2007-2008 Co-op Edition
scibus.ca Magazine of the Waterloo Science & Business Program
Issue 5, 2007/2008
Contents Director’s Letter
Co-op at Waterloo
Shaping the Futures of Students Across Canada: Co-op Gives Students a Boost
Land of 13 Months of Sunshine: International/Humanitarian
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Business Law and UW SciBus: It just makes Sense
Experiencing Life as an Accountant
Professor Profile: Dr. David Spafford
Facts and Figures
Diving into the Unfamiliar: International Work Experience
Academic Article: Petroleum Microbiology and Biotechnology
Professor Profile: In the Classroom with Michele Braniff
A Glimpse of Clarity: Marketing/Event Coordination Experience
Graduate Profile: Sukirtha Tharmalingam
Big Company Thinking: Ericsson Canada Inc.
What the Future Holds for UW and the Faculty of Science
Frequently Asked Questions
In the News: It Never Hurts To Ask - celebrating UW’s spirit of ‘why not?’
editor OWEN WARD (email@example.com) / assistant editors, photography and production SHERI HOWARD and DIANE TSANG COVER ILLUSTRATION: SHERI HOWARD Publisher: scibus.ca is published by the Science and Business Program, University of Waterloo Printed in Canada by Allprint Ainsworth Associates Inc., 65 Hanson Ave., Kitchener ON, N2C 2H6
Further information on the Science and Business Programs may be found at www.scibus.uwaterloo.ca.
“a truly great foundation for work and for life” In addition to providing our students with a comprehensive academic program we are strongly committed to their personal and professional development and to preparing them for employment through our workshops and support of extracurricular activities. Greater than 90% of our Science and Business students participate in co-op. Independent co-op employer evaluation surveys indicate that Science and Business students gain outstanding scores for work performance and particularly excel in the key areas: planning and organization, dependability and leadership. By the time our SciBus co-op students graduate they will have made the preparation and adjustments needed to work for up to five different employers at up to five different locations. The combination, Science + Business + workshops + developmental extracurricular activities + co-op, provides a truly great foundation for work and for life! It is fitting that the 5th issue of scibus.ca Magazine, which is being published during University of Waterloo’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations, focuses on Co-operative Education. Waterloo’s extraordinary commitment to experiential learning has resulted in the establishment here of the world’s largest and I believe the world’s most successful co-op program. The co-op program so much defines the character of the University of Waterloo. It creates close relationships between employers, their businesses and the University. Those relationships support a spirit of innovation in teaching, research and development at UW which leads in turn to product and process development, technology transfer and enterprise development. It was these close linkages between Science, Technology and Business at University of Waterloo that lead to the establishment of our Science and Business Program at Waterloo, a program which is unique both in Canada and internationally. Our goal is to prepare business savvy scientists as leaders for the new economy. Tim Johnson of University Affairs, Magazine of Universities and Colleges of Canada, wrote “Perhaps the best example of a meeting place for science, business and practical experience at the undergraduate level is in the University of Waterloo’s science and business (SciBus) undergraduate program”.
This magazine has been prepared to inform all of our stakeholders, especially current and prospective students and employers, of the co-op dimension of the Science and Business Programs. The majority of the articles, prepared by our students, profile their co-op experiences. We invite you to meet our students through these writings. Learn from them how co-op truly augments their academic program and how it so beneficially impacts upon their development and outlook. We have also provided some employer perspectives which illustrate how they value our students and how their companies benefit by participation in the co-op program. We wish to thank all of our authors for providing such interesting reports and insights about Science and Business co-op experiences. We acknowledge the extraordinary support of the staff of Cooperative Education and Career Services, University of Waterloo, who provide such excellent co-op opportunities for our Science and Business students, both in Canada and internationally. Most importantly, we thank the many employers who recruit our students and provide them with such life-enriching developmental, career and work experiences. Professor Owen Ward Editor and Science and Business Program Director
Co-op at Waterloo
The Co-op Advantage
By: Brandi Cowen - Co-op Education and Career Services
The Science and Business Program
Students in Waterloo’s Science and Business program start participating in UW’s world-class co-operative education program during their second year of studies. The positions held by Science and Business students are as diverse as the students admitted to this unique program. Some excellent examples are profiled in this magazine. Some other examples include work terms as Project Analysts with the University Health Network, Product Marketing Managers with Research In Motion, Chemical Analysts with the National Lab for Environmental Testing, and Junior Policy Advisors for the Ontario Seniors Secretariat. The specialized training that Science and Business students receive provides employers with an invaluable source of knowledge, creativity and problem-solving ability.
The Co-op Advantage
At University of Waterloo, co-operative education offers many advantages to students and employers alike. Throughout the hiring process, Co-operative Education & Career Services staff work hard to make the most mutually beneficial matches possible between employers and students. The extensive networks that Waterloo coop students have established across Canada and around the world are testament to the success of the program, and the large number of employers who hire Waterloo co-op students every term speaks to the value that co-op students add to organizations. For both students and employers, preparations for a work term begin approximately four months prior to the desired co-op term. For students, this means updating résumés, practising interview skills and making decisions about the types of positions to which they will apply. Employers are also kept busy during this period, preparing written descriptions of the jobs for which they wish to hire co-op students and deciding from which programs or majors they want to receive applications. Throughout the hiring process, both students and employers make great use of Waterloo’s online JobMine system. Employers’ job descriptions are made available to students online, and students search the system for positions in which they are interested. Students submit their résumés to JobMine, enabling employers to access applications from their computers, wherever they are in the world. After reviewing applications, employers use the JobMine system to indicate the students they wish to interview and when they wish to conduct interviews. The JobMine system then enables selected students to choose their own interview slot from the list provided by the employer. Co-op interviews are conducted in the Tatham Centre – a stateof-the-art facility equipped with over 100 interview rooms. Each term, the building is routinely used to conduct approximately 15,000 interviews of co-op and graduating students. The Tatham Centre has the resources to conduct in-person, telephone and video conference interviews, enabling employers from down the street and around the world to participate in Waterloo’s co-op program with ease.
The Tatham Centre for Co-operative Education and Career Services.
Once interviews are completed, employers use JobMine to numerically rank the students whom they would like to hire and make offers to their top choices. Students also use JobMine to submit numerical rankings of the employers that have interviewed them, taking into consideration the variety of offers and rankings they have received. Once rankings have been completed, an algorithm uses these rankings to match students and employers. Matching a student and employer removes the student from subsequent interview rounds and fills the employer’s vacant position. Throughout the hiring and interview process the co-op advisors serve as students’ main contact with Co-operative Education & Career Services. During the work term, field co-ordinators visit the work site to discuss progress and job performance with the student, program satisfaction on the part of the employer, and future opportunities for Waterloo co-op students to be employed by the organization. Field co-ordinators are assigned to employers based on their geographical region. The Results At the end of each work term, many employers are so pleased with their co-op students’ contributions to their organizations that they ask them to return for subsequent work terms. Science and Business students are very highly valued by employers and some recruit former co-op students for full-time employment upon graduation. What can Waterloo’s Science and Business co-op program do for you? Glean some indicators from the articles in this magazine and then contact Co-operative Education & Career Services at www.cecs.uwaterloo.ca and find out!
Shaping the Future of Students across Canada: Co-operative Education Gives Students a Boost by Kate O’Brien - 4B Biotechnology/Economics student
“Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it,” Stan Smith. When I am on campus taking classes I work as a tour guide showing potential applicants around the University of Waterloo. The question I am asked most frequently is “Why did you choose Waterloo?” My constant reply to this question is that the best thing about the University of Waterloo education is the co-operative education learning experience. Please don’t misunderstand me, the academic prestige of the University of Waterloo was also a factor when it came time to choose a university, but I have always been a steadfast believer in hands-on experience. Now, in my final co-op term and heading into my last 8 months of school I can honestly say that due to my experiences through co-op I feel more confident as I face full-time employment.
Kate O’Brien (center) is pictured with her colleagues at a conference.
Working as a Marketing Assistant at Microsoft Canada Co.
In January I started an 8-month position as a Marketing Assistant working with the Server & Tools team at Microsoft Canada. Submerged in the Microsoft world for 6 months, I have had the privilege of working on several advanced projects. As well I was able to observe decision making and market discussions at an involvement level I wouldn’t have expected even as a recently graduated full-time employee. In 8 months I have planned large events, written a variety of different kinds of marketing collateral and helped design new websites for the team. All of these activities in different parts of the strategic side of marketing have given me exposure to ideas and processes that otherwise would have taken years to experience. These situations will allow me to graduate with a vast amount of applied knowledge in different industries rather than just theoretical knowledge.
How my Biotechnology/Economics program prepared me for this challenge
Biotechnology/Economics was a definite fit for me upon graduation from high school. It directly aligned with my interests and skills at the time. As my education has continued I have found this program to really adapt with me and prepare me for positions of all varieties. The economic portion of my degree has helped me understand the market analysis that my team routinely discusses, while the science portion of my degree has prepared me on a multitude of different levels. I feel that my background in science really has helped me learn how to quickly grasp intangible concepts and has enabled me to discuss and explain those concepts to another individual. This helped immensely in my current role as I was quickly involved in presenting training material to partners.
Why does Co-op benefit the employer?
Besides the direct benefit to the employer of constant injections of fresh ideas and enthusiasm into their infrastructure, employers
also benefit from employing co-op students in many other ways. They have the opportunity to recruit employees in a risk-free trial atmosphere. Students coming into their organisation are intent on learning as much as possible and they are not necessarily looking for full-time employment. This gives employers a tension-free opportunity to observe a potential employee and to make an honest assessment of how they might fit into the company. Additionally, co-op employers exhibit great social responsibility: by hiring co-op students employers are shaping Canadian students and enhancing their education allowing them to bloom at an earlier age and help the overall Canadian economy!
“I also now have experience working in a variety of different small business and corporate settings, presenting to Vice Presidents of companies and explaining my projects to marketing directors” Looking ahead- How has Co-op helped prepare me for my future? Not only has co-op provided me with a vast amount of market knowledge that I hope to take forward with me into a marketing or sales role when I graduate, but it has also given me a level of confidence which I feel will be a vital resource going forward. From four rounds of interview cycles I feel much more comfortable presenting myself and explaining why I would be an employee of value to future employers. I also now have experience working in a variety of different small business and corporate settings, presenting to Vice Presidents of companies and explaining my projects to Marketing directors. I now know how to present myself appropriately and how to be a truly effective communicator. The confidence and communication skills that I have gained over the past four years alone have made my university experience more beneficial than I ever expected.
Land of 13 Months of Sunshine
by Katie Dorman - 4B SciBus student
My involvement in the “Surgical Lab Training for Ethiopia” project began in May 2006 at the Bethune Roundtable Conference on International Surgery. I created a survey about the problems facing surgical education in developing countries and distributed it to surgeons from Sub-Saharan Africa. The results of the survey were astonishing and I was motivated to learn more. At the Conference I was introduced to members of the Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS), an organization that supported a major initiative to build six surgical training centres in Ethiopia. The labs had been physically built, however manpower and knowledge in this field was lacking. Having experience in the logistics and operations of surgical skills centres from my co-op So how was I fortunate enough to spend work terms, I volunteered to facilitate over two months of my undergrad in this development of the Addis Ababa University “Land of 13 Months of Sunshine”? The lab. Within months, I traveled to Ethiopia opportunity arose during my fourth coto work with Dr. Miliard Derbew, a op work term at the Surgical Skills Centre Paediatric General Surgeon. With the help (SSC) at Mount Sinai Hospital. During a of very supportive teams in both Toronto casual conversation with my manager, and Ethiopia, I carried out this study. Lisa Satterthwaite, I assuredly proposed, This involved delivering an introductory “I’m going to Africa one day.” Within presentation to surgical faculty and staff at minutes she was on the phone to the the Addis Ababa University on surgical lab Centre’s researcher and days later I was Katie sits atop a mountain in Ethiopia. training and models. interviewed by a surgeon from the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “The unpredictable futures of these children and their Ethiopia is one of the poorest nations in the world, yet it offered the richest culture that I have ever experienced. I developed several long-lasting friendships and even found a “family away from home”. This generous family included 7 brothers, 8 sisters, and the father of the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) orphanage in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian culture was wonderful and I grew very fond of drinking coffee – “buna”, eating with my hands, and listening to the Justin Timberlake of Ethiopia, Teddy Afro. On the weekends we danced the night away at cultural lounges, where the music was anything from bamboo flutes and steel drums to the North American reggae star, Sean Paul.
I am currently completing a Bachelor of Science and Business, in the co-op program at UW. After high school, I applied for Science programs across the province, with the ultimate goal of a career in medicine. When I heard of the UW SciBus program I was intrigued, because it was then I realized that I had never taken a course in business or economics. As I progress through this program, my passion for science grows; however, I also find an increasing number of business applications in the scientific world. The UW co-op program allows students the option to apply for jobs through the University’s JobMine system or alternatively to personally search for potential employers. I chose the latter and was hired as a research assistant at the SSC. The SSC is a laboratory used to teach medical students and professionals a wide range of technical skills, with an emphasis on surgery. Although the majority of student employees and volunteers at the Centre are science majors, I quickly found value in the business knowledge I gained at Waterloo. The roles of the manager and staff at the Surgical Skills Centre extend beyond the lab, and my position was no different. My responsibilities ranged from accounting and administration to the preparation of anatomical models. I worked on a number of projects including the production of surgical teaching videos for residents and a study that examined the validity of a device used to measure surgical knot quality. This study, led by Dr. Adam Dubrowski (University of Toronto) opened a window of research opportunities, including participation in a major surgical education project in Ethiopia.
compromised health reinforced my desire to pursue a career in medicine”
The two months in Ethiopia were a defining period in my life due to experiences beyond those at the hospital and in my research. I developed a strong bond with fifteen children and youth, who lived at an orphanage run by a Christian organization called Youth with a Mission (YWAM). My weekly visits began as short “volunteer” sessions during which I would play with the children, help them cook, or tutor them in English. As I started to visit more and more frequently, I realized that these bright, compassionate children were actually helping me by providing a support network and “family” away from home. The unpredictable futures of these children and their compromised health reinforced my desire to pursue a career in medicine. The SciBus Co-op Program at UW opened the door for me to explore Ethiopia, which subsequently ignited my passion for healthcare in Africa. I’ve learned a lot during the past four years at the University of Waterloo and the SciBus program has prepared me to enter a post-graduate program and career with confidence. I’d also like thank the management and staff at the University of Toronto Surgical Skills Centre for providing an environment that fosters growth and innovation, while allowing the independence necessary for my trip to Ethiopia. My co-op experience provided the opportunity to work with a dynamic team of staff and researchers, all of whom taught me a lot about surgery, education, and finding balance in life.
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
by Matthew Lau - 3A Biotechnology/Economics student
“I was congratulated on any fine work I accomplished yet my colleagues did not hesitate to make me aware of any of my mistakes so I would make improvements for my next co-op term” Posted on the wall of the Registrar’s Office is a University of Waterloo poster quoting the famous lines of Confucius, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”. This poster serves not only as a typical motivational poster that sparks insights to life but it is chosen specifically to remind each and every co-op student the value of learning by doing. Students of the University of Waterloo are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to understand what they remember from class and apply it through a wide range of co-op positions. As a student in the Science and Business program, I have had the luxury of working for a co-op employer relating to the business field as well as those in the science field or even a position that involves both. Employers are especially appreciative of the multi-disciplinary and divergent skills which Science and Business students hold. During the winter term of 2007, I applied my knowledge by working in the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Our Mexico and North America Division was responsible for promoting bilateral trade and analyzing the political situation between Mexico and Canada. I was privileged to work alongside a group of experienced Trade Commissioners and Policy Analysts to attain a glimpse of the work of these highly sought-after positions. Working as an assistant to Trade Commissioners was especially beneficial because I was not tied to a specific project the entire four months; instead, I was able to expand my horizons through multiple projects. Throughout the term, I worked with numerous colleagues in various divisions of DFAIT headquarters in Ottawa, and collaborated with DFAIT employees representing Canada abroad. On occasion, I was presented with opportunities to meet high-level officials in the department in meetings or during departmental speeches. My work term with DFAIT was an excellent experience because I worked to learn. My co-op experience could be compared in the same way to a child learning to walk. My colleagues understood their role as mentors, considering that co-op students are preparing themselves for the future work environment and will guide them along the way to that goal. My employer agreed to participate in the co-op program because he acknowledged the benefits of gaining work experience to complement academic studies. As in a parent-child relationship, I was congratulated on any fine work I accomplished yet my colleagues did not hesitate to make me aware of any of my mistakes so I would make improvements for my next co-op term.
When the co-op term came to a conclusion, I returned with more than just valuable work experience and job skills from Ottawa. I brought back extensive knowledge on foreign affairs and international trade. I was able to extend my network and returned with a list of contacts for future reference. In addition, I also received a Mexican flag as a farewell gift from my colleagues at DFAIT. So now, besides the poster on the wall of the Registrar’s office, I have my Mexican flag that I hung on my wall to remind myself of my first co-op experience and the value of learning by doing that has brought me to the UW’s co-op program.
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Governement of Canada
Profile Provided by Graham Gleddie What is the role of the Department of Affairs and International Trade? The trade commissioner service provides advice and other assistance to existing / potential Canadian SME (small and medium sized enterprises) exporters. Our division is the “Mexico and North America Division”. We focus on assisting Canadian SMEs interested in the Mexican market. How did Matthew help add value to the department? During our busy stretches, we were able to task him with specific aspects of the project, which he was able to handle from beginning to end. He was a good team player and a quick learner, and overall it was a very positive experience. Please give some examples of the type of work a co-op student would do. Our co-op students assist with writing briefs, writing articles for internal publications, answering enquiries from potential exporters and answering letters from the public.
Business Law and UW SciBus: It Just Makes Sense by Lisa Milligan - 4B SciBus student “Even more so than before, I recognize the need for legal presence in our everyday business transactions, and I am overjoyed to have seen scientific development in Canada so expertly intertwined with the practice of law right before my eyes.” The Ontario legal system certainly has its customs and proceedings: Summons to court, pleadings, oaths, months of preparation, plus even a bit of money for travel costs. And that was just my last stint with jury duty. No, business law (and the practice of law itself) is much more substantial than the high-pressure courtroom drama often pictured in a John Grisham-esque bestseller. As I learned during my recent 4-month co-op term at Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP, or Blakes for short, the practice of law requires a broad array of well-honed skills –including a precise knowledge of the legal system, an astute sense of foresight, and a keen desire to succeed- in order to be the best at what you do. At first glance, it could all sound a bit overwhelming; however, as I soon discovered, providing first-rate legal services to businesses in Canada proved to be one of the most rewarding co-op jobs a Science and Business student could hope to get.
Much More than Your Typical Co-op Job
I happened to find my way to Blakes in downtown Toronto through the UW co-op system last fall when my supervisor-to-be, Brett Slaney, a registered patent agent, posted a job for a Technical
Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP - Law Profile Submitted by Brett Slaney
What is your company’s role within the industry? Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) is a full service firm and is one of Canada’s leading business law firms with offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, New York, Chicago, London (UK) and Beijing. Blakes services both domestic and international clients with a broad spectrum of legal services. Of the many practice groups within Blakes, our Intellectual Property Group (IPG) hires a co-op student each term to assist mainly the patent group. Our IPG is one of the largest intellectual property practices in Canada and has repeatedly been recognized as one of the leading practices in this country. We have a strong track record in assisting foreign companies with cross-border operations and assisting both foreign and domestic clients with the protection, licensing and enforcement of rights in Canada. The strength of our IPG adds another dimension to the level of service that we can provide to large national and international clients.
Consultant Co-op in the Intellectual Property Group. Having previously worked in technology transfer at a scientific research facility in Vancouver, I knew that this would be a perfect fit for both parties. I was excited to again be working with patents and seeing new technologies in the making. My four months at Blakes started off with a bang – shortly after introductions were made to my new colleagues, I had readings and assignments to get my brain once again into “patent” mode. Right away, I was able to see how a law firm functions to meet its clients’ needs. Not only were the internal operations of a law firm new to me, such as the filing, billing, and documentation procedures, but every technology disclosed to the Intellectual Property Group for patenting purposes was uniquely different and innovative. One of my major roles as a Technical Consultant Co-op was to retrieve, analyze, and provide opinions on patented technologies similar to innovations of our clients. Generally speaking, this type of competitive research is critical in patenting any technology because the professional can more fully consider the degree of innovation in a particular invention relative to what has already been disclosed to the public. The culling and summarizing of technologies, that
What made you decide to hire a co-op student from UW? As a UW alumnus I am a fan of the co-op system. We believe that the co-op student can provide us with valuable technical experience, from their studies and past work placements, as well as broaden the level of service and provide further depth that we can offer our clients. We also believe that the position is a great exposure for students to the legal field and, in particular, intellectual property. Was the hiring process easy and convenient? The process is easy and convenient and very much caters to both the students and the employers. We have been pleased with every student we have had and I am certainly impressed with the calibre of students that I interview. As I am familiar with the process, it is even that much easier! How did Lisa specifically help add value to the firm? Lisa was able to bring both a technical mind and a business mind to the job which is a great perspective when dealing with the procurement of intellectual property rights, which often comes down to business decisions. She was also available to assist with client development opportunities and provided day-to-day assistance with our practice.
is, narrowing down hundreds or thousands of patents to a small handful of relevant technologies, was both a cornerstone in the background research process and where I provided the most value to my colleagues. The professional benefited from having extra research available for advisory and drafting purposes, and I benefited by learning a wealth of information about up-andcoming technological advancements.
Making the most of your new student Here are few things previous employers have done to make me feel at home and productive in their team. 1. Make introductions. When your colleagues know that your student is ready and willing to help out, they’ll gladly get your student more connected and more involved. 2. Be prepared for day #1. Set aside any light reading, industry white papers, manuals, or company information that will help speed the on-boarding process and get the student involved as quickly as possible. 3. Be prepared for day #18 (or later). Longterm projects can serve as a topic for a work term report or even just as a small reprieve from other day-to-day tasks. 4. Share your wisdom. Not only are you the supervisor, but you are the mentor. Passing on some of the ‘tricks of the trade’ will improve job performance and allow the student to benefit from your time on the job. 5. Job shadow. Invite your student to meetings and events in your calendar whenever feasible – your student will see how the work he/she is doing really impacts your team, department, business unit or company as a whole. 6. Build a job legacy. When applicable, have a short job manual available, and encourage your student to provide feedback about the tasks and areas of involvement.
Between my patent research assignments, I was involved in assembling official communications with the Canadian or United States patent offices. I also participated in several independent projects, such as evaluating an upgrade to the IP Group’s paper documents tracking system –always an important part of any law firm- , and providing an in-depth industry report on patents for one of Blakes’ pro bono clients. In general, these tasks made me ask questions, learn quickly, and think critically. Throughout the term, I learned that in patent law, there wasn’t always one right answer; it’s often how you prove your case that matters above all.
What Made My Term So Fantastic?
Working at a renowned Canadian law firm definitely had its perks. Firstly, Blakes has an active articling student professional development program to supplement the traditional responsibilities for law school graduates. As an undergraduate student, I was warmly welcomed to join their mid-day seminars to further educate myself on the firm’s various areas of practice. Listening to a select number of the firm’s exceptional professionals talk about the legal practice behind mergers and acquisitions, real estate leasing, loan transactions, finance, mortgage remedies, and securities provided me with fantastic first-hand insight into the far reaches of the legal world. Another bonus was experiencing the benefits of a large intellectual property group, such as participating in monthly group meetings. My colleagues would present and discuss recent newsworthy IP cases, providing expert input into the matters at hand and, often times, sparking rousing discussions. Just listening to the patent and trademark agents and lawyers examining these issues at length and drawing from one another’s professional experiences alone demonstrated their passion in their line of work. I was even involved in some of the document discovery and communications in the course of an anti-counterfeiting case in relation to a trademarked product. On such large cases, it was quite a process to understand the motives of the alleged counterfeiters, narrow down the expanding pool of parties involved, and assess what repercussions new information would have on the case. Afterwards, I was much more thankful for the diligent work of companies and the litigators and trademark professionals that they hire in ensuring that only legitimate product was reaching our store shelves. For me, these extra benefits really made the difference between absorbing only the minute details of patent law, and getting a larger grasp on intellectual property protection as a whole. This exposure to the legal world leaves me with nothing but gratitude and positive remarks to share when asked to convey my experiences at Blakes.
As a student with a biology specialization in the Science and Business program, it was refreshing to read patents in fields as diverse as materials manufacturing, wireless technology, biochemical processes, everyday household products, and medical imaging. Learning about these innovative and “why didn’t I think of that?!”-style inventions only reinforced to me just how important a well-rounded education in the theoretical and applied sciences has become in making valuable societal advancements.
I am fortunate to have taken part in such a mind-opening experience as working in law. Even more so than before, I recognize the need for legal presence in our everyday business transactions, and I am overjoyed to have seen scientific development in Canada so expertly intertwined with the practice of law right before my eyes. I highly encourage other employers and fellow students to consider the advantages of Science and Business co-op work terms, and to likewise embark on a mutually beneficial four-month journey.
Experiencing Life as an Accountant
by Mayank Gupta - 4B Biotechnology/CA student
little luck and a lot of hard work you will all do fine. Several of the firms host campus and off-campus socials to better familiarize themselves with the accounting students. This is where soft skills will come into play. Through Waterloo’s Co-op program and the firm socials, I landed my first accounting job with KPMG. Now, in my fourth co-op term, I continue to be employed by KPMG as a staff accountant in the Information, Communication & Entertainment practice (ICE) at the North York office. Several people have asked me if I have had the chance to apply the biotechnology portion of my studies. Unfortunately, I have yet to but in the future I hope to be dealing with clients in this area. I will have the upper hand in this sector because of my ability to understand a biotech/pharmaceutical company’s products and business, thus allowing me to make better and more informed decisions when consulted.
“An appetite for learning is a must along with a knack for communicating with people. There is a steep learning curve in the early years of this profession” Mayank at work.
“I study Biotechnology and Chartered Accountancy at the University of Waterloo.” The response to this statement never gets tiring. The oohs, ahs and the puzzling faces speak for themselves. Intrigued, I explain further that it is a unique program combining the mainstream industry of biotechnology and the always in demand chartered accountancy. It is a choice I have never regretted. I have chosen to focus on obtaining my CA designation which is why in my 2A term I strictly applied for co-op jobs in accounting firms. Alternatively, I could have gravitated towards medical school. That is one of the advantages of a dual study program. It opens doors and creates flexibility by allowing one to choose or combine different paths. The co-op application process for accounting students in term 2A is generally different than that of the other programs at Waterloo. If anything, I would say it is an accounting student’s most difficult and nerve racking term of their undergraduate career but with a
Although it is very early in my career, I have come up with a few things I think one needs in order to be successful in this profession. An appetite for learning is a must along with a knack for communicating with people. There is a steep learning curve in the early years of this profession. You will be provided with training but I have discovered that most of what you learn will be on the job. More often than not you will be required to engage with client staff and senior executives of a company. Your soft skills once again will be crucial here when dealing with the client. One of the most important things I have learned is that if you want something, never hesitate to ask. There may be times where you are sitting idle. The best thing to do in this situation is to inform someone you are free and available to help. Not only will you be gaining work experience but at the same time you will be strengthening the relationships with your co-workers and managers. Your future is in your hands. You have to make it happen. I hope that I have been able to provide some insight into the challenging world of a Biotech/CA student.
The Man of Calcium Channels and Neurons A Profile of Dr. David Spafford
By Kate Gardiner - 4B SciBus Student
“Students that volunteer or particpate in a senior honours project with Dr. Spafford are given an opportunity to apply theoretical methodologies in scientific research applications” In 2006, Dr. David Spafford brought his research passion for molecular and cellular neuroscience to the University of Waterloo. Dr. Spafford is the first scientist in Waterloo who applies patch clamp electrophysiology techniques. Using this technique, it is possible to measure and record the individual fluxes of membrane ion channels. These ion channels, for example the voltage-gated calcium channels, play an essential role in normal bodily functions such as the synaptic transmission between neurons and heart and skeletal muscle contraction.
Andy Spencer (the Director of Bamfield Marine Station) and Dr. Warren Gallin (at the University of Alberta). Dr. Spafford’s PhD and subsequent post-doctoral work on calcium channels has lead to publications in the Journal of Neurophysiology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dr. Spafford’s research aims to advance the understanding of calcium channels in relation to neurotransmitter release. Outcomes from his research will continue to improve knowledge of neuronal functioning in the brain, generating potential benefit to individuals with brain trauma, neurodegenerate As an assistant professor diseases and mental diseases of biology, Dr. Spafford is including schizophrenia. an integral leader in the In addition, the innovative education of undergraduate electrophysiological and postgraduate students methods he uses have lead both in the classroom and to discoveries of calcium in his thriving neurobiology channel pharmaceuticals research laboratory. To the benefiting treatment of undergraduate students, he Kate and Dr. Spafford at work in his research lab. high blood pressure, angina, is known for his teachings in arrhythmia, migraines, chronic Human Anatomy and Analytical Methods in Molecular Biology. pain and epilepsy. Dr. Spafford has been awarded numerous grants In the Spring term, Dr. Spafford’s Molecular Biology course including awards from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and introduces students to molecular methods used to analyze the from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of structure of genes and genomes, including DNA sequencing, Canada (NSERC). cloning, restriction mapping and bioinformatics tools. He will also provide his expertise and teachings of neurophysiology to With this funding, his current lab is exponentially growing Waterloo through a graduate course entitled Special Topics in relative to when I first saw it in its skeletal beginnings a year Neurophysiology and an undergraduate Neurophysiology course ago, where his small team of young scientists squatted in other slated to start in 2009. To this undergraduate student and five UW professors’ laboratories while Dr. Spafford’s laboratory graduate students, it is his laboratory that provides an educational was being built. In his new lab which opened in November platform. Students that volunteer or participate in a senior honours 2006, Dr. Spafford is training five graduate students, three of project with Dr. Spafford are given an opportunity to apply which are PhD students, five undergraduate students and one theoretical methodologies in scientific research applications. highschool student as part of the highschool co-op initiative in Kitchener and Waterloo. His students are exposed to leading It was not long ago that Dr. Spafford himself began his university scientific technology in electrophysiology, molecular and cell career. Graduating with two undergraduate degrees from the biology, protein biochemistry, fluorescence microscopy and tissue University of Saskatchewan in 1992, he went straight into his culture. Dr. Spafford and his team have submitted five papers PhD work at the University of Alberta and the Bamfield Marine for publication in the last two years, reflecting his dedication to Station, located on the West coast of Vancouver Island. It was here his field of research and to the educational achievements of his that he began his research examining the origins and evolution students and the University. As Dr. Spafford continues to actively of ionic channels in simple nervous systems, working with Dr. seek student participation, particularly of graduate students, his research is sure to thrive.
Science and Business Our technology-driven world requires a new type of professional. As technological developments are introduced more quickly there is a new demand for individuals with a dual skill set who are able to integrate scientific knowledge with the business world. The Science and Business program at Waterloo does just that, preparing graduates who can excel in very diverse fields such as technical sales, marketing, pharmaceutical sales, economic forecasting, business development, graduate studies in science or professional fields like law, medicine and pharmacy. Science and Business attracts very high calibre student entrants and it is our mission to deliver highly sought after graduates into the private or public work force and beyond.
SciBus Co-op Students at Work
8 Specializations Biology Biotechnology Biochemistry Environmental Sciences
Chemistry Physics Hydrogeology Non Major
Project Analyst - University Health Network Product Marketing Manager - Research in Motion Business Development Intern - MDS Proteomics Product Marketing Associate - Microsoft Canada Special Project & Buyer Support - GM Canada
Courses Cell Biology Hydrology Biochemistry Fermentation
Organic Chemistry Electricity & Magnetism Spectroscopy Organizational Behavior
Micro/Macro Economics Finance Business Law Human Resource Management
Marketing Accounting Genetics Business Workshops
Note: The science courses taken depend on the studentsâ€™ choice of specialization.
Biotechnology/Chartered Accountancy The Biotechnology/Chartered Accountancy program at Waterloo provides students who are pursuing careers in the accounting profession with the technical experience necessary to make them more effective at interacting and working within modern biotechnology based organizations. This unique program, offered only at the University of Waterloo, integrates advanced biology, biochemistry and molecular biology courses with studies in financial management, accounting, auditing and taxation. Biotechnology/Chartered Accountancy provides a unique opportunity to high calibre students which gives them an integrated educational experience and prepares them for a role in providing accounting and advisory services in the rapidly growing science and technology business sector of the economy. Offered only through the co-op system, graduates may choose to obtain their Certified Chartered Accountant Designation. The University of Waterloo offers a Masterâ€™s of Accountancy degree (MAcc) which enables students to obtain their Canadian CA designation even faster.
Biotech/CA Students at Work Staff Accountant - KPMG Tax Consultant - Deloitte Junior Medial Representative - Pharmascience Research and Validation Analyst - GlaxoSmithKline Financial Planner - Ernst & Young
Courses Cell Biology Microbiology Organic Chemistry Biotechnology
Biochemistry Fermentation Molecular Biology Calculus
Intro Accounting Business Law Taxation International Economics
Managerial Accounting Financial Accounting Managerial Finance Audit Strategy
Biotechnology/Economics The Waterloo Biotechnology/Economics program has a specific scientific focus on biotechnology, a subject which will have a large impact on many areas of our lives in the near future including healthcare, food, agriculture, energy and the environment. Biotechnology/economics integrates a specialized business focus in economics with the fundamental principles and applications of biotechnology. Offered only through the co-op system, the relatively new program of Biotechnology/Economics is unique to the University of Waterloo and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a variety of industries and settings. Graduates can go on to work in pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, banks, government agencies, research firms, consulting and many more.
Biotech/Econ Co-op Students at Work Sales Analyst - PetroCan Research Officer - National Taiwan University Business Analyst - CIBC World Markets US Business Development Co-ordinator - STORM of London Neurosurgery Research Assistant- St. Michaelâ€™s Hospital
Courses Statistics Business Finance Economic Forcasting Micro/Macro Economics
International Trade Science and Business Workshops Genetics Cell Biology
Microbiology Molecular Biology Fermentation General/Organic Chemistry
Biostatistics Econometrics Biotechnology Metabolism
More than just academics myBusiness
The myBusiness program is a self development component designed specifically for students in our programs. This component is now a core part of our organizational behavior workshop. Each week during the case studies analysis part of the workshop students discuss their SWOT, vision, mission and goals for the future in an open and comfortable group discussion setting. This component helps prepare students for interviews and employment in the real world by encouraging them to think about themselves and their objectives through practicing their communication and behavioural skills in a group environment.
Science and Business Involvement
Science and Business offers two great ways to get more involved with the program: through the Science and Business Studentsâ€™ Association (SBSA) and the SciBus Ambassadors. The SBSA runs social and networking events each term on campus as well as the Annual Science and Business Conference every March. Students, staff and industry members from the community attend this event each year and it is always a huge success. The 2008 conference will be the 5th Annual Conference. The SciBus Ambassadors are a group of upper year students dedicated to helping the SciBus program. They act as a liaison between the SciBus staff and students, helping to reach out to prospective students and to extend ties to our alumni. These two student groups help SciBusers build up their leadership and soft skills which are helpful when entering the workforce.
The Science and Business workshops offer our students a specialized learning experience. These workshops are designed to teach our students the basics about the business world while integrating science knowledge into that learning. They are taught through discussion style lectures so students are able to practice and develop their communication skills. In each of the 6 workshops currently available to our students, they are required to complete group and individual presentations. Developing these skills gives Science and Business students a competitive advantage especially in the workplace.
Science and Business Industries of Employment
“We have been part of the co-op program for over 6 years and have never been disappointed with the quality and talent of the students. We see it as a win-win situation: the firm benefits from the enthusiasm and skills of the student and, hopefully, the student benefits from being exposed to a different experience and career opportunity within a Bay St. Environment.” -John Orange, registered patent agent, colleague of Lisa’s at Blakes
The graph above shows the variety of Industries where Science and Business students get co-op jobs. The data was gathered for the 2007 Winter Co-op Term.
The graph above shows the variety of job types that Science and Business students undertake on co-op terms. The data was gathered for the 2007 Winter Co-op Term.
in Winter 2007 all Biotechnology/Chartered Accountancy students had jobs within the accountin to work in the Big Four accounting firms in order to work up to having enough hours to write th
Biotechnology/Economics Industries of Employment
Co-op Schedule First Year
The graph above shows the variety of Industries where Biotechnology and Economics student get co-op jobs. The data was gathered for the 2007 Winter Co-op Term.
Fall (1A) - School Winter (1B)- School Spring - Off
Fall (2A) - School Winter - Co-op Spring (2B) - School
Fall - Co-op Winter (3A) - School Spring - Co-op
Fall (3B) - School Winter - Co-op* Spring - Co-op The graph above shows the variety of job types that Biotechnology and Economics students undertake on co-op terms. The data was gathered for the 2007 Winter Co-op Term.
ng industry and they were all classified under the same job type. The Biotech/CA students tend heir CA exams. All of the data for these pages was collected and compiled by UW CECS Department.
Fall (4A) - School Winter(4B) - School * Biotech/CA students have an 8 month work term after their 3A school term instead of after 3B
International Work Experience
Diving into the Unfamiliar by Ryan McCartney - 4B SciBus Student
“From our workshop courses we understand how and where to look for the problem and potential solutions. From our scientific training we understand how to take a detailed, data driven and technical approach to every angle of the situation. From our business courses we understand how to perform financial analysis outlined in concise reports and present them to management” I answer my BlackBerry (TM) on a Tuesday morning on route to meet a new client at their beach side hotel in a location completely unfamiliar to me. I am immediately challenged with how to respond to a customer request in a language I don’t understand. I pull to the side of the European cobbled street and explain in broken Portuguese that I will have a colleague follow up as soon as possible. Meanwhile I am distracted by the honking chaos behind me. I suddenly realize the importance of handling stress and maintaining decorum. During every term at UW, international travel co-op opportunities arise. For those of you who have ever looked at these opportunities and thought you might like to participate but couldn’t do it, or just never considered the idea, please read on! Whether it’s a language barrier you’re up against, a financial dilemma or you fear your mom won’t come along to cook and do laundry, there are always creative solutions a little determination can fix.The opportunity cost of giving up the chance to broaden your experience internationally is steep. Having completed eight months with Microsoft Canada Corp. in marketing, four months with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada in new product development and four months in industry research for Communitech Technology Association I felt there were still plenty of new experiences to gain. I decided for my last co-op experience I would like to work abroad or test my luck in a small business environment to gain the knowledge I would need as an aspiring entrepreneur. One fine day a colleague presented me with a golden opportunity to bring both experiences together. The company, a privately owned, small tourism marketing company, was considering expanding business in southern Portugal and might require some business development expertise. I immediately polished up my portfolio and resume package and requested an interview upon discovering the director would be traveling to Waterloo to visit her son – this would be my opportunity to strike. I traveled to Portugal for 4 months having had no knowledge of the language, sociology or history and no prior ambitions to do business in the country. The opportunity was invaluable (even though there was a price tag attached) and both the business and cultural experiences were worth the extra work of getting there!
employer who will be responsible for completing and subsidizing the visa as costs can be significant. You should also have a contingency plan in the event that your visa is denied or further documentation is required. Communicate with your co-op advisor for that region throughout the process and he or she will hopefully be able to guide you to the appropriate resources and contacts. Start by checking http://www.globalvisas.com/ Contracts – Make certain that before committing to relocating for 4, 8 or maybe even 12 months in a place where you might be without many people able to communicate clearly with you that you have identified in detail and agreed on the terms and conditions of the contract and understand the conditions of work. You need to understand the hours of work, transportation requirements if necessary, nature of work, compensation agreements including salary, relocation, visas, etc. You wouldn’t want to realize months into your contract that you’re not at all interested in what you’re doing or that you dislike the culture or environment in which you are located. Co-op – While Career Services and JobMine aspire to provide a wide array of job opportunities for students, this isn’t the only means to finding the job that’s right for you. If you have connections or see positions worth applying for abroad, make sure to pursue them immediately. You might be wise to first have the
Freemaps Marketing LDA Tourism & publishing Industry
Profile provided by: Ann Lancaster - Owner/Manager
Know what to expect. Plan for the unexpected.
What is your role within the industry? Our company produces walking guide maps providing a medium for highlighting quality products and services offered by some of the best local businesses in one of Europe’s largest tourist destinations, the Algarve, Portugal.
Visas – Make certain you contact the consulate of your primary country of business as soon as possible to discuss work visa requirements, travel restrictions, documentation and deadlines before your departure. You may also want to connect with your
How has having a co-op student helped your department? The co-op students have actually taken on a very broad role including hiring new staff, process improvement, product development, web development, sales and more. We have not completed our initial objective in full, but it will likely be an ongoing development and I have decided to hire another student to continue the progress.
Despite the image of riding around the world in a company jet or soaking up the Algarvian sun on the beaches in southern Portugal, there are many important things to consider before embarking on your international experience:
position reviewed and/or approved by the program director and by a co-op coordinator to make certain that the employer and the job function will get you the credit you deserve. The earlier you can apply and interact with the hiring company the better. Communicate with your co-op coordinator while abroad as well as he or she will be able to answer questions for you and provide guidance on how to proceed with potential risks of travel, work, etc. CECS also has many available online resources to help you prepare for your experience. Visit http://www.cecs.uwaterloo.ca/ students/international. Housing – Since you don’t always have the luxury of traveling to a place before beginning your term, may not speak the local language and might not find rental accommodations available online, you should work with your employer to find suitable housing that meets your needs. For instance, my co-op term in Portugal was planned during the high tourist season and long term accommodations were difficult to find at a reasonable rate via the internet. My employer was able to source accommodations from a client and arrange the lease for us. Language – If you don’t speak the local language of your place of work when you get the job, you should start learning as soon as possible. Your employer should also understand that you do not speak the language and be aware of what kinds of challenges this might cause. Don’t let this deter you though; pick up a translator dictionary or do some online research. Most importantly, practise, practise, practise. Passports – Make sure that your passport information is up to date well in advance of your departure and valid well after your return date. It is also important to keep photocopies of your passport with you in case your passport goes missing. In Portugal for instance I was required to carry a passport copy while driving at all times.
How has Ryan helped add value to your company? Ryan has been able to see areas for improvements in our processes and policies and suggest and implement necessary changes. He has created new tools for our business and been able to train staff on how to use them. What are some benefits of hiring a well rounded student with a multidisciplinary background? Definitely their ability to be flexible in their styles. If I had hired someone from a purely technical field, they may not have been effective taking on multiple roles in our small organization. If I had hired someone purely in business, they may not have been able to learn/complete the web design process or been able to provide solutions to our internal IT challenges. They are also very creative and able to understand how solutions can be applied to many problems. There is no science related work in our business. However, a student in Science and Business has been disciplined to take a factual approach to learning, compiling data and proving results before making changes to the business. Their corporate and co-op experience also brings new ideas to the organization and they can be given responsibilities with little guidance.
Legal system – Make sure that you familiarize yourself with some of the basic laws, rules and responsibilities in force at your travel destination. Whether it be driving, working or recreational activities, you should do some research or ask around and get to know the political environment to keep yourself out of trouble Taxes – If you will be accepting payment in return for your services abroad, you should learn about the taxation requirements in the local country ahead of time and identify any potential threats so there won’t be any surprises later on. You may have to speak with your personal accountant or the accountant at your company if available. Check Canadian legislation at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ tax/nonresidents/menu-e.html and also the legislation in your country of work.
Exercise your SciBus talent
The experience gained through the Science and Business program has been a valuable asset to me throughout my university and coop career as it is for all students who realize the gain early and take advantage of it. Some of the traits I’ve found helpful which developed as a direct result of SciBus are as follows: Adaptability – I have been responsible for projects such as CRM implementation and training, monthly collections (for our advertising business) and accounting process improvements, hiring new staff/students and starting/closing sales on a variety of accounts all in a company that operates with 70% of its business in a language not familiar to me. The adaptability developed in SciBus moulds us to be valuable resources for small businesses with multiple roles and responsibilities, and in large organizations where a broad range of skills is required or where we might be interacting with many different departments. Applied learning, problem solving and resourcefulness – Because of the nature of our studies, students in SciBus are never purely doing scientific research or purely writing proposals, and so are provided with a variety of necessary tools to seek and resolve problems on the job. From our workshop courses we understand how and where to look for the problem and the potential solutions. From our scientific training we understand how to take a detailed, data driven and technical approach to every angle of the situation. From our business courses we understand how to perform financial analyses outlined in concise reports and present them to management. All of these functions applied together give us a true edge above others competing for management opportunities in a variety of companies and industries. Networking – SciBus has so many resources and opportunities in which to get involved as well as a community of peers from whom you can learn a lot. Networking is an important skill that I’ve been able to develop through extra-curricular involvement. It constantly helps me meet important people who can help me do my job better or be a valuable resource to the company. There are definitely risks and challenges to traveling or working abroad, but so are there in every day life. The experience has challenged me to work in a completely different legal/political environment, to practice dealing with customers and overcoming a language barrier, and to understand cultural differences that can affect customer relationships that might normally be accepted in North America.
Petroleum Microbiology and Biotechnology
by: Dr. Owen Ward - Director of Science and Business
Research in microbiology and molecular biology has given us a better understanding of the capacities of microbes to attack or transform petroleum hydrocarbons and this has lead to the development of microbial technologies for recovery, refining and waste treatment of petroleum oils. Microbial processes have been developed to enhance oil recovery in the oilfields. Microbial processes are also being developed to reduce the sulfur content in petroleum-based fuels. Specialized microbial wastewater treatment systems may be used to treat the large volumes of water produced at oil wells. Bacteria may be exploited to break oilfield emulsions. Significant advances have been made in processes for bioremediation of oilcontaminated soil. Waste petroleum sludges may also be decontaminated through conventional soil bioremediation processes as well as in bioreactorbased systems. More volatile petroleum compounds may be treated using biofilters.
0.5-2.0 percent of crude oil to enable the admission of the oil to pipelines. Physico-chemical methods to de-emulsify these oil-field emulsions involve capital intensive heat, electrical, chemical and/ or centrifugal treatments which may cause problems in further processing. Certain microbial species exhibit capacities to deemulsify oil. Some of these strains have hydrophobic cell surfaces or produce biosurfactants which interact with the oil microdroplets, emulsifier molecules and particles present in oil-field emulsions, breaking the emulsion and causing oil-water separation. Biosurfactants have the additional advantage in that they also reduce viscosity of heavy crude oil for pipeline transportation and their biodegradability renders them more environmentally attractive than chemical surfactants.
Organic sulfur and nitrogen, present in substantial quantities in petroleum, represents undesirable sources of air pollution. Harsh physicoPetroleum Recovery chemical methods, including Reduced oil recovery yields hydrodesulfurisation (HDS), from oil fields may be due to have to be applied to remove a combination of low reservoir sulfur and nitrogen from crude permeability and crude oil oil. Many microbes are capable high viscosity. Chemical of hydrocarbon desulfurisation surfactants which reduce and Rhodococcus erythropolis, the interfacial tensions of oil for example, can remove sulfur and water in reservoirs and Oil degrading bioreactors operating at an oil refinery. from dibenzothiophene (DBT) oil wells can be exploited and related compound without degrading the carbon ring structure. to enhance oil recovery. Microbial strategies to enhance oil A disadvantage of this desulfurizing system is its relatively narrow recovery (MEOR) exploit fermentation processes using indigenous substrate specificity towards the range of organic sulfur compound or injected microorganisms and growth-supporting nutrients in crude oil and some of the enzymes involved have been to promote biosynthesis of biomass or microbial products. The engineered to broaden their substrate specificity. Combustion of products, for example biosurfactants, act to modify viscosity-related organic nitrogen releases toxic air polluting NOx compounds and oil properties, facilitating its movement through the reservoir. Microbial gaseous products such as carbon dioxide, methane and microbes which can denitrogenate these compounds are available. hydrogen assist by increasing reservoir pressure thereby driving the Microbial technologies for removal of sulfur and nitrogen from oil to the surface and bacterial biomass and biopolymers may cause crude oil rely on properly engineered two phase water-in-oil repressurisation by plugging permeable regions of the reservoir. bioreactor systems, as well as engineered organisms, to selectively Microorganisms other than selected bacteria, such as molds, yeasts, remove N and S from the organic molecules containing these algae and protozoa lack the requisite physiological properties to atoms. The allowed limits of sulfur in diesel oil are being reduced survive and be effective under these harsh conditions. Nevertheless, from 500ppm to 30ppm. HDS technology cannot achieve this it has been demonstrated that use of biosurfactants, nutrients and lower limit and current microbial crude oil desulfurization has not certain bacterial strains resulted in a significant enhancement in oil been economical. Thus a possible approach which has potential to recovery and may be applicable to 27-40 percent of oil reservoirs achieve the 30ppm limit involves application of HDS technology combined with biodesulfurization. in the United States. Water, particulate matter and salts present in oilfield emulsions corrode oil tanks and pipelines and hence present a major challenge in oil production. These contaminants must be reduced to below
Many chemical methods for organic synthesis require implementation of reactions under harsh conditions and synthesis of single isomeric or enantiomeric forms of bioactive molecular
â€œEffective petroleum biotechnologies will continue to be developed supported by new knowledge in cell and molecular biology and process engineering and controlâ€? species are particularly challenging. The unique properties of enzymes to catalyse reactions under mild conditions and to act with stereo- and enantio-specificity may be exploited to produce bioactive species from petrochemical precursors. Some of the enzyme reactions which appear to have great potential in these applications are the stereoselective biocatalytic hydroxylation reactions mediated by the enzymes cytochrome p450-dependent monooxygenases, dioxygenases, lipoxygenases and peroxidases. For example naphthalene dioxygenase (NDO) which catalyzes a variety of other reactions including monohydroxylation, desaturation, O-and N-dealkylation and sulfoxidation can be used to produce diol synthetic precursors for use in chemical synthesis. As was discussed for desulfurisation, enzyme engineering techniques may be exploited to alter the substrate specificities and reaction rates of these very interesting biocatalysts for applications involving transformation of pure compounds or specific petroleum fractions.
Air Filtration of VOCs
Some of the volatile organic carbons (VOCs) are typically toxic and hazardous to human and animal health. Left unchecked, these components may transfer to the atmosphere and reduce air quality. These VOC vapors are biodegradable via air biofiltration processes where microorganisms, notably bacteria and some fungi, growing on the solid and porous medium in the biofilter, remove the contaminants from the vapor stream and use them for microbial growth or break them down most notably to carbon dioxide and water. The microbial population in the biofilter has to be highly efficient at scavenging and metabolizing the contaminants as retention time or contact time of the gas stream in the biofilter is of the order of 60 seconds. Clearly, conditions in the biofilter especially filter support surface properties, nutrients, temperature, pH and humidity, as well as conaminant concentration in the air stream, have to such that favourable conditions for microbial growth and VOC biodegradation are maintained.
Bioremediation and Phytoremediation
Bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated sites frequently involves a process called landfarming, in which contaminated soil is augmented with nutrients and sometimes microorganisms, to improve processes for biodegradation of the contaminants. The oxygen required is supplied through soil tilling. Another approach involves use of engineered soil piles, where air sparging pipework systems supply oxygen to the microbial population. Bioremediation technologies may also be implemented in-situ, where there is significant contamination of soil in the subsurface and sometimes associated with aquifers. The challenge in in situ technologies is to create the delivery and monitoring systems to ensure that conditions suitable for hydrocarbon bioremediation can be achieved in the subsurface, most notably with respect to nutrient and oxygen supply to promote microbial growth and hydrocatbon degradation. Oil-spills from tankers near coastlines represents a particular
bioremediation challenge on beaches and inlets because of the potential for the nutrients and hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria to be washed away through tidal changes. Oleophilic nutrient formulations were used with great effectiveness to promote microbial growth and oil biodegradation of oils spilled from the Exxon Valdez off the coast of Alaska. In soil, the biodegradation rate of hydrocarbon contaminants depends on contaminant bioavailability to the metabolizing organisms which reflects properties of both the hydrocarbon and the soil. The hydrophobic nature of hydrocarbons causes them to bind very tightly to soil particles and desorption, diffusion and dissolution characteristics of contaminants affect rates and extents of biodegradation which may be improved by using chemical or biological emulsifiers. General factors affecting microbial activity must be considered at the process design stage. Accelerated bioremediation of petroleum waste can be achieved by optimizing and controlling these and other parameters. Petroleum sludges may be remediated by conventional landfarming bioremediation processes or may be biodegraded at much higher rates in optimized bioreactor systems. Plants and their associated rhizospheric microorganisms can be exploited to degrade certain petroleum hydrocarbons. The carbon and nitrogen sources for microbial growth are supplied in the form of plant root exudates which increase the rhizospheric bacterial population in the soil surrounding the roots. While phytoremediation is generally not a suitable technology for treatment of high volume concentrated oily wastes, VOCs may be taken up by the plant and transpired to the atmosphere without transformation (phytovolatilization).
The challenges in applying biotechnology-based processes to oil production or environmental operations relate to highly variable nature of crude oils from different oil fields on the onehand and to the equally variable nature of the medium in which the oil exists. Nevertheless, effective petroleum biotechnologies will continue to be developed supported by new knowledge in cell and molecular biology and process engineering and control.
Singh, A. and Ward, O.P. 2004. Bioremediation and Phytoremediation. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg. 288pp. VanHamme, J., Singh, A., Ward, O.P. 2003. Recent advances in petroleum microbiology. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 67, 503-549. Ward, O.P., Singh, A. and VanHamme, J. 2003. Accelerated bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon waste. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. 30, 260-270. Ward, OP., Singh, A., VanHamme, JD., Voordouw, G. Petroleum Microbiology. Encyclo. Microbiol. 3rd Ed. In Press.
In the Classroom with Michele Braniff
by Yvonne Lae - 3A SciBus student
Michele Braniff is currently teaching the AFM 231 (Business Law) class. Her teaching career started in 2002 when she taught Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel. More specifically, Michele directed the Negotiation course, bringing her knowledge and experience into the classroom. When Michele was studying at the University of Toronto, she was truly inspired by Dean Pritchard. She was very interested in learning about the specific law cases Dean Pritchard talked about. He mentioned that some of the cases which he had studied would change the future of law. To her surprise, Michele found herself teaching these same cases and continues to use them in lectures to the class.
“With her background as a lawyer and as a manager, she is able to bring so many different views and apply them in her teaching endeavours.” Michele teaching her AFM 231 class
Michele achieved her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. She spent two years working towards a General Arts Degree in political science and economics. She later earned an early admission to the University of Toronto Law School. During her first year, Michele was given a Grant to write an article for the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review about a few cases involving “Damages” and “Cost of future care”. More specifically, Michele wrote the article “Teno v. Arnold” which consisted of three cases. She worked with similar cases because she had practiced Defence work for thirteen years. Recently, Michele received her Master’s in Theological Studies (MTS) in pastoral counselling. This consisted of three years in Law School, one year of articling (practical internship) and six months of Bar Admission Course (an exam). She obtained her articling at Osler Hoskin, a fairly large Law Firm composed of over ninety lawyers. Michele was also engaged in research when she worked at John Deere’s legal department. John Deere is well known for producing farm equipment, snowmobiles and construction equipment. Moreover, Michele had worked with Professor John Laskin from the University of Toronto where she wrote the index for his textbook on debtor/creditor.
Michele’s vision for the students in her Business Law class is not only that they should learn and be knowledgeable about law but that they should understand how it is applied in real life and how business law is applied. Michele gives students some practical background to better prepare the students in the working industry. She truly enjoys teaching because she brings her past managerial roles into the classroom and talks about her actual experiences. With her background as a lawyer and as a manager, she is able to bring so many different views and apply them in her teaching endeavours. Michele has worked in mediation, negotiation and training, and hence her teaching style is very interactive and diverse. She continually strives to find more exciting interactive ways to teach her students. In AFM 231, Michele used voting cards for student participation. In a classroom of over a hundred students, these voting cards were a unique way for all the students to be involved and to share multiple views and discussions about law in an organized manner. Michele’s main goal in this class was to engage students into thinking interactively about what is going on, both in the classroom and in their everyday lives.
A Glimpse of Clarity by Katlyn Sheldon - 4B SciBus student
“Going to work for a rapidly growing company, in an industry space that I had never been exposed to before, was a real adventure. My goals were simple: learn, experience and contribute” One thing I know is Science - I know a lot about the subject and I understand it. Two areas I didn’t know about include Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solutions and marketing. My aspiration to do something different outside of my “comfort zone” brought me to Clarity Systems which delivers “performance management solutions for budgeting, forecasting, planning, reporting, consolidations, and analytics to large and mid-market companies around the world.” 1 Going to work for a rapidly growing company, in an industry space that I had never been exposed to before, was a real adventure. My goals were simple: learn, experience and contribute. From the moment I walked into Clarity’s Toronto office I knew I was going to enjoy my time there. The first thing you notice is how friendly and helpful everyone is. Once I settled in, it was time for me to learn about marketing and to learn about their product Clarity 6. After I gained an understanding of the Clarity application and learned about OLAP and relational databases, I began work within the department. One of the activities I was involved in initially was internet research to find information about potential customers and to invite these potential clients to upcoming events being hosted by Clarity. Through these experiences I built on my investigative and communication skills. Increasing my ability to communicate with others both in a corporate sense and also within a team setting was a central part of my desire to work in the atypical job role. Once I increased my knowledge about the product and industry, I began to take on other actvities includeding: performing venue searches in various geographic regions, helping with the selection of images and editing of content for marketing collateral and researching prizes and giveaways for events. Along with taking part in the more common tasks associated with marketing I also had the opportunity to get a taste of the analytical side. Being exposed to this aspect of marketing also made me realize how important and useful it can be. Never take statistics and graphs for granted, they can tell you a lot. The next challenge I would face at Clarity was assisting with the planning and execution of the annual user conference VISION 07, which was held in Orlando this year. This enabled me to exploit the skills and knowledge I had gathered through my previous work experience and education within the Science and Business program. During this portion of the fiscal year, the marketing department takes an all-hands-on-deck approach to planning and organization. The conference takes place over a four day period and includes guest speakers, customer case studies and breakout sessions. Some of the tasks I assisted with included scheduling shuttles to and from the airport as well as nightly social events, keeping track of hotel bookings for both customers and employees, finalizing the schedule and room locations for all presentations, formatting customer presentations and acquiring swag for customers and employees all of which tested my communication skills. 1
This period of my work term was the most active. I was able to employ the majority of my skills, be a sponge and learn the most by being involved in so many aspects of the planning process and seeing the big picture and the end result of a large event. I had the ability to be flexible to the diverse responsibilities and adapt to change. Looking towards the future, I can say with certainty that the knowledge and skills I have gained at Clarity will contribute to my competitive advantage. Diversifying your skills and obtaining a new perspective and enhanced creativity while working in industry will only allow you to be more of an asset in the future.
Clarity Sytems Ltd. Software/IT
Profile Provided by Karen McGann What is the role of your department within the company? The marketing department at Clarity Systems serves as the medium for all internal and external communications, branding, advertising, promotion and overall market presence. Our department delivers focused industry events, product marketing and collateral, website and collateral design, maintains a PR presence, web seminars, supports our sales team and manages analyst relationships. The marketing department activities and goals directly impact our sales success, industry recognition and market growth and have attributed to the awareness of Clarity Systems as a brand and solutions provider in our market and target markets. How has having a co-op student helped your department? Having a co-op student in our department has helped us execute countless projects and campaigns that we run. Coop students have successfully assisted our department with research and event support, data and statistics gathering and analysis as well as bringing fresh and creative ideas to the marketing department. Please give some examples of the type of work a co-op student would be required to perform. • Event support: research, setup, execution • Research: venues for corporate events; swag/giveaways; competitor/market news, tradeshow information, new products • Database management: Excel, CRM System, online searches • Sales Support
Graduate Profile: Sukirtha Tharmalingam
by Sheri Howard - 2006/2007 Science and Business Project Manager
* Editor’s Note: We are very proud to have co-op students are not only able to work well in the professional world but are also able to do high level research for medical institutions and have a chance to publish this research. Sukirtha Tharmalingam is a recent graduate of the Science and Business program. During her 5 years at the University of Waterloo Sukirtha has explored many research opportunities through her coop positions and she has expanded her experiences personally by getting involved on campus.
After studying in the Biology stream of Science and Business for a year and a half Sukirtha started her first coop job at the Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Renewal as a Research Assistant. In this position Sukirtha was engaged in economic analysis, capital planning and infrastructure trend analysis in Ontario. After working with the Ontario Government, Sukirtha chose to focus on gaining experience in the medical research field. Her next co-op position was as a Research Assistant with the Familial Ovarian Cancer Clinic at Princess Margaret Hospital. At this job Sukirtha assisted with genetic counseling for families with increased risk of ovarian cancer. She also reviewed papers on the subject, assisted with patient risk assessment, presented cases at rounds and helped with clinical research. For her final 8 month co-op position Sukirtha worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre. During this co-op term Sukirtha implemented two research studies at Princess Margaret Hospital relating to patients with bone metastases. She was lucky enough to have some of her research published while on this work term and she also presented her findings at a medical conference. Sukirtha’s poster presentation for these findings are on the opposite page. For this study she was involved in a multitude of tasks including research study design, data collection, patient interview and follow-up, data management, analysis and summary, presentation and manuscript composition.
On campus involvement
Over the past 5 years Sukirtha has been very involved on campus, most recently participating as the Science and Business lead Ambassador. Sukirtha was responsible for organizing a team of upper year Science and Business students in many activities over her last year. The Ambassadors are a group of students who volunteer their time to help the Science and Business Resource Center keep connections with the students, including prospective and current and also with alumni. Sukirtha was also a member of the executive committee of the University of Waterloo’s World University Service of Canada (WUSC), a network of groups from post secondary institutions who believe that all people are entitled learn and benefit from a post secondary education. Through this belief the team introduced a Student Refugee program and has sponsored the studies of an Ethiopian student at UW. While working on the committee Sukirtha had a big part in helping the sponsored student become accustomed to life away from home at UW. She also worked on increasing awareness of the WUSC team and Student Refugee program on campus. Sukirtha was also a member of the WatSEF (Waterloo Science Endowment Fund) board as a SciBus and Co-op representative and she spent her upper years as a TA in Biol 130 labs and providing tutorials for the Biology Department.
What the future holds
In September 2007 Sukirtha began her Master’s of Health Science in Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Toronto. She will be focusing her studies on global healthcare and in the future hopes to be a part of a global health organization such as The World Health Organization.
Patients’ and Health Care Professionals’(HCPs) perspectives on the most important quality of life issues in bone metastases S.Tharmalingam BSc(C)1, K.Harris BSc(C)1, A.Bezjak MD MSc2, J.Wu MD3, G.Velikova MBBS PhD4, A.Bottomley PhD5, E.Chow MBBS MSc 1
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto,3Department of Radiation
Oncology, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, 4Cancer Research UK Clinical Centre, University of Leeds, St James’s University Hospital, 5European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EORTC Data Center
Results - HCPs Dempographics
Bone metastases are a frequent complication of cancer. Recent advances in effective systemic treatment and supportive care have increased the life expectancy for these patients. Expanded treatment options for bone metastases include newer generations of bisphosphonates and increased use of orthopedic surgery. Successful management of bone metastases during these years is essential for reducing skeletal complications and maximizing patient quality of life (QOL)
Background Traditionally, HCPs and clinical trials have monitored the effects of treatments for cancer as it relates to tumor control and survival. Patients, however, are also concerned about the impact of the disease and treatments on their daily life. Previous clinical trials on bone metastases have focused on objective endpoints: Pain, Analgesic consumption and Skeletal Related Events (SRE). (SRE – Hypercalcaemia, Spinal cord compression, Pathological fracture, Radiation/Surgery to the bone) In palliative trials QOL is a major endpoint and an important consideration for decision making. QOL is subjective and multidimensional. However, bone metastases specific QOL instruments are lacking “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” - WHO definition of Health
Results - Top QOL Issues
Objective To develop a bone metastases module to accompany the EORTC QLQ-C30 core questionnaire. Specifically to develop a set of QOL items addressing issues relevant for cancer patients with bone metastases. A secondary objective is to highlight the most important QOL issues in bone metastases from patients’ and HCPs’ perspectives
Methods The module development process consists of 4 Phases: I - Generation of relevant QOL issues II - Operationalization of QOL issues into a set of items III - Pre-testing the module questionnaire IV - Large-scale international field testing Phase I: Generation of relevant QOL Issues A list of relevant issues was developed using 3 sources: •Existing literature •Interviews with bone metastases patients undergoing bisphospho nates and/or systemic therapy, radiation therapy, orthopedic inter vention or palliative symptom control •Interviews with HCPS involved in the care of bone metastases patients May 2005- July 2005, 61 patients & 58 HCPs were interviewed to generate a list of 61 QOL items. The items were translated to a questionnaire and administered to patients with bone metastases and their HCPs in 3 Canadian Cancer Centers
HCPs identified 7 out of 10 issues that related to pain; while patients identified only 1 out of 10 relating to pain.
—Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) —Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre (TSRCC) —Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC)
Patients were asked to indicate the extent of experience for each issue and to pick the top 5-10 issues that affect their QOL most profoundly. HCPs were asked to indicate the extent of relevance for each issue and to pick the top 5-10 issues that, in their opinion, affect patient QOL most profoundly.
Results - Data Collection
Conculsions There is a difference in patients’ and HCPs’ perspectives on the most important quality of life issues in bone metastases. The top 10 QOL issues from patients: •Psychosocial domain (4) •Function (3) •Symptoms (2) •Financial burden (1) The top 10 QOL issues from HCPs: •Symptoms (4) •Function (3) •Psychosocial issues (1) •Treatment expectations (1)
Big Company Thinking: Ericsson Canada Inc.
by Punit Shanghavi - 3B SciBus student
“Thankfully, because I am in science and business, I am forced to think in that manner at school, which reinforces everything that I do in the workplace. Sure, the fields are not the same, but the skills required to be successful in both are the same.” Co-op terms can be a strange time for most students. You are away working all day – while some of your friends are working as well or in school and are going through midterms or finals. It often requires a strong willed personality to stay focused at work. However – at Ericsson, there are always new projects taking flight with an opportunity to get involved, and having 10 other coop students around the company also helps. There is a lot to be learned in an environment like that of Ericsson. Because it is a multinational corporation with a presence in every major market around the world – I’ve learned the requirements of being able
Ericsson Canada Inc. Telecommunications
Profile completed by Cheryl Loyer How has Punit added value to your department? Punit provides a new perspective. This is always important to continue to progress and make improvements. Without new perspectives on the same issues, we wouldn’t be able to continuously improve processes that were implemented. New thoughts, ideas, and energy create a synergy between everyone that helps with the forward movement of projects along with a refreshing new context on everything. Is the co-op process at Waterloo easy and convenient to use? Over the years the hiring process has improved and become very user friendly. It is simple to use and quite well automated at this point. Information is accessible on-line and is very up to date. Please give an example of the type of work a co-op student might perform at Ericsson. Our co-op student is a crucial part of one of our largest projects – the North American balanced scorecard. A balanced scorecard is a measurement tool that helps track Ericsson vision and strategies to give managers a comprehensive view of Ericsson’s performance. Punit leads this initiative on a monthly basis and sees it to completion. Punit is also involved in many smaller projects that are related to our offices in Montreal, Dallas, and Sweden. Examples include support in the implementation of some of the SOX initiatives as well as preparations for Audits. He is actively involved in standardizing processes and those under improvement, along with business continuity plans and intranet updates.
to work and lead in a corporation with over 60,000 employees worldwide. My prior experiences in co-op have always been with small to medium sized companies with less than 100 employees, which is a far cry from Ericsson numbers. Within Ericsson Canada Inc., I am the operational development coordinator. I work in the process and quality department, where I am one of the four people on the team. The department itself is responsible for many aspects of business process improvements. This includes tracking of certain projects that require a fine eye to weed out any inconsistencies and make sure we are in compliance of aspects of the global Ericsson directives and of United States o and Canadian legislation. We are an independent department since our services and time are split up between many different offices and functions. I am responsible for the creation, tracking, and publishing of the entire North American balanced scorecard which is produced either monthly or quarterly. Balanced Scorecards are tools used by many businesses to track the success of certain areas of the business to ensure that those areas are meeting targets. They provide feedback about both the internal business processes and external outcomes in order to continuously improve strategic performance and results. Along with these important duties, I am often pulled into other projects. I am at the disposal of the other members of the group where I am immersed within their projects and take a role in the planning, implementation, and tracking of those projects. An example of such a project which was placed on my shoulders was the implementation of certain SOX compliance tools such as security measures and completion of security training for new employees. My position is heavily focused on the analytical and project management part of business and allows for critical thinking. Thankfully, because I am in science and business, I am forced to think in that manner in school, which reinforces everything that I do in the workplace. Sure, the fields are not the same, but the skills required to be successful in both are the same. Because of my experience here at Ericsson, I can transfer the new skills I’ve learned to all of my activities such as school, or even my non-profit volunteering. Working here has definitely helped me on the larger scale of things. Since I am in a position where I am able to see every facet of the organization and since I am tapped into every department, I have been able to understand the inner workings of this multinational corporation. This directly translated into many of the things we do, not only in my science and business workshops but also when investing where analysis of a company is crucial to one’s success. I am now able to better understand and interpret findings to help me stay in tune with companies and their performance. It helps me make wiser decisions and also allows me to pursue other opportunities which may not have been available before.
University of Waterloo
What the Future Holds for UW and the Faculty of Science
by Sheri Howard - 2006/2007 Science and Business Project Manager
University of Waterloo
As one of Canada’s Top Ranked Universities the University of Waterloo has a lot to offer to students. This year, being the 50th Anniversary, the University has taken stock of and is celebrating its achievements and is also looking forward into its Sixth Decade with plans to continue focusing on excellence and relevance.
For its 50th Anniversary UW has chosen to have a year long celebration featuring the Spirit of “Why Not?”. This celebration theme was chosen because of the innovativeness fostered at this University. The “Spirit of ‘Why Not?’” comes from an expression by George Bernard Shaw who stated; “You see things and say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why Not?’”. This quote expresses the ideas and beliefs of the faculty and student body on this campus. At Waterloo we are encouraged not only to dream things that never were, but to make them happen.
Sixth Decade Plan
The University’s Sixth Decade Plan focuses on pursuing global excellence. UW plans to be recognized globally and nationally over the next ten years by reaching a set of specific goals focused in four key areas: • Expanding the quality and amount of research performed • Growing the opportunity for graduate students • Strengthening undergraduate studies by allowing more students the opportunity to learn from experience • Increasing UW’s international presence by providing students with more opportunities abroad and through attracting more international students to the University of Waterloo. The University has laid out a number of specific goals for over the next decade. Some of those include: • Having at least 12 programs that are considered the best in North America, and six research centres ranked as the best in their fields on the continent. • Being in the top 5 in Canada in terms of research activity of its scholars. • Providing research opportunities to undergraduate students and have all students participate in a research or hands on learning project. The University’s Sixth Decade plan shows that Waterloo remains a leader in Innovation in Canada. The changes that will be made over the next 10 years will be of great benefit to students, researchers and
the Canadian community as a whole as Waterloo will continue to train excellent students in all fields. Information about the Sixth Decade plan can be found at http:// www.sixthdecade.uwaterloo.ca/.
Faculty of Science
The Science and Business program is committed to supporting the goals of UW’s 6th Decade Plan. The faculty of Science has significant development plans starting with opening the second coop Pharmacy school in North America. The Faculty also has plans to expand it’s highly regarded optometry program and recently introduced a one-of-a-kind program called Science and Aviation.
School of Pharmacy
UW’s School of Pharmacy, which opens its doors to students in January 2008, is the first new pharmacy school in Canada in 20 years. The school will be located at the new Health Sciences Campus in downtown Kitchener which in 2008 will house approximately 120 first year pharmacy students as well as 15 medical students from McMaster University’s Satellite Medical School. Students attending the School of Pharmacy will have access to UWs world renowned co-op system through four work terms. Students will be able to gain experience in clinical and community pharmacy as well as within the pharmaceutical industry.
The Health Science Campus will also introduce a family clinic onsite which will provide access to physicians, pharmacists, optometrists, physiotherapists and other
School of Optometry
The University of Waterloo is home to Canada’s only English speaking school of Optometry. The school opened in 1967 and has been a leader in research and education over the years. Facilities will be expanded over the next two years to provide more space for both teaching and research. Annual student admission will be increased from 60 to 90. This will help meet the increasing demand for eye care professionals in the Canadian health care system.
Science and Aviation
UW has introduced two unique aviation programs: Geography and Aviation and Science and Aviation. Students graduating from these programs will have the opportunity to pursue careers in the airline industry or in their specific field of study (Science or Geography). Those students in the Science and Aviation program will have the chance to specialize in either Earth Sciences or Physics.
Frequently Asked Questions At Science and Business we often get a lot of the same types of questions from people interested in learning more about our programs. This list of FAQs will hopefully help answer any of the remaining questions you might have after looking through the magazine. 1. Science and Business: How do those go together? 2. What is Biotech/Econ and how do the two subjects relate? 3. If I want to be an accountant, why would I take Biotech/CA? The previous 3 questions can all be answered with a common theme, a multidisciplinary skill set. Although the subjects taught in the three programs (SciBus, Biotech/Econ and Biotech/CA) are different, the dual skill set the students obtain from these programs teach them to become broader thinkers than students that study only one discipline. Students are able to tackle problems from more than one angle and often have a greater understanding of real world issues due to their ability to understand both the technical and business topics. 4. What can you do with a Science and Business Degree? 5. What kind of co-op jobs can you get with a Science and Business Degree? With a Science and Business or Biotech/Econ degree students get jobs in all areas of the workforce. This is because they are capable of working in a pure business role (marketing, finance, management) due to their business/economics knowledge or in a pure science role (research, lab) because of their vast knowledge in science or a role anywhere in the middle that uses both sets of skills the students have obtained. Most Biotech/CA students do all of their work terms at accounting firms in order to build up their CA hours, however there is a small number who choose to do one or two work terms in different industries (namely biotech) and some of the graduates of the program have gone on to work in more of a scientific field such as medicine. 6. What do the Science and Business programs offer that other programs do not? 7. I understand communication, teamwork and other interpersonal skills are important in gaining employment after graduation. Does Science and Business place emphasis on career development? The Science and Business programs have specialized workshops for its students that bridge the gap between the Science and Business that they learn. These workshops are designed to help the students build their communication and public speaking skills through class discussion and presentations. Within the Science and Business program, the myBusiness segment is a self development component where students meet once a week to discuss their strengths and weaknesses as well as their visions, missions and goals for their future. It is an excellent atmosphere for students to learn from others and start planning their lives after graduation. 8. Can I get an MBA with a SciBus or Biotech/Econ degree? 9. Can I go into Medical School (Pharmacy/Optometry/Dentistry) with a SciBus degree? 10. If I thought I might want to do post graduate studies (MSc. or PhD.) in a Science field would it be appropriate to do a Science and Business or Biotechnology and Economics Undergraduate degree? With a Science and Business or Biotechnology and Economics degree your choices after graduation are endless. You can choose to go directly to the workforce or, as some of our previous graduates have done you can continue with studies in business (MBA), science (MSc., PhD.) or you can choose to do a professional degree such as medicine, law or pharmacy. 11. I like the subjects in both the Science and Business areas but I am not sure what career I want to follow. Would this degree help me? Choosing a degree in Science and Business allows the flexibility to help you keep your options open. After graduating, you will be able to choose a career in either Science or Business, or a combination of both. 14. Are Science and Business students interested in travel, working abroad and seeking international careers? Many of our students participate in the Universityâ€™s exchange program and choose to study abroad for a term. Others choose to look for work opportunities in different provinces or outside of Canada on their co-op terms. Some of our graduates even choose to work abroad for a number of years after finishing their degrees.
It Never Hurts To Ask - celebrating UW’s spirit of ‘why not?’ by Jessica Voll
(edited version of original article published in Co-operative Education and Career Services newsletter Inside sCo-op)
Rebecca Baxter, a recently graduated UW Science and Business Coop student, already has plenty of valuable experience under her belt. Completing three of her five work terms with Apotex Inc and two with Scotia Capital, Rebecca decided to return to her employers for a variety of reasons. She explained that returning for future terms allowed her to gain progressive responsibility and opened the door for potential fulltime employment upon graduation. “By returning, you are demonstrating commitment and loyalty to your firm. This tells your supervisor what kind of employee you’ll be. If you plan on applying there when you graduate, the relationships you made are not lost.” This perspective on employment has provided Rebecca with more rewards than simply eliminating job search stress. After two very successful terms at Apotex Inc., she learned about an opportunity in Australia to work at their subsidiary company, Genrx Pty Ltd, as an Assistant Product Manager for marketing. How did she land such an incredible job? “I asked,” she shrugged, “I’ve always said ‘The worst thing someone can say is no”.
Rebecca receiving the Ontario Global Traders Award.
Uncertain of what Australia would have in store for her, Rebecca soon found herself amazed at the experiences that unfolded at her feet. In between sailing and surfing, she became immersed in a culturally and professional distinct environment. Her experience allowed her to better communicate, listen, and adapt to different cultures and personality types. Considering she plans to obtain an International Masters in Business Administration, continue to learn new languages, and work in international business, this coop term was an essential stepping stone for her long-term plans. Rebecca has also been acknowledged for her excellence in a more tangible way. Winner of both the Gold and Premier Provincial Gold Award (through the Ontario Global Traders Awards), she was “overwhelmed with the doors that began opening. [She] was immediately contacted by a prospective employer looking to speak to [her] about future employment. It has just continued from there.” After reflecting on her work term, Rebecca realized that, “looking back after, I was able to learn how a developing subsidiary starts out, challenges and advantages it may have, and hopefully I’ll be able to apply this knowledge in the future. The work term was nothing short of amazing and I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity I had.” Rebecca’s initiative demonstrates that opportunities are always lurking for those that actively seek them out. If you think you’re qualified, whether it’s for a project or increased responsibility, don’t be afraid to ask. You never know who’s listening. •
â€œ The University of Waterloo knows that application and theory go hand in hand. As our students go out into the workplace, they take with them the theories they have learned in their classes. When they return to class, they bring with them the experience of application that can only truly be found in real time on the job. They begin a journey in lifelong learning where one consistently learns, and applies, and learns anew - for a lifetime.â€? David Johnston, President, University of Waterloo
Producing Leaders for the New Economy