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Spotlight: UW Aviation Society
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a Waterloo Warrior soaring to new heights?
University of Waterloo Aviation Society (UWAS) [external link] strives to create a community of students enrolled in the aviation program and connected by their passion for flying.
“The Aviation Society was formed to answer the needs of aviation students at the University [of Waterloo]," said Courtney Mehnert, UWAS VP administration. "Because the program falls in between the faculties of Environment and Science, we wanted to find a way to get all Aviation students to get together and connect over their shared experience."
“We at the Aviation program are a very tight knit group who share most of our classes with each other,” added Derek MacPherson, VP marketing. “We wanted to have representation in the bigger on campus community and create a support system focusing on the needs of Aviation students.”
The society offers a mentorship program which is in its first year of operation, where upper year students take new students under their wings. The mentorship program serves as an opportunity to network, to learn, and to foster ties between the pilots of future.
“The Aviation program is challenging, especially for new students who can potentially get overwhelmed by the course. It is comforting then to have an older student share their experience and help them navigate through their studies,” said Mehnert.
UWAS organizes monthly events over the term for students to help them with their future careers as well as to socialize and network. From bowling trips to career days, the society works to help students excel both academically and professionally.
Aviation Career Day on January 30 will feature aviation professionals coming in to speak to students and companies who are looking to employ new graduates. Students can get their professional headshot taken, attend a resume critique career development session, and then mingle with professionals in the field.
“There is an abundance of career options in the aviation field which we help introduce students to,” said MacPherson. “For people who are trying to balance education and flying separately, they are dealing with two entirely different streams of education which are combined in the aviation program so you get both a regular college education and experience in aviation. It is great to have career development professionals over to help us reach there smoothly to find jobs we are interested in.”
UWAS also collaborates with other clubs such as the Waterloo chapter of Women in Aviation [external link] (also known as Winged Warriors) to unite aviation enthusiasts in the area from different institutes. While the society mostly focuses on students in aviation, anyone who is interested in flying is welcome regardless of their enrollment in the program.