Waterloo Engineering Supplementary Application Examples

Written by Stephanie Pugh and Matthew Tran

Is the Engineering program at Waterloo your dream program, but you don’t know where to start with the Waterloo Engineering supplementary application? Having a successful supplementary application will make or break your chances of getting into Waterloo Engineering.

Want to know what to expect with the Waterloo Engineering supplementary application? Keep on reading and we’ll tell you what Waterloo is looking for!

Waterloo Engineering Supplementary Application

The Faculty of Engineering evaluates its entering students based on their grades, the Admission Information Form (AIF), and an optional online interview. The AIF and the online interview are both heavily weighted supplementary factors for your application into the Engineering program, as well as entrance scholarship decisions.

Waterloo Engineering AIF

An AIF is required of all engineering applicants, it is an application questionnaire that enables the university to form a better picture of your capabilities; asking questions about:

  • your interests/hobbies
  • your academic and career goals
  • jobs/volunteering experience
  • and other activities you may have been involved in.

The admissions committee will review and score all AIFs, combining their evaluations with your grade average to determine your overall admission score. This score will then be used to determine your admission to the program.

Once an application is submitted through the OUAC, Waterloo will send an acknowledgement email that will contain information about accessing Quest, and the AIF, which can be found within your Quest account.

Be sure to submit your AIF by the deadline! For more information, check Engineering’s important dates and deadlines.

What is on the Waterloo Engineering AIF?

The AIF is made to help narrow out if you will be a good fit for the Engineering program or not.

Waterloo is not looking for you to brag about specific or highly-exclusive extracurricular activities since many activities are dependent on one’s individual interest and the opportunities available in your community.  Instead, Waterloo wants you to tell them about times in your life where you have shown initiative, time management, leadership, and people skills in a range of different interests and involvement activities in your community.

Waterloo Engineering Supplementary Application Essay Examples

Here are some example essay questions that have been included in past Engineering AIFs in the year 2020:

  • Question 1: Required (900 character limit) Briefly explain why you are interested in engineering, particularly the program that you have applied to. Expand on your interests and abilities; your career goals, your exposure to engineering practises through school, extracurricular activities, or other personal experiences like discussions you have had with engineers, teachers, or current/past Waterloo students. Answer example: Being a master in computer science is my dream. My interest in engineering began with my computer science class, where I learned to programme in a variety of languages, including Python and HTML5. Since then, I have fixed, maintained, and customized computers utilizing a problem-solving method to expand my expertise and comprehension. My love of engineering inspired me to design and build a personal solar plane project that can maintain lengthy flights by continuously generating electricity from solar panels and can be operated remotely from the ground after a period of background reading and study. A project like this needed difficult decisions, such as weighing the benefits of certain components against the disadvantages, such as added weight. In this engineering program, I am looking to hone in on the skills that I already have gained in coding, and to expand my expertise into a co-op setting where I can thrive in a team to solve problems and create world-changing solutions.
  • Question 2: Required (900 character limit) What are some of the goals that you would like to accomplish in the Waterloo Engineering program, and why?

Answer example:

After graduating from university, I want to create a company that focuses on engineering technology. I’ve taken advantage of extracurricular programmes offered to me at school to improve my interest in engineering, but this engineering program will help me develop the skills I need to make my career goals a reality. One of my goals is to learn how automation will be the future in advanced manufacturing throughout my work experience. My ambition to better understand and enhance complicated machinery and systems, as well as my appreciation of the engineering experience I have had so far, led me to want to study engineering. I am certain that an engineering degree would be a good fit for me, and I am ready to seize the chance.

  • Question 3: Optional (600 character limit) For every programming language in which you have at least 4 months of programming experience, list the language, number of months experience you have using the language, and capacity in which you have used the language (i.e. course work, personal projects, etc.)

Make sure to answer these questions honestly, and to express your strengths and experiences in Engineering to show the committee that you would be a great addition to the Engineering program!

Waterloo Engineering Supplementary Online Video Interview

Waterloo Engineering has an optional online video interview component to the admissions process.

In the interview, you will be asked two questions, be given prep time, and allotted a set amount of time to respond. The interview requires less than 20 minutes to complete; you will be given about 30 seconds to 1 minute to prepare for your question, then around 1 minute to 1:30 seconds to give your answer.

You will need an Internet-connected computer with a functioning webcam and microphone. The system allows for unlimited practise sessions for you to practise and take notes, but know that once you start the formal interview questions, you only get one chance to answer the questions.

How to find it:

You will receive an email from Kira Talent who maintains the online interview website, inviting you to participate in the video interview. This email will give you the details on how to conduct the interview. If you have not received the email invite within 3 weeks of applying to the program on OUAC, please check if the email went to your “promotions”, “spam”, or “junk” folder. If you still have not received an invite email, then notify the email: [email protected].

What they look for:

Waterloo Engineering can virtually meet you and get a feel of who you are through this video interview, which is important in deciding admissibility as their application pool grows progressively competitive. Being yourself and answering all questions honestly is the greatest approach to achieving a successful interview. Consider this video interview a warm-up for all of the co-op interviews you’ll be doing if you decide to study Engineering at Waterloo!

Supplementary Online Video Interview Example Questions

The first question in your interview will most likely be a personal question so that the interviewer can get to know more about you! Some prompts that might be asked during this question round might involve questions like:

  • What are three words that describe who you are as a student?
  • Tell me your biggest strength and your biggest weakness
  • What goals do you have? How can Waterloo help you achieve those goals?
  • Tell me about an experience where you were a part of a team; what went well, and what could you improve on?
  • Why are you interested in applying to Waterloo Engineering?
  • What is the biggest conflict that you have been able to overcome?
  • What is a mistake that you have made in a team setting? What steps did you take to resolve this issue?

The second question in the interview will most likely be a problem-solving question or a creative question. Examples for this could include:

  • Creative Question Example:
    • Engineer Theodore von Karman said; “Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been.” In what ways do you relate to this quote in terms of your future goals with Engineering?
  • Problem Solving Example:
    • You have been leading a team to complete a project, and you have realized that the deadline is coming up faster than you thought. How would you organize your team’s roles to ensure you meet your project deadline on time?

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