Waterloo’s AIF Example
Fernanda Munoz - June 26th, 2023
If you’re applying to the University of Waterloo, you’ll need to submit a Waterloo’s AIF (Admission Information Form) along with your application. This document provides the admissions committee with a better understanding of who you are and what you’re passionate about. Here are some tips and tricks to help you write a successful AIF.
Waterloo values academic excellence, innovation, and entrepreneurship. They look for students who are passionate about learning and have a strong work ethic. They also value diversity and inclusivity, and strive to create a welcoming and supportive community for all students. Waterloo seeks students who have a desire to make a positive impact on the world, whether through research, entrepreneurship, or community service. The university encourages students to take risks and pursue their passions, and provides the resources and support necessary to help them succeed. In addition, Waterloo values experiential learning, which is why they offer a co-op program that allows students to gain real-world experience in their chosen field. Overall, Waterloo is looking for students who are driven, curious, and eager to make a difference in the world.
Understanding the Prompts
The AIF prompts are designed to help you showcase your skills and experiences. Be sure to read each prompt carefully and provide specific examples to support your responses. Here are the prompts you’ll need to address:
1. Please tell us about your educational goals, your interest in your chosen program(s), and your reasons for applying to the University of Waterloo. If you have applied to more than one program please discuss your interest in each program. (900 character limit)
How to answer:
Make sure you answer each part of the prompt! You should also mention, in 1-2 sentences, what you wish to bring to the Waterloo community and should mention how your previous experience have given you unique skills and abilities that you will bring to this university. Be as specific as possible and remember to mention specific clubs and projects you want to join at Waterloo.
I am interested in pursuing a degree in computer science at the University of Waterloo. My educational goals are to gain a deeper understanding of computer science concepts and develop my skills in programming and problem-solving. I am excited about the innovative and entrepreneurial atmosphere at Waterloo and believe that it will provide me with opportunities to explore my interests and potentially start my own company one day. I am also interested in the co-op program, as it will provide me with valuable real-world experience in the field. Overall, I am excited about the prospect of studying at Waterloo and contributing to its diverse and inclusive community.
2. Activity Summary: List
3. Provide any additional information about anything in the above table. (600 character limit)
How to Answer:
Choose ONE experience to explain, otherwise, it ends up being a reiteration of the original list. Make sure to follow the STAR model to make this effective and easy to follow!
Situation: 1 sentence (can be merged with Task) = What was this activity about and what was its goal?
Task: 1 sentence (can be merged with Situation) = What was your role here and your main responsibility?
Action: 1-2 sentences = What were the steps you took to fulfill your role and achieve your goal?
Result: 1-2 sentences = What were the positive outcome of your involvement in this activity? How have you impacted the lives of the people involved? What are the tangible results of your actions?
As a grade 12 student, I volunteered at a local food bank to help those in need during the pandemic. It was a fulfilling experience to see the positive impact we were making in the community, and it taught me the importance of giving back and being grateful for what I have.
During my time volunteering at the food bank, I assisted with preparing food hampers, organizing donations, and helping with the distribution of food to those in need. I gained valuable experience in project management, teamwork, and problem-solving. I learned how to effectively communicate with others in a fast-paced environment and how to prioritize tasks to ensure that everything was completed on time.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my volunteer work was seeing the impact we were making in the community. It was heartwarming to see the gratitude of those who received our food hampers and to know that we were making a real difference in their lives. This experience also taught me the importance of giving back to the community and inspired me to continue volunteering in the future.
Overall, my volunteer work at the food bank was a transformative experience that helped me grow as a person and develop important skills that will serve me well in the future. It was a reminder that even small acts of kindness can have a big impact on those in need, and that we all have the power to make a positive difference in the world.
4. Are there any issues or circumstances (e.g., medical, personal, or financial) that may have affected your academic record? If YES, please describe the circumstance in detail below. We are particularly interested in issues or circumstances that directly affected your academic performance and that led to a rise or drop in grades or to changes in your academic or personal goals. (900 character limit)
How to Answer:
This is optional but highly encouraged as it provides you with the opportunity to expand on your experiences and further show your character. If you want to answer this prompt, make sure to mention what issues you faced, the impact of such issues, the action steps you took to endure them or face them and the lessons that this experience left you.
As a grade 12 student, I was diagnosed with ADHD, which made it difficult for me to focus and stay organized. This led to a drop in my grades and a loss of motivation. However, I was determined to overcome this challenge and sought out resources and support from my school and community. I worked closely with my guidance counselor and teachers to develop strategies for staying on task and managing my time effectively. I also started attending tutoring sessions and working with a private tutor to improve my study skills. These efforts paid off, and I was able to bring my grades back up and regain my confidence. This experience taught me the importance of perseverance and seeking help when needed, and has inspired me to pursue a career in psychology to help others who may be facing similar challenges.
5. In addition to the specific information requested in all of the AIF questions, please tell us anything else about yourself that you would like us to know when we review your application. Please make sure to complete all sections of the AIF before submitting this page. (900 character limit)
How to Answer:
This is optional but we encourage students to answer this question in order to show a genuine interest in the school! If you choose to answer it, you can discuss:
- Further volunteer/leadership involvements
- Future goals
- How you plan to contribute to Waterloo
- Further challenging circumstances you faced
- Personal interests or projects (Preferably relevant to your field of study)
Throughout high school, I have been actively involved in community service and volunteer work. I have been a member of my school’s Interact club for three years, and have participated in various events such as food drives, beach cleanups, and fundraisers for local charities. I have also volunteered at a local hospital, where I assisted with patient care and administrative tasks. In addition, I have a passion for music, and have been playing the piano for over ten years. I have performed in several recitals and competitions, and have also accompanied my school’s choir and drama productions. I believe that my experiences in community service and music have helped me develop important leadership and teamwork skills, as well as a strong work ethic and dedication to excellence. I am excited about the prospect of attending the University of Waterloo and contributing to its diverse and inclusive community.
Tips and Tricks
- Be specific. Don’t just say you participated in a club or received an award. Provide details about what you did and why it was important to you.
- Use concrete examples. Whenever possible, provide specific examples to support your answers. This will help the admissions committee get a better sense of who you are.
- Be honest. Don’t exaggerate your achievements or pretend to be someone you’re not. The admissions committee is looking for authentic and genuine applicants.
- Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality. The AIF is an opportunity to show off your unique qualities and interests. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
- Students generally apply to Waterloo for the co-op, which is expected and encouraged. They will need to define how they specifically want to grow through co-op (personally, professionally, academically).
- The committee is not overly concerned with tone — focus more on direct writing than overall impression. However, students should still demonstrate academic curiosity and potential.
By following these tips and addressing each of the AIF prompts thoroughly, you’ll be well on your way to submitting a successful application to the University of Waterloo. If you are looking for more personalized help, don’t hesitate to take this quiz to learn about the help that you can get from GrantMe!
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