One of the first things...

Fall 2013

Blake VanBerlo

Schulich Leader at Western University

One of the first things that I was told about university was that each semester flies by. I found that this was indeed true. My first semester at Western as a Schulich leader has been outstanding.

After having spent just a few days at Western, I knew that Western Engineering was the perfect fit for me. The faculty is saturated with a rich engineering culture. The professors are very personable and the student body feels like a team that works together toward the common goal of success. I have formed friendships with several amazing people who will be in my life for the next four (or more) years, and hopefully for post-university life. There is a great sense of community within the students at Western. It is welcoming and open.

I have learned a lot in my course work and have greatly developed my problem-solving skills over the last couple months. There are some courses that have intrigued me in particular. Linear algebra is an entirely new branch of math to which I had never been exposed before September. It certainly is interesting and has given me tools to more effectively break down problems. I have also enjoyed participating in university labs, especially in chemistry. Western uses technology in their first year labs which allow students to focus more on the learning objectives of the lab, accurate data collection, and having fun. Finally, I am fortunate enough to be taking a music class as my elective. I am enrolled in General Integrated Musicianship, a course that has helped me to greatly improve my musical ear through keyboard harmony, dictation, and sight singing.

I have been balancing my studies with other enjoyable activities. I participated in the Western Engineering Competition in October. My design team placed second, and I am now good friends with the members of the team. I also was part of a delegation of Engineering students that represented Western at the annual Professional Engineering Of Ontario Student Conference. I have also performed at Ontario Hall's first ever talent show. As well, I am playing intramural hockey and consistently lift weights.

Finally, my living experience at Western has been excellent, as I am living in residence at Ontario Hall, which officially opened this year. At Ontario Hall, I am lucky to have met many fellow student leaders who are contributing to Western life in outstanding ways.