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EliteAssassin23
07-20-2010, 01:40 AM
Hey guys,

Please try to rank all of the engineering programs in Ontario in order of their reputation/quality, in the order of not what you perceive, but what employers perceive. U of T, Waterloo, Queen's, Mac, Guelph, Western, Ottawa, Carleton, Ryerson, Windsor, OUIT, York. Thanks

tron
07-20-2010, 10:59 AM
Hey guys,

Please try to rank all of the engineering programs in Ontario in order of their reputation/quality, in the order of not what you perceive, but what employers perceive. U of T, Waterloo, Queen's, Mac, Guelph, Western, Ottawa, Carleton, Ryerson, Windsor, OUIT, York. Thanks

Strange place to be asking such a question. Most people here are not employers or looking for engineering jobs. I assume you're considering engineering as an undergrad?

To answer your question, there is no one size fits all. Each school has slightly different programs, which factor into it. In general, work experience through co-op etc. will make you stand out to employers.

From my time at Waterloo, I can tell you that co-op definitely made employers view UW engineering students as competent. This possibly was to the extreme though, as some organizations began viewing UW students as arrogant.

I know UofT has PEY (16 month internship), Mac has something similar, and Guelph has a co-op program similar to UW (6 four month co-ops).

To choose between these programs, you'd have to assess whether 6 short co-ops are better than one long one. The 6 short ones means you have more interview practice and potentially more varied experience at the expense of not being involved in long term projects.

future_doc
07-20-2010, 11:09 AM
excellent post/advice tron, especially for a pre-med forum

collectively, we have quite a lot of expserience

AdamP
07-20-2010, 11:43 AM
i recently finished an eng ug.

I would agree... work experience > marks >= school name when it comes to finding a job.

I think pretty much all programs in Ontario have an internship option + summer co-ops so I would strongly consider that. I guess what makes some schools better is some have better connections with industry which makes finding that internship easier.

gl

ploughboy
07-20-2010, 02:48 PM
1) Waterloo
2) everybody else

Not that I'm biased or anything. :cool:

gradguy
07-20-2010, 03:36 PM
Hey guys,

Please try to rank all of the engineering programs in Ontario in order of their reputation/quality, in the order of not what you perceive, but what employers perceive. U of T, Waterloo, Queen's, Mac, Guelph, Western, Ottawa, Carleton, Ryerson, Windsor, OUIT, York. Thanks

Which discipline are you considering?

EliteAssassin23
07-20-2010, 10:04 PM
Biomedical Engineering(tissue engineering esp).......but I'm also trying to look for an overall ranking of Ontario engineering schools......

naspec
07-20-2010, 10:45 PM
There's a group at Queen's involved in tissue engineering, just look up Steve Waldman (http://chemeng.queensu.ca/people/faculty/waldman//). The mechanical engineering department was talking about creating a biomechanics sub-discipline (they're heavily involved with the Niagara Foot (http://www.niagarafoot.com/)), and it was mentioned that one of the ideas was to allow its graduates to be competitive medical school applicants, if that was their interest.

Edit: if you are applying for medical school, forget about the "ranking" of the engineering schools. Seriously. Go to one where you can consistently get good grades (and secondly gives you good exposure to relevant research experiences) because more than anything a low to mediocre GPA, even at a more "reputable" university, is guaranteed to keep you out of medical school.

tron
07-20-2010, 11:33 PM
I would second that. Engineering is not an easy path to medicine and rankings of engineering schools should not affect your choice if medicine is your eventual goal.

Bioeng is offered at Guelph as well, and Eng Sci at UofT has a large portion of people that go into bio. I would NOT recommend Eng Sci if you are serious about medicine though - it has a reputation for destroying averages (and souls).

IBBME at UofT is excellent for tissue/bio eng, but is grad school only (I'm finishing up there now).

Alternatively you could do chem eng with a heavy emphasis on bio, and then do tissue engineering at the grad level.

If you are serious about engineering, then you'd be better off looking elsewhere for advice on engineering schools. If you are serious about medicine as your primary goal, then you may want to reconsider engineering. It is doable, but it is not an easy path, especially if you don't do chem/bio eng initially.

EliteAssassin23
07-21-2010, 12:00 AM
Thanks for the info guys :) Tron, is it hard to conduct research for U of T IBBME professors(M. Radisic, R.A Kandel, W.Stanford and Craig Simmons) if I am an undergraduate student at Guelph? Are research positions usually given to upper year students? Also, how well known is Guelph's biological engineering program among the professors at U of T IBBME? Thanks.

EliteAssassin23
07-21-2010, 12:01 AM
Thanks for the info guys :) Tron, is it hard to conduct research for U of T IBBME professors(M. Radisic, R.A Kandel, W.Stanford and Craig Simmons) if I am an undergraduate student at Guelph? Are research positions usually given to upper year students? Also, how well known is Guelph's biological engineering program among the professors at U of T IBBME? Thanks.

NLS
07-21-2010, 03:54 AM
Thanks for the info guys :) Tron, is it hard to conduct research for U of T IBBME professors(M. Radisic, R.A Kandel, W.Stanford and Craig Simmons) if I am an undergraduate student at Guelph? Are research positions usually given to upper year students? Also, how well known is Guelph's biological engineering program among the professors at U of T IBBME? Thanks.

there is a girl on these forums.. catylnn? she graduated from guelph bio eng. pm her

NLengr
07-21-2010, 09:51 AM
I did engineering and worked as an engineer before medicine.

Employers don't care where you graduated from. They're realistic and know that a school's name has no effect on the quality of a job applicant. What they look at is work experience, and to a lesser extent grades help a bit too. But they'll take a B student with a year of experience in the field through work terms before they pick an A student who has no experience.

tron
07-21-2010, 10:27 AM
Thanks for the info guys :) Tron, is it hard to conduct research for U of T IBBME professors(M. Radisic, R.A Kandel, W.Stanford and Craig Simmons) if I am an undergraduate student at Guelph? Are research positions usually given to upper year students? Also, how well known is Guelph's biological engineering program among the professors at U of T IBBME? Thanks.

As an undergrad from Guelph, I'm not sure how easily you would be able to get into the labs at IBBME due to politics (tendency to take their own students). Having said that, Guelph has 4 month co-ops, so if you tried to do one of those in IBBME or at Sinai, you may be able to.

I can't comment on how well the Guelph program is known, but I do know two people from Guelph: one did cardiac drug trials in an MRI at Sunnybrook for a thesis (and is now a med student incidentally), the other did something related ot fMRI.

EliteAssassin23
07-21-2010, 10:32 AM
Tron, did u major in biological engineering at guelph? At the IBBME, what are some of the schools that ur classmates did their undergrad in? Did most major in biological engineering, traditional fields of engineering or the life sciences? Thanks again.

Caylynn
07-21-2010, 10:34 AM
I did engineering and worked as an engineer before medicine.

Employers don't care where you graduated from. They're realistic and know that a school's name has no effect on the quality of a job applicant. What they look at is work experience, and to a lesser extent grades help a bit too. But they'll take a B student with a year of experience in the field through work terms before they pick an A student who has no experience.

+1. I graduated from the biological engineering program at Guelph, and some of my fellow classmates went on to do extremely exciting graduate work, at places like MIT, Harvard, and other Canadian schools (U of T and Queen's). One ended up in Sweden doing post-grad work somewhere. Other classmates ended up winning competitions over Waterloo grads.

Guelph's biological engineering program is excellent, and biomedical engineering has been such a popular option there that they have now offered it as a separate degree, instead of as part of the bio eng program, as it was when I graduated.

Honestly, you can't go wrong with any of the Canadian engineering schools. Toronto's Eng Sci has a reputation of being very hard to get good marks in though, so would probably not be a good choice if simply a high GPA is your goal.

Every employer and grad school rep I have talked to has had nothing but good things to say about Guelph grads.

EliteAssassin23
07-21-2010, 10:37 AM
Thanks Caylynn :)

EliteAssassin23
07-21-2010, 10:48 AM
Anyone here want to try to rank all the ontario engineering programs on overall quality? U of T, Waterloo, Queen's, Mac, Guelph, Ryerson, Carleton, Ottawa, Windsor, York, OUIT and Lakehead.

rmorelan
07-21-2010, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the info guys :) Tron, is it hard to conduct research for U of T IBBME professors(M. Radisic, R.A Kandel, W.Stanford and Craig Simmons) if I am an undergraduate student at Guelph? Are research positions usually given to upper year students? Also, how well known is Guelph's biological engineering program among the professors at U of T IBBME? Thanks.

I am curious - if you are so focus on U of T IBBME why wouldn't you automatically want to go directly to that school? Obviously if you can regularly interact with the people you mention you will have a much better chance to work in their laboratories - particularly since you can then interact with the grad schools in their labs first and work up the food chain. You also could end up doing a 4th year thesis with those labs in question, which would not be possible if you are at another school normally.

If your end goal is medicine you are not making the path particularly easy by being so specific of course :)

bluekazoo
07-21-2010, 11:29 AM
I think you should stop trying to list schools from top to bottom. A number of posters have already told you that this is largely irrelevant for hiring/recruiting of engineers: companies care a lot more about the applicant than they do about the school. If you are a proficient applicant with lots of relevant experience at Guelph, you will do far better than a lackluster one who played World of Warcraft all day from Waterloo. My school was never discussed during any of my engineering job interviews. The one catch to this is that some companies tend to hire from schools in their geographical area, so if you want to hedge your bets, go to a school close to where you want to work (e.g. Canadian biomed companies are mostly in Vancouver/Toronto, so consider going to school nearby). If you truly must go to a brand name engineering school, go to MIT/Caltech/RPI in the US.

EliteAssassin23
07-21-2010, 03:09 PM
Thanks for all the info guys

DOC_Ma
07-21-2010, 03:11 PM
Waterloo then the rest pretty much.

Caylynn
07-21-2010, 04:09 PM
I think you should stop trying to list schools from top to bottom. A number of posters have already told you that this is largely irrelevant for hiring/recruiting of engineers: companies care a lot more about the applicant than they do about the school. If you are a proficient applicant with lots of relevant experience at Guelph, you will do far better than a lackluster one who played World of Warcraft all day from Waterloo. My school was never discussed during any of my engineering job interviews. The one catch to this is that some companies tend to hire from schools in their geographical area, so if you want to hedge your bets, go to a school close to where you want to work (e.g. Canadian biomed companies are mostly in Vancouver/Toronto, so consider going to school nearby). If you truly must go to a brand name engineering school, go to MIT/Caltech/RPI in the US.

+1

For all that Waterloo and U of T are supposedly better than Guelph, I had plenty of classmates win awards, competitions and even jobs over applicants from those two universities.

It also strongly depends on the program. Guelph has an excellent reputation for its environmental, biological, and water resources engineering programs. Other schools have better reputations in other engineering disciplines.

In addition, I LOVED my time at Guelph - it was a great school with a lot of fantastic professors who really supported us. One of my high school friends went to U of T (Eng Sci) and hated every minute there. I also had friends who went to Carleton, and despite the fact that it isn't considered as prestigious as Waterloo or U of T, they enjoyed their time there and obtained good jobs upon graduation.

rollester
07-22-2010, 01:02 PM
Waterloo than U of T THAN the rest.
And that's coming from a guy at western.

+1 (this, too, is coming from someone at western)

While it's true that companies don't usually care about which school you come from, but rather place more emphasis on you and your experience. The catch phrase is that if you go to a school where opportunities for co-op and other engineering experience are abundant, you will likely be a better engineer at the end of the day. For example, co-op is mandatory at waterloo, but not at western. So, all waterloo students will have *some* sort of experience by the time they get a B.E.Sc. degree. In the end, though, it is YOU who is going to make it or break it. If you didn't learn anything from the opportunities that were provided to you by your school, it's no use.

NLengr
07-22-2010, 02:12 PM
The other thing to look at is the fields of expertise each school has and try to tailor it to what you are interested in as a career. You can work in any field with pretty much engineering degree but the amount of research and industry ties a school has to a specific sector influences the amount of contacts you can easily make in the sector.

For example, if you want to do computer/mobile/electronics stuff Waterloo is a great choice. However if you want to do airplane stuff Carlton is better since they do more work with that. If you want to do naval/ocean engineering Memorial is the country leader for that. Oil and Gas is strong in Calgary. Automotive is big in Windsor. It's impossible to say X school is the best engineering school because they all tend to focus is different stuff and therefore are better at those things.

AdamP
07-22-2010, 02:51 PM
one thing that popped into my head...

if meds is your end goal, and I assume it is since you're here, why are you concerned about job prospects to this extent, mainly would you be really interested in spending 16 months on internship at some factory etc. basically just extending the length of your degree when you want to apply to meds anyways.

if you are competitive for meds, you'll have to be in the top 10 percent of your class grades wise, be doing extra circulars, winning awards etc. meaning you will be way ahead of your peers when it comes to looking for a job if at the end of the day you decide meds is not for you.

every engineering student turned medstudent that I know would have cleaned up at the traditional eng job search....

basically what I'm saying is that school doesn't matter to the extent that, if you are competitive for meds, you will be by definition more than competitive at landing a traditional eng job.

EliteAssassin23
07-22-2010, 03:30 PM
Thanks guys. Are u in med school right now, Adam?

AdamP
07-22-2010, 03:48 PM
starting in sept.

EliteAssassin23
07-22-2010, 04:34 PM
Congrats Adam.... Given ur knowledge about engineering, I assume u majored in engineering for undergrad. What branch of engineering did u major in? At what university? Did you have to overload (on top of the already insane courseload) to get your pre-med courses done? When do u think is the best time to take the MCAT for engineering students? Any other advice for successful getting into med school from an engineering background? Thanks.

AdamP
07-22-2010, 05:05 PM
I did chem at western and did the biochem/envrio option.

You can overload but you don't necessarily have to, actually western lets you do concurrent md/eng so you basically finish your eng courses in 3 years, in which case you do overload a bit 0.5-1 extra courses per year.

My program covered most of the premed requirements for ontario anyways, I had to take the science orgo instead of the eng ones (turns out I didn't even have to) and I took an online bio course in 4th year to cover U of Ts life sci requirements.

I was on the 3 year track but had to take my mcat twice (summer after second year score wasn't high enough) so I ended up re-writing at the end of 3rd year and finishing my degree.

My advice for the mcat is write as early as possible, since there isn't a penalty in Canada for writing often, I would suggest trying after first year but that's just my opinion. Certainly after second year you should write.

The pre-req course question is important, Ontario is nice because most schools have none/very few requirements, I know schools out west have a lot more requirements, like phys/english/biochemistry, those would be tough to fit in unless they were already in your curriculum. Not the case at western but some of the pure biomed eng undergrads in ontario might be more biology heavy so you can hit those pre-reqs without having to do extra. Although summer school is a viable option as well.

Other advice, well once you get an interview you are in pretty good shape, from my experience eng majors do well in the interview but it can be tough to get! Try and do things that you are interested in, you will already stand out come application time given your ug, but there are literally tonnes of clubs and groups to get involved in without even having to leave eng, generally you can get your hands dirty travel a bit etc. So take advantage of the opportunities!

ertw
07-22-2010, 05:56 PM
Dude -- if you're serious about medicine, forget about engineering as an undergrad. I went to Waterloo, studied engineering there, and have been admitted to Mac meds. It's the hardest possible way to get into medical school -- hard to get the grades required to be truly competitive. Seriously, find something else you're truly interested and passionate about and study it for your undergrad. You'll do well and if you're smart and motivated, easily get into medicine.

Figure out what you want to do right now. If it's engineering and that's all you can see yourself doing, then study it. Otherwise, if you're just treating it as a means to an end to get you to medical school: trust me -- it's not worth it.

tron
07-22-2010, 06:08 PM
+1

I was at Waterloo as well. Interest in medicine came later. I would not recommend planning on doing eng prior to med. I ended up doing courses on co-op as well as two extra UG ones in my masters to get the mcat prep/uoft life sciences requirements. If you really want to do eng prior to med, then chem is the easiest to do the prereqs from.

Andie
07-22-2010, 08:29 PM
I went to Queen's for engineering, within Mechanical and Materials there are a bunch of biomech and biomaterials courses. I think pretty much every school has a co-op/internship program which is quite valuable. Many of my friends went the co-op route which definitely helped with finding a job after graduation, but others made contacts during summer jobs and that worked out fine too. Employers are just looking for experience.

However as a pre-med choice I'd probably not recommend eng if medicine is your end goal, just because its harder to the the really high marks, and GPA is king.... If you do go the eng route just make sure you keep your GPA up then you'll have lots of options what ever you choose.

For later down the road if you are looking at grad school from eng that is also medically inclined, Medical Biophysics at U of T takes a very wide variety of students, including engineers. It's a very diverse department with cell/molecular/structural biology, biophysics and a bit of bioinformatics. A great combination for eng + meds interests.

EliteAssassin23
07-22-2010, 09:16 PM
Thanks for all of ur insight guys. My main reasons for choosing engineering is that
1. Math(and physics also) comes very naturally for me and I have a pretty good work ethic, so I think I am still going to get high GPA in the traditionally hard math intensive courses in Engineering
2. Though I am considering medicine, i'm only 50-60% sure I want to go to med school right now, so Engineering would serve as a good plan B career-wise in case I change my mind.
3. I am also interested in conducting research in tissue engineering. I might end up choosing to grad school in biomedical engineering instead med school, and engineering would better prepare me for grad programs in biomedical engineering.

What do you guys think are some of the top graduate biomedical engineering(esp in tissue engineering) programs in Canada?

EliteAssassin23
07-22-2010, 09:32 PM
mlbn, thanks for the info. How biased is the IBBME graduate adcom(or professors) towards where u went for ur undergrad? For example, will a student from U of T EngSci a 3.8 GPA be choosen over a student from Guelph Biological Engineering with a 3.9 GPA for graduate studies, given all other parts of the application are identical? Also, do u know wut some of the undergrad schools that a large number of grad students at IBBME come from?

Lastly, I am planning to email a few of the professors at IBBME I hope to work with next summer. Other than describing my educational background and expressing my interests, what should I say in my first email? Should I attach my CV in the first email? Should I ask to schedule a face-to-face meeting right off the bat? Thanks :)

AdamP
07-22-2010, 10:55 PM
I'm going to go ahead and disagree with my peers here. I think eng is a great ug option for people considering medicine.

Might as well cover the biggest thing I've been reading about, perhaps the least important, perhaps the most, getting good grades. I don't fully understand where this 'eng is way tougher than anything else' mentality comes from. Comparing all the eng courses I took with all the non-eng, either through the science department or otherwise. Give me an eng course any day. Firstly, unlike most science courses it's not jammed to ****t full of people, most of the time professors know your name, always have office hours, and actually want you to pass. Furthermore, eng profs don't seem to mind 'teamwork' when it comes to assignments, 'recycling' old exams, and having open book tests.

Also, if you think you want meds going in, you already have a leg up because you know what you have to get (85s), unlike traditional science programs where everyone is gunning for a professional degree after, eng IS a professional degree, most people are just looking to pass, making the competition far less fierce. That being said, this is probably the least important of anything I'm going to say, if you put in the work at any program I guarantee you will get good marks.

Now that i'm on the topic of work, workload in eng is also something people talk about a lot. In my opinion workload and course difficulty are two different things and eng is a lot of work. Two things on that point, one, if you're taking every opportunity to duck out of more work, medicine is the wrong profession for you. Personally I think the only reason I got into U of T was because of the long discussion I had with the interviewers on the workload, and basically pain of residency, I talked about how I probably can't understand the rigor of 100+ hours in a hospital, but I can talk to you about how I dealt with sleepless nights trying to figure out why the combustor I designed was running at the temperature of Jupiter's core, finishing a presentation etc. Secondly, even if the workload is high for eng, I dunno about my peers but I found lots of time to do what I want, I worked a job during the year, did all kinds of ECs and volunteering, and still probably got drunk 1-2 times per week.

Ok, so this is part 1 of many on my series why eng.

I'm too tired to keep going for now, the next segment will be on, all the ****t outside of class, and the soft skills of eng.

if you were wondering the posts goto the beat of this song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAbxCTABfis&feature=related

EliteAssassin23
07-23-2010, 04:04 PM
nice song........

Nobodycirclesthewagons
07-23-2010, 04:15 PM
I'm going to go ahead and disagree with my peers here. I think eng is a great ug option for people considering medicine.

Might as well cover the biggest thing I've been reading about, perhaps the least important, perhaps the most, getting good grades. I don't fully understand where this 'eng is way tougher than anything else' mentality comes from. Comparing all the eng courses I took with all the non-eng, either through the science department or otherwise. Give me an eng course any day. Firstly, unlike most science courses it's not jammed to ****t full of people, most of the time professors know your name, always have office hours, and actually want you to pass. Furthermore, eng profs don't seem to mind 'teamwork' when it comes to assignments, 'recycling' old exams, and having open book tests.

Also, if you think you want meds going in, you already have a leg up because you know what you have to get (85s), unlike traditional science programs where everyone is gunning for a professional degree after, eng IS a professional degree, most people are just looking to pass, making the competition far less fierce. That being said, this is probably the least important of anything I'm going to say, if you put in the work at any program I guarantee you will get good marks.

Now that i'm on the topic of work, workload in eng is also something people talk about a lot. In my opinion workload and course difficulty are two different things and eng is a lot of work. Two things on that point, one, if you're taking every opportunity to duck out of more work, medicine is the wrong profession for you. Personally I think the only reason I got into U of T was because of the long discussion I had with the interviewers on the workload, and basically pain of residency, I talked about how I probably can't understand the rigor of 100+ hours in a hospital, but I can talk to you about how I dealt with sleepless nights trying to figure out why the combustor I designed was running at the temperature of Jupiter's core, finishing a presentation etc. Secondly, even if the workload is high for eng, I dunno about my peers but I found lots of time to do what I want, I worked a job during the year, did all kinds of ECs and volunteering, and still probably got drunk 1-2 times per week.

Ok, so this is part 1 of many on my series why eng.

I'm too tired to keep going for now, the next segment will be on, all the ****t outside of class, and the soft skills of eng.

if you were wondering the posts goto the beat of this song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAbxCTABfis&feature=related

Haha, that was a dope post. If I were good at "engineering", I would have done a degree in it prior to med.

naspec
07-23-2010, 05:21 PM
... engineering good for premed ...

Some engineering programs (and sub-disciplines) are more notorious than others for low class averages and high first year failure rates, but you'll quickly find out which ones if you do a little bit of research. While it's true that you can thrive anywhere as long as you're motivated enough, you're still better off to avoid programs where for (a purely fictional) example high school students coming in with 90%+ averages have to work their butts off to pull 60s and 70s.

That being said, I agree that engineering really isn't as grueling as we often make it sound. The breadth of things that we learn goes far beyond math and science. In my program, we (all disciplines) had a big term-long project in first year where we were supposed to make (or challenge, or "regulate", depending on which "team" you were assigned to) a proposal to put an obtrusive, NIMBY-attracting facility somewhere in Ontario. Think nuclear plants, sewage treatment plants, waste transfer facilities, etc. Each proposal had about 20 people assigned to it, divided into three interest groups (company who wants to build, government, and consultants hired by a local community group). I don't quite remember everything that went down, but it was a lot of work and we had to do a lot of our own research about actual industry practices and regulations, as well as staking out the maps library to get detailed maps and geographic information on the neighborhoods that we were planning to ruin :). Now in real life, if you had this many engineers (probably some of those would be lawyers) working on this for three months getting paid say, $100 an hour... you can see how one of those "environmental assessments" for any big infrastructure project can end up costing so much.

Anyway, if engineering had PBL, this would be it. It sounds a lot like what you might do in a business school, except we still had to learn the traditional engineering subjects at the same time. Funny thing is, this was actually one of the most hated courses amongst my classmates ("why can't we just learn science? :mad:"), but I made it sound like the greatest thing ever when I told high school students about it at the university fair. However it's things like this that set an engineering degree apart from a pure science degree, or a college technologists' diploma (not to disparage either of them).

rollester
07-23-2010, 06:08 PM
I think eng is a great ug option for people considering medicine.

Thumbs up! :)

AdamP
07-23-2010, 07:34 PM
OK attempt at part two.

Far and away I think the best part of engineering is the unique opportunities you will have access too. I will try as hard as possible not to make this sound like a CV. Through engineering I've had friends get paid to race cars in Australia, and work on water systems in Zambia. Personally, I was given an expenses paid trip to Russia to talk about the necessity of technical experts in the political decision making process. Conferences and competitions have taken my friends and I from Halifax to Vancouver (paid) and all kinds of places in between. Sure we were working on technical and management projects, but the teamwork skills, problem solving, and critical thinking skills you will gain from that is just another asset for medicine. I've gotten to speak with politicians regularly, CEOs, leaders of non-profits, and even a presidential candidate through my engineering ECs.

Every year, even if you don't do many ECs, you will be forced to hone your communications and teamwork skills, you may hate it at the time (I sometimes did) but the skills are critical. First year we spent a year as a group designing and implementing classroom teaching aids, second year we were presenting ideas for municipal garbage management to city leaders, third year we were competing in consulting competitions for international corporations, and in the fourth year we designed a >1 bil $ power plant and presented our designs to a ****-ton of industry and political types.

All that garbage aside, I think maybe most importantly, and probably why my research supervisors wrote me sick ass letters (did I mention its way easier to get summer NSERCs in eng because way less people apply, meaning you can research whatever the hell you want), is because medicine needs your mindset, medicine needs people who can problem solve, who can design, and who can question and think critically. Now by no means am I saying that these skills aren't possible to obtain elsewhere, the thing about eng is, you don't have to look very far to find them. And, just to make sure you understand, there are gaps you have to fill yourself, eng in itself is not going to make you the most empathic person, and you're going to have to realize there lots of questions that don't have right and wrong answers. But it's possible to fill these areas too, I worked with some great non-profits that really helped me to learn this outside of the eng bubble.

Is engineering for everyone, fcuk no, I just think, personally, the answer requires a little deeper thinking than, well ****t son it's hard to get a 3.9 so i'm just gonna do something else.

Also this has nothing to do with my undergrad, but jay-z gave me a shout out during one of his concerts this summer.

i'm out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl5OovFrYzc

EliteAssassin23
07-24-2010, 01:43 PM
Great advice adamP and naspec! What u guys mentioned is one of the main reasons why I'm choosing to major in engineering as and undergrad instead of taking the traditional life science route. I feel that the challenge of an engineering curriculum would be more intellectually enriching and in the end of the day, would allow me to become a more developed person (communication, teamwork, problem solving skills and good work ethic).

AdamP and naspec, u guys talked about some cool design projects, presentations to industry/city leaders and conference that u guys took part in. Were these part of ur regular curriculum or through ur involvement in Engineering clubs and competitions? Also, what were ur main ECs going into med school? Did you still have time to research in a lab or volunteer at a hospital in ug?

Caylynn
07-24-2010, 09:02 PM
Just to add to the "cool design projects" - at Guelph I had the opportunity to design a ROWPU (reverse osmosis water purification unit) as part of my second year design course, a composting facility for my third year design project, a soy-based cracker for my bioprocess course, a brewery (extremely cool!) for my bioreactor design course, and finally, a bicycle for people with leg prosthetics for my fourth year design project. Guelph lists the courses that have design components, in addition to each of the design courses in first through fourth year here: http://www.soe.uoguelph.ca/Design/othercourses.htm

So yes, there are lots of opportunities in engineering to do very "cool" projects. Some of my classmates won or placed very highly in Canada-wide design competitions. Some of my classmates helped develop digital orthotic scanning and design systems, others worked on dental implant design. Guelph students have even won international design competitions: http://www.soe.uoguelph.ca/Design/news/news1.htm

As a woman in engineering, at a university with the NSERC's Women in Engineering Chair, I was given a lot of opportunities for research, such as examining the stresses and strains on horses' hooves and fetlocks (in collaboration with OVC - the Ontario Veterinary College - which is also located in Guelph) which, as a life-long equestrienne, was a fabulous opportunity for me! Other students at Guelph have collaborated with industry to produce a wide-variety of projects, you can see some of them here: http://www.soe.uoguelph.ca/design/design_partnerships.htm

I think just about every engineering school these days has an "Engineers Without Borders" chapter, which provides for great experience overseas.

I am very proud of my iron ring, and I was very happy to complete an undergrad degree in engineering. It just can be hard to maintain a super-high GPA in engineering when you are taking 6 courses per semester (many of which include labs) as opposed to 5, but I do know some people who took 5 years to complete their degree, or who took courses during the summer, so they could just take 5 courses per year and have an "easier" time keeping up a high GPA.

And one of my reasons for choosing engineering was that math and science always came easily to me (hey, I obtained a 100 in my Mechanics of Deformable Bodies course, and no, it wasn't a bird course, and no, it wasn't curved) but I found a lot of the "other" courses were the ones that hurt my GPA, especially my machine language programming course, in which the entire class failed the midterm, and which was not curved to compensate. But that course is no longer part of the engineering curriculum, thank goodness. I was also the type who wanted to have a "life" so I continued to teach group fitness (aerobics) classes, and trained for half-marathons and other races, despite the engineering workload. One of my classmates, who was also one of the top students (we both had NSERC scholarships) was on the Women's varsity soccer team.

No, I haven't been accepted to medical school yet, but one of my fellow Guelph grads has been, and so engineering, and more specifically Guelph engineering, can definitely get you into medical school. It just might not be the easiest route to take. But that definitely depends on the individual.

NLengr
07-25-2010, 10:40 PM
In a somewhat similar cool engineering story for my final engineering project my group of 4 did safety analysis for a natural gas processing facility. Turns out that if a 300 cubic meter high pressure natural gas vessel explodes is makes a 457 m diameter explosion and kills everyone within a few hundred meters, even if they are inside buildings.

Dr. Trooth
07-25-2010, 11:20 PM
Hate (love) to rain on the parade but I think it wise to look at Caylynn's signature. Some people can do really well in engineering and for them it serves as a great undergrad leading to medicine. For the majority though...it doesn't. Do eng, do medicine - unless you're really smart no reason to do both.

No damn cat and no damn cradle.


Just to add to the "cool design projects" - at Guelph I had the opportunity to design a ROWPU (reverse osmosis water purification unit) as part of my second year design course, a composting facility for my third year design project, a soy-based cracker for my bioprocess course, a brewery (extremely cool!) for my bioreactor design course, and finally, a bicycle for people with leg prosthetics for my fourth year design project. Guelph lists the courses that have design components, in addition to each of the design courses in first through fourth year here: http://www.soe.uoguelph.ca/Design/othercourses.htm

So yes, there are lots of opportunities in engineering to do very "cool" projects. Some of my classmates won or placed very highly in Canada-wide design competitions. Some of my classmates helped develop digital orthotic scanning and design systems, others worked on dental implant design. Guelph students have even won international design competitions: http://www.soe.uoguelph.ca/Design/news/news1.htm

As a woman in engineering, at a university with the NSERC's Women in Engineering Chair, I was given a lot of opportunities for research, such as examining the stresses and strains on horses' hooves and fetlocks (in collaboration with OVC - the Ontario Veterinary College - which is also located in Guelph) which, as a life-long equestrienne, was a fabulous opportunity for me! Other students at Guelph have collaborated with industry to produce a wide-variety of projects, you can see some of them here: http://www.soe.uoguelph.ca/design/design_partnerships.htm

I think just about every engineering school these days has an "Engineers Without Borders" chapter, which provides for great experience overseas.

I am very proud of my iron ring, and I was very happy to complete an undergrad degree in engineering. It just can be hard to maintain a super-high GPA in engineering when you are taking 6 courses per semester (many of which include labs) as opposed to 5, but I do know some people who took 5 years to complete their degree, or who took courses during the summer, so they could just take 5 courses per year and have an "easier" time keeping up a high GPA.

And one of my reasons for choosing engineering was that math and science always came easily to me (hey, I obtained a 100 in my Mechanics of Deformable Bodies course, and no, it wasn't a bird course, and no, it wasn't curved) but I found a lot of the "other" courses were the ones that hurt my GPA, especially my machine language programming course, in which the entire class failed the midterm, and which was not curved to compensate. But that course is no longer part of the engineering curriculum, thank goodness. I was also the type who wanted to have a "life" so I continued to teach group fitness (aerobics) classes, and trained for half-marathons and other races, despite the engineering workload. One of my classmates, who was also one of the top students (we both had NSERC scholarships) was on the Women's varsity soccer team.

No, I haven't been accepted to medical school yet, but one of my fellow Guelph grads has been, and so engineering, and more specifically Guelph engineering, can definitely get you into medical school. It just might not be the easiest route to take. But that definitely depends on the individual.

Caylynn
07-26-2010, 01:37 PM
Hate (love) to rain on the parade but I think it wise to look at Caylynn's signature. Some people can do really well in engineering and for them it serves as a great undergrad leading to medicine. For the majority though...it doesn't. Do eng, do medicine - unless you're really smart no reason to do both.

No damn cat and no damn cradle.

Yes, I am doing a second degree, but you have NO IDEA what my background is or why I'm doing a second degree. It's not because I studied engineering and thus didn't have the GPA to get into med school. The fact of the matter is that I didn't have a life-long desire to study medicine, unlike many of my peers. It was only during my third year of studies, when I became very ill, had to have surgery, and had to drop all but one course, that the desire to study medicine first entered my mind.

Then, during my fourth year, my husband, who is an officer in the Canadian Forces, was sent overseas, and well, concern for his safety was foremost in my mind. I was also dealing with the aftermath of the two chronic illnesses I was diagnosed with, and so I was advised to drop down to four courses per semester. Maybe I should have stuck with five, but I did what I thought was best at the time.

I know I'm not unique, and that many people have had to deal with serious illnesses and with family difficulties, and managed to maintain full course loads. At the time, however, I made the decision to drop my courseload to what I felt I could manage. I still graduated with distinction, and actually won the PEO Gold Medal for graduating at the top of my engineering class, but due to the two years of fewer than five courses per semester, my med school application choices are extremely limited at this time.

EliteAssassin23
07-26-2010, 10:24 PM
Congrats on all of ur achievements Caylynn :) and thx for all the helpful info u provided about guelph engineering........i wish u all the best getting into med school :)

ertw
07-27-2010, 02:56 PM
dude -- please remember there are easier and harder engineering programs. If you love engineering but want to keep medicine as a possibility after, go to an easier school or even an easier program at a top school. They are NOT all built alike, do NOT all grade/curve the same way, and do NOT all have the same caliber of students.

If you enjoy what you're learning you can still be an exceptional engineer coming out of an "easier" program. The only difference is you'll have a 3.9 GPA and the door to medical school won't be closed, versus a more "prestigious" degree -- which means nothing if you're stuck doing something you DON'T want to do. I chose the latter and, more than hard work, it's a lot of blind luck that I didn't regret it forever.

Good luck!

naspec
07-27-2010, 09:36 PM
AdamP and naspec, u guys talked about some cool design projects, presentations to industry/city leaders and conference that u guys took part in. Were these part of ur regular curriculum or through ur involvement in Engineering clubs and competitions?

The project I described was part of a compulsory first year course, sort of a primer for all the "soft skills" that we'd need later on.

Also, what were ur main ECs going into med school? Did you still have time to research in a lab or volunteer at a hospital in ug?

I did research in a hospital. It was during the summer. Even though my program didn't have Waterloo's co-op structure, I still had plenty of opportunities for summer work experience without even taking an internship year. My classmates who did take a year off for internship had no trouble finding jobs with big companies (big oil, chemical companies, aerospace, rail transportation) after they graduated, even during the so-called economic downturn.

mlbn
07-28-2010, 08:22 PM
OK attempt at part two.

......
AdamP I like your posts. There is truth to them. But at the end of the day it's different from school to school, some programs are not quite as rewarding as others are (in terms of marks you receive compared to the work you do)...you went to Western, I didn't. I rest my case at that.

caseycolin
08-02-2010, 08:48 AM
I think pretty much all programs in Ontario have an internship option + summer co-ops so I would strongly consider that. I guess what makes some schools better is some have better connections with industry which makes finding that internship easier.




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Ehudz
10-14-2010, 01:50 AM
man, it looks like I returned too late...

I'm in 3rd year biomedical & electrical engineering @ Carleton university, and wish to go to medical school (lets hope that GPA gets there and survives!). Ottawa's a pretty nice place if you plan on getting student positions (co-op, internships, NSERC, etc.) in a hospital environment.

During the summer of 1st year, I got to work for a prof designing and implementing a scanner to help in MRI research; during the second year (1st term of co-op), I had to opportunity to work as an engineering research assistant in the PET imaging dpt., doing some pretty interesting stuff. In addition, I got to co-author a paper.

With all that's been said already (which also helped me loads too), make sure you can ENDURE engineering, IF you're not one of those "engineering" types. It can be frustrating to realize you were meant to be doing something else, but the realization came too late and you're forced to continue on with something you know you're not looking forward to each day.

Take co-op, internships, research positions, etc. to really get a taste of medicine, especially the engineering side of things. I also heard getting your name on papers was also something that makes you stand out?

Try it out first to see if you can handle it and don't put too much on your plate until you get a feel of the work load and commitment level. I had to give-up a volunteer position at the ER because grades were falling.

If any of this helps, its all because I'm relatively fresh and I'm still running the race. I'd also love for more input from successful engineers/pre-medEng.

Thanks!

p.s. we gotta get a separate thread for engineering pre-meds!

CaffeinatedPonderer
11-04-2010, 11:48 AM
I'm joining this discussion a bit late but here's my quick 0.02c

If you prefer biomed research - 1) UofT - you won't find a similar high concentration of biomed research and jobs anywhere else in Canada. Ryerson and York have a great location, but recruiting opps are less than at UofT.

ElseIf you prefer great work experience outside of biomed and experiences providing expertise in specific biomed areas (e.g. elec, mech, etc.) - 1) Waterloo (due to a great co-op program).

Else - you prefer great marks, then you have many other options, but likely less opps in research and employment. Pick 1) A program you like and 2) one that you have connections to (family, friends, research, profs)

Above all, do a bit of homework before you apply by talking to students currently in your shortlist of programs. Times change, and unfortunately most of us in medicine may already be "old Skulers"

-CP

NLengr
11-05-2010, 12:34 AM
Go to a school that focuses in what you learn. For example, if you want to be an electronics guy Waterloo is a good choice. But if you want to do stuff like aeronautics or naval engineering, then you'll be much better off at Carleton or Memorial respectively.