Back to Skule with the Mech and Indy Club Chairs: A Q&A with Sydney & Minnie

Sydney Anonuevo (IndE 2T2+PEY) and Minnie Menezses (MechE 2T2) are the Chairs of Indy and Mech Club for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Get ready for back to Skule by getting to know the Mech and Indy Club chairs for the 2022-2023 academic year! Sydney Anonuevo (IndE 2T2+PEY) and Minnie Menezes (MechE 2T2) share what they hope to achieve in Mech and Indy Clubs, their advice for first year students, and what they are most looking forward to this year.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are studying at MIE.

Sydney: I’m a Indy 2T2 + PEY and I’ve just finished my Co-Op at TC Energy in Calgary and am entering my final year of my undergraduate studies focusing on operations research (OR) and information systems (IS). Working at TC Energy was a great experience, I enjoyed the work I was doing and it was a great opportunity to explore a new city too. Along with my focus on OR and IS, I am pursuing the Engineering Business Minor and Leadership Certificate as they both align with my career path.

Minnie: I’m a Mech 2T2 and I’m actually entering my fifth year at MIE. I opted to spread my studies out over five full-time years, so that I could take additional classes and allow for some more time for extracurriculars. I’ve completed two minors and two certificates and still had the time to participate in CUBE (Club for Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering), NeuroTech, and Mech Club. During my undergrad, I pursued the Bioengineering and Mechatronics Streams and I’m planning on continuing my studies in graduate school next year.

How did you decide to get involved with Indy and Mech Club?

Sydney: I’ve always been heavily involved in volunteer work, throughout high school I volunteered with an organization that was similar to Indy Club. At U of T, I volunteered with FROSH week for two years and have acted as Social Director for two years with the Engineering Society. It’s part of my nature to want to give back to my community and help to build a welcoming atmosphere. I’m really glad to be acting as Indy Club Chair this year so I can be a part of building a fun university life for our students.

Minnie: I first got involved with Mech Club as the Second Year Representative and it was a great experience. I love helping out my peers, so the role gave me the perfect way to connect with more students and expand my reach. I like representing my peers and helping to make their MIE experience a positive one, especially during hard times, such as during the pandemic. I was the class rep again in Third Year and realized I had lots of ideas for further developing Mech Club, so I ran for Chair. This will be my second year as Mech Club Chair and I think it’s a fantastic way to get involved with the community.

What are you excited to achieve as Chair?

Sydney: The last two years have been tough for many people with a lot of our time being spent online and a limit to the amount of in-person activities we could do. I’m most excited for being able to revive in-person connections through Indy Club. We’re planning to implement more events throughout the year to give students a chance to get together and take a step back from academics. I’m looking forward to building our campus community and welcoming everyone back to Skule!

Minnie: We were technically already back in person last year, but everything was still very cautious, for good reason. This year, I’m really looking forward to creating more in-person points of connection for students through Mech Club events. We’re planning to have regularly scheduled events like movie nights throughout the semester, as well as larger ones such as the Ski Trip and the Engineering “Mechlympics” competition. I am also really excited to help plan the MIE Dinner Dance and rebuild our Mentorship program now that we’re getting comfortable back in person.

Bring yourself back to first year – what advice do you have for our new students?

Sydney: The most impactful advice I received when starting my first year was don’t compare yourself to everyone else. Your new classmates all come from different backgrounds with different experiences and you might not be the top of your class as you were in high school – and that’s okay! You belong here. Make sure you have a good balance between your studies and extracurriculars. Spend time doing things that make you happy to help avoid burnout.

Minnie: Take a break! Starting university can be overwhelming and sometimes it can feel like it’s always “go, go, go”. Schedule breaks to spend time with friends and step away from your studies. Use the small moments like walking between classes as an opportunity to connect and relax. It takes practice and some trial and error to learn good time management and what study skills work best for you, but once you master these it will become easier.

What are you most excited about in the 2022/2023 academic year?

Sydney: There are some courses I’m really looking forward to, one on scheduling which will help me formalize some of the skills I developed during my PEY this summer and Professor Carter’s Healthcare Systems course. I’m also excited for working with my team on our Capstone program – we’ve already selected a topic and I’m looking forward to getting started.

Outside of the academics, I can’t wait for the MIE Dinner Dance and of course all of the graduation celebrations!

Minnie: I’m taking some really interesting courses this year, mainly mechatronics, which I’m very excited about. Since I have more space for electives, I’m also taking a Neural Bioelectricity course and one in Machine Learning, which will give me an opportunity to explore topics outside of my chosen streams. I completed the BME Capstone project last year so I am also looking forward to having more time to be involved with CUBE and Mech Club.

Of course, I’m really looking forward to Iron Ring too and I’m so excited that we will be able to have the ceremonies and celebrate in person this year.

Anything else you want to add?

Sydney: Indy Club is here to help you! We are here to make your voices heard and act as the liaison between students, faculty, and department staff. We can help you find resources and get to know your peers. Reach out to us through email or on Instagram (make sure you’re following us: @indyclubuoft) to connect.

Minnie: I want to remind students that everyone is on their own unique path. You’ve made it into an amazing program at a great university and it’s up to you where you want to go from here – and there are lots of supports to help you achieve those goals. We can help you connect with resources and offer support; all you have to do is ask. Follow @mechclub on Instagram or send us an email to get in touch.

-Published September 1, 2022 by Lynsey Mellon, lynsey@mie.utoronto.ca


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