Andrea Chakma

Mechatronics Engineering

Degree you are studying toward:
Bachelor of Applied Sciences

Expected year of graduation:

University of Waterloo

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Fun Facts About Me

If your best friend had to describe you in 10 words or less, what would they say?:
Bright, bubbly, energetic, active, strong-willed, passionate to make a difference

Share one fun fact about yourself:
I love to hike and travel! I’ve visited 10 countries so far!

What do you want to accomplish in the next 10 years?:
Within the next ten years, I hope to be at a point in my life where I have a good balance between work, advocacy and personal life. I want to be successful in the career that I have, take up a few hobbies and still be an active supporter of women in engineering. I also will hopefully have the time to get my Peng and continue on with my education at some point!

The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........?:
The most inspiring engineer any engineer who has helped increase diversity within the profession. This profession is still very much male dominated and whoever has helped increase diversity or inspired another girl to join engineering is inspiring in my books! I know a lot of women and men who have done that so I can’t pick one

Profile Questions

Why did you choose your program of study?:
I knew I loved Math and Science a lot and I knew I wanted to use those skills to make a difference in the world so engineering was a perfect fit. I could be as innovative as I wanted and always be innovating and creating. I choose to join Mechatronics Engineering because it was an incredibly diverse program that touched upon multiple different streams of engineering (e.g. Mechanical, Electrical and Computer). I get to learn about a wide variety of topics that give me a broader perspective and help me better understand engineering problems.

What has been your favourite course (in Engineering) and why?:
My favourite course in engineering so far has been Algorithms and Data Structures. It’s basically a course where we talk about the different ways we can organize and structure our code to be as efficient as possible. I liked this course a lot because not only did we have an incredibly instructor the topics in the course were actually useful and I’ve implemented elements into the work that I’m currently doing in my co-op. It was the most useful and the most interactive course I’ve had so far!

What has been the best part of your Engineering education to date?:
The best part of my engineering education to date has been every single co-op experience that I’ve had as well as the community that I have surrounded around myself. The University of Waterloo has a fantastic co-op program where we get six terms to get to explore potential career paths. It also provides a good break in between terms to reset and work on personal projects. I’ve worked at RBC as a developer the last two terms and I’ve had a fantastic time learning about Security and DevOps at the bank. I’ve also met some incredible role models who have given me great advice.
Another favourite part about my engineering education is the community at Waterloo. I joined the Engineering Society, WiE and Engineering Ambassadors which give me a great way to get involved with students across campus and volunteer! I have made a lot of friends and memories from the time that we have spent.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?:
After I graduate, I hope to get a job in Project or Product Management. I love talking to people and working in teams so I want to work my way through management. However, I would also love to take an international opportunity to expose myself to different cultures around the world. Outside of my professional life, I hope to continue working to get girls engaged in the STEM world and I also hope to empower girls to become the leaders of tomorrow through working more in depth with Girl Guides of Canada, ONWiE and various other organizations that support young girls and women to be the best version of themselves. Also, hopefully I’ll get some time to travel and go hiking more!

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