Media & Press

Getting used to university

1 May, 2015

Charles Nellis

            My first winter semester at the University of Ottawa has been as busy as the first one although I now feel that I am getting used to the amount of work and study that engineering requires. This semester, aside from the general sciences and mathematics courses I had to take, I was able to follow my first course geared towards civil engineering students only. It was an industrial drafting class combined to a series of seminars on different aspects of the profession of civil engineering. I really enjoyed this class even tough drafting, especially by hand, has always been a challenge for me since I’ve never been, and I’m still not, a very creative or artistic person. For the seminars, where we discussed subject such as professionalism, health & safety as well as geotechnical engineering, the only downside I found is that we did not have the chance to hear from an engineer, who is not an academician and that works in the field.

            Outside of my curricular activities, I have continued my involvement with the Young Liberals, but I decided to get more engaged locally by volunteering in the re-election campaign of the Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger in Ottawa-Vanier where I now live. In addition, one of my main activities during all the semester was job hunting. I applied to dozens of jobs in the field of civil engineering and some outside the field across the county. Although it is very difficult to get a summer job in engineering after finishing only one year of study, I was very fortunate to be employed as an Office Assistant at the Infrastructure Services Department at the City of Ottawa. Although I will not perform tasks directly linked to civil engineering, I will be able to work with engineers and familiarize myself with the different steps of project management.

            In conclusion, even if I’m very happy to have successfully completed my first year of civil engineering, I do look forward to gaining experience in the working world this summer before going back to class next fall with exciting courses with content more geared towards civil engineering.