire first year. Leaving after 4 months limits a lot of clubs you could join or friends you could make, which is huge in first year. :)
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A photo of ChronosKey ChronosKey
There's pros and cons to both, but if I had to pick I'd pick stream 8

4:
- You potentially get money earlier than 8 if you wanna finance your education
- harder to get a job since you've studied less mech. eng.
- gonna be doing interviews soon after you get to UW which doesn't give you much time to settle in uni and prepare for those interviews

8:
- you have more exp so it should be easier to get a job
- you have the summers "off" like most other uni kids so you can hang out with them
- you're competing with all the summer kids vying for jobs as well
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A photo of aimango aimango

@ChronosKey wrote
There's pros and cons to both, but if I had to pick I'd pick stream 8

4:
- You potentially get money earlier than 8 if you wanna finance your education
- harder to get a job since you've studied less mech. eng.
- gonna be doing interviews soon after you get to UW which doesn't give you much time to settle in uni and prepare for those interviews

8:
- you have more exp so it should be easier to get a job
- you have the summers "off" like most other uni kids so you can hang out with them
- you're competing with all the summer kids vying for jobs as well


No you dont have the summers off. You probably won't get to hang out with friends if you get stuck with a job in the middle of nowhere, unless you are lucky and get a job in your hometown, or city where most of your other coop friends are (usually it'sToronto), or at Waterloo (but from what I've heard, it's pretty dead during the summer time... I'll be experiencing this very soon!)

I agree for all your points for taking 4 stream.

My program only has 8stream, and personally I would still choose 8 stream just because you will have more time to prepare yourself ahead of time, you can actually learn a little more about your program before deciding what kind of job you want, etc. Yes you are competing with other schools but Waterloo already gives you a high advantage over them since you have this big job database and you receive career education, and other students probably don't.

itll just depend on the company, some big names like to recruit from all schools, find the best ones, and just cancel all the job postings they ever had if they're satisfied with their selection. other companies love waterloo, and will pretty much only recruit from waterloo. Just don't have high expectations and you will be happy with what you get.
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A photo of greygoose greygoose
At the risk of sounding repetitive...

4-stream:
- Less competition but less jobs
- Only 1 term of school experience before work
- Money right after your first semester!
- First semester job hunt on top of everything else can be very stressful
- Summer school semesters are really relaxed and fun

8-stream:
- More jobs, more competition
- Two terms of school experience, which will have a positive effect on your salary
- Good first semester grades helps with finding employment
- Don't have to move until the end of your first school year
- Stick around with your 8-stream friends in other programs (e.g. math)

To be honest, I wouldn't say that either stream has more of an advantage at finding jobs. One first year semester does not affect your applicable knowledge for the workplace enough for this. There really are real advantages to both.
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