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  • Sydney Nguyen

UWaterloo’s Engineering Society Connects Students through Virtual Speed-Friending Events

Many universities are facing the challenge of connecting first year students virtually. With classes and social life online, it’s especially difficult for first-years to meet new people and form strong relationships. At University of Waterloo, the Engineering Society is finding new ways to help integrate first years with the university.

Zoey Zhang, a member of UWaterloo’s Engineering Society, wanted to give first years the opportunity to virtually meet each other and upperclassmen in a comfortable and casual environment. She didn’t want to just put first years in a large group zoom call where most people don’t get the chance to talk. Zhang decided to use Glimpse, a platform that rotates people through one-on-one, time-boxed video calls. 

“Glimpse helped students feel much more connected to their student community,”  Zhang said. Students were able to match with people within their same academic program as well as outside of it which helped students explore outside of their own majors. 

When college was in-person, students often had fun, quick conversations with other students in their dorm and classes. Glimpse helps recreate the feeling of bumping into another student and having a spontaneous conversation.  “Students had one-on-one interactions on Glimpse that helped them make friends, meet new people, and feel less awkward,”  Zhang said. 

In the future, UWaterloo plans on using Glimpse for recruitment events and career fairs with employers from the Engineering Society’s employer relations portfolio. 

If you are looking to organize speed friending events, here are our best tips and tricks for using Glimpse:

  • Customize the icebreaker prompts to personalize your event

  • Decide on a match time length (the default is 2 minutes) that best suits your event

  • Customize the match types to pair people with similar interests together

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