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Wednesday, July 24, 2013



  • Wild weather whips Waterloo
  • IST Organizes for Success
  • For co-op student, variety was the spice of life


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Students pose atop a downed Willow tree in the wake of July 19's big storm.
Wild weather whips Waterloo

The university campus was not immune to the heavy rain and high winds that wracked the region on the afternoon of Friday, July 19. According to news reports, wind speeds approached 120 kilometres an hour, and damage was reported throughout the region as a number of storm cells tracked across much of southwestern Ontario.

Precipitation wasn't a real issue, reports Tom Galloway, Director of Custodial & Grounds Services in Plant Operations. Aside from a few leaky windows due to the driving rain, there was a minor flood in the Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall but no reported roof leaks.

The wind was the real cause for concern, as a number of rooftop air handling units were blown clean off during the storm, including three atop the General Services Complex.

Several full trees were also blown over around campus, along with a number of split trees and hundreds of downed branches. A willow tree (pictured above) near Conrad Grebel was one of the storm's victims. Undergraduate student Ian Reed snapped this pic of students posing atop the snapped trunk of this once-mighty tree.

A crew came in on Friday after the storm to remove tree debris from roads and sidewalks. According to Galloway, it will take a couple of weeks for them to clean up the tree material scattered all over the place.


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IST Organizes for Success

A message from Information Systems & Technology (IST).

In November 2012, Information Systems & Technology (IST) launched an intensive process to review the overall organization of the department. Working with Human Resources (HR) and a consulting firm, this process included a review of the department structure and resources, services and systems, and service needs from the university IT and campus communities. An environmental scan of comparable institutions coupled with IT trends in higher education emphasized the need for a proactive approach. It was clear we needed to refocus, establish strategic goals and initiatives for the department, and align our directions with the overall strategic plan for the university. We needed to “Organize for Success”.

The objectives of the Organize for Success (OFS) initiative were achieved through a broad consultative and collaborative process with key clients. Building on the recommendations from the OFS consultants, the valuable feedback we received during the consultations, and the work of the IT Strategic Plan Task Force, we established overall IT Strategic directions that will

  • Revitalize our student IT environment,
  • Grow our technology-enabled learning environment,
  • Build upon information and technology foundations to support research and administration, and
  • Work together to improve usability, delivery and support of IT services.

The organizational design

To facilitate the achievement of these directions, it was imperative that we build upon and reposition many of the existing IST resources and address the identified gaps within the structure. This work was completed in consultation with the university’s Human Resources department, Staff Relations, and the Staff Association.

The new organizational design will promote a federated approach to IT. A federated model, which combines the advantages of both the centralized and decentralized designs, will help to balance central (campus wide) and local (faculty or support unit) IT needs. It is also a model that will require specific roles to be worked out and defined services established in order to be successful.

This restructuring of resources into the new organization structure is also intended to enrich the overall IT experience for IST staff and clients alike as we work collaboratively to ensure the optimum level of service is delivered by the right people, in the right organizational unit, at the right time, in a highly interactive, agile, adaptive manner.

More information on the reorganization, including new IST units, a summary of staff changes, implementation of the new organization, and a diagram of the new structure can be viewed on the uWaterloo Connect IT blog.

IST will be scheduling an Open House session and Friday Morning Seminar in the fall term to further explain the organizational design and answer any questions.


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For co-op student, variety was the spice of life

by Shannon Tigert. This is an excerpt of a longer piece published in the Inside sCo-op newsletter, the latest issue of which is available online.

When students have a successful work term, it could result in an opportunity to return to that employer for the next work term as opposed to looking for a new job. Both of these options can have advantages and disadvantages, and can be a big decision for the student. As Jessica Cheung (4A Accounting and Financial Management) discovered, returning to an employer over multiple work terms can be a great decision with opportunities for growth and success. Here is her story:

Jessica Cheung.“I started working at Manulife Financial, and more specifically within Manulife Bank, as a Business Analyst in Information Systems back in 2011 for my second work term. As an Accounting and Finance student at Waterloo, I wanted to try a job that would be different from the accounting role I had pursued in my previous work term. It turned out to be a great decision. From my first day at Manulife, I was amazed at the environment and the people working there. The work setting was very open, including glass meeting rooms, a spacious layout, and lots of greenery everywhere that livened up the workplace.

After completing my work term at Manulife, I had the opportunity to return to the same position for my next co-op term. I had learned so much and it had been a positive experience for me overall, so I gladly accepted. It is very important as a co-op student is to have a clear sense of the role and what to expect over the course of the work term.

This is where Manulife made a real effort to manage my expectations. At the start of each work term, I would sit down with my manager and plan out goals for the duration of the term that fit with both the business’ needs as well as my own learning and development objectives. Towards the end of my second work term, I mentioned to my manager that I was keen to try working in a different position. He set up a meeting for me with the Director of Finance at Manulife Bank, who gave me some coaching on possible career paths and helped me arrange a job shadow opportunity. I observed a Reporting Analyst in the Financial Reporting department, which helped me get a better idea of what my general responsibilities and tasks might be.

While considering the offer to return to Manulife for my last two co-op terms, I had to fully evaluate alternative opportunities that other companies were offering. One key thing I wished to achieve during my co-op terms was to experience different jobs that would help me find a job after I graduated. Manulife responded to this desire by offering me a different role within the same department during my third co-op, and a completely different role and department for my final co-op. I was delighted to be able to experience different roles within the same organization and also grow with the company, as reflected in my increasing responsibilities with each return. I was slightly nervous about leaving the department I worked in for two years, but my co-workers and manager were very supportive of my decision and helped facilitate the move. I believe the time I have spent working in Manulife Bank has prepared me well for the transition. To be successful in any job you must be driven and passionate about what you do. Manulife recognized these qualities in me, and in return facilitated and supported my move to the finance and accounting program for further development. I consider myself fortunate to be working in an organization where they take seriously the goals that employees set for themselves regardless of whether you are a permanent employee or a co-op student.”

Jessica is currently on her last co-op term at Manulife Financial.

This week’s poll question: What faculty are Accounting and Financial Management students a part of? Take a guess and enter to win a lunch bag!


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Link of the day

Still a lot of ice cream, 25 years later

When and where

History Speaker Series featuring Shi Zhihong, "International News Reporting in Chinese Provincial Newspapers: a Personal Experience and Understanding," Wednesday, July 24, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., HH116.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, July 24, 7:15 p.m., MC 5136. Details.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 25, SLC lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

VeloCity Demo Day and Venture Fund Finals, Thursday, July 25, 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

Shad Valley Waterloo Open Day, Thursday, July 25, 1:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel great hall.

ChemEd 2013 conference, Sunday, July 28 to Thursday, August 1. Details.

WatRISQ seminar featuring Roger Lee, associate professor of mathematics, University of Chicago, "Variance Swaps on Time-Changed Markov Processes," Monday, July 29, 4:00 p.m., M3 3127. Details.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, July 31, 7:15 p.m., MC 5136. Details.

QKD Summer School 2013, Monday July 29 to Friday, August 2, Institute for Quantum Computing. Details.

Spring Term lectures end, Tuesday, July 30 (which is a Monday class schedule).

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology seminar featuring Professor Jeff Dahn, Dalhousie University, "Why do Li-ion batteries die and can they be immortal?" Tuesday, July 30, 11:00 a.m., QNC 1501. Details.

Institute for Quantum Computing presents Roee Ozeri, Department of Complex Systems at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, "The Ion-Qubit Toolbox," a three-part lecture mini-course, Tuesday, July 30, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., QNC 1102/1103. Details.

Pre-examination study days, Wednesday, July 31 to Monday, August 5.

Student Success Office presents "Strength in Numbers: Student Leader Networking Event," Wednesday, July 31, 5:00 p.m., RCH 306. Details.

Civic Holiday, Monday, August 5, university closed.

Drop, Penalty 2 Period ends, Monday, August 5.

3rd Annual Conference on Quantum Cryptography, Monday, August 5 to Friday, August 9, Institute for Quantum Computing. Details.

On-campus examinations begin, Tuesday, August 6.

Institute for Quantum Computing presents John Preskill, Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, "Quantum Computing and the Entanglement Frontier," Tuesday, August 6, 7:00 p.m., QNC 0101. Details.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, August 7, 7:15 p.m., MC 5136. Details.

Online class examination days, Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10.

Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, Sunday, August 11 to Friday, August 23, Conrad Grebel University College. Details.

Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students, Monday, August 12 to Friday, August 16, Institute for Quantum Computing. Details.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, August 14, 7:15 p.m., MC 5136. Details.

Tour For Kids 1-Day Cycling Tour, Saturday, August 17, 7:00 a.m., Ron Eydt Village. Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence presents Instructional Skills Workshop, Tuesday, August 20 to Friday, August 23, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Details.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Job ID# 2202 - Senior Manager, Research Ethics – Office of Research, USG 11
• Job ID# 2197 - Web & Communications Specialist – Housing & Residences, USG 8
• Job ID# 2199 – Administrative Officer – Retail Services, USG 8
• Job ID# 2138 – Administrative Manager – Dean of Mathematics, USG 7
• Job ID# 2200 – Senior Case Consultant – Conflict Management and Human Rights, USG 9
• Job ID# 2186 – Graduate & Research Co-ordinator / Student Advisor – School of Optometry, USG 6
• Job ID# 2198 – Director of Major Gifts – Office of Development, USG 14
• Job ID# 2201 – Faculty Financial Officer – Dean of Environment Office, USG 10

Internal Secondment opportunity, viewable on myCareer@uWaterloo

• Strategist, Library Communications and Web Management – Library – USG 8 - 12 months secondment

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