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She is an Inspiration: Natalia Zigante

Waterloop is a student design team working on building Canada’s Hyperloop. The team has competed at SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition, both I and II.

It was my pleasure to have a chat with Natalia, who has a strong personality and always gives her best to whatever she does. This winter term, she is overseeing all the administrative sub teams: finance, marketing, web, sponsorship, and media/graphics. She runs the marketing team with 4 other amazing members and also continues to run Waterloop’s social media platforms. More information about Waterloop can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@team_waterloop).  

 

Name: Natalia Zigante

Program: 3A Sports and Business

Hometown: Mississauga, ON

 

How do you describe yourself?

Independent – I’ve always been an independent person growing up, wanting to achieve and do things on my own. I feel this has helped me really become a strong individual.

Motivated and Driven – Whenever I have an idea, am taking on a new project or task, or feel strongly about something, I put all I have into it in order to make it a success. Small or big, I’m very driven to whatever I put my mind to.

Ambitious – Currently, I’m the only person on Waterloop in Applied Health Sciences. Coming from zero technical background, I joined an engineering team with 15 brilliant guys. Seemed intimidating and not at all what I expected to do entering University, but with an ambitious and curious mind, I ventured in.

Happy – Any feedback I’ve gotten from employers, it always includes my positivity and smiling self. I always find a reason to smile or laugh; it can really turn your day or someone else’s day around.

 

How did you get involve in Waterloop?

December 2015, as I was just finishing up my 1A term at the University of Waterloo, my older brother told me all about this student design team he joined, which was competing in a new competition hosted by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. He asked if I wanted to start and run the marketing team. As an eager first year looking to gain experience, I jumped at the opportunity and started running all their social media channels.

 

 

What is your favorite part about Waterloop?

My favourite part of Waterloop is the 100+ members on this team that have made this experience worthwhile. Everyone has an open and determined mindset, so driven and passionate about creating a new reality of transportation, and it’s a such a pleasure to work with them. We have been through many ups and downs over the years as a team and have never backed down from an obstacle or challenge.

 

 

What is your motto?

“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.” – Albert Schweitzer

Sounds cheesy, but I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason. My second co-op term, I struggled finding a job. I went through days of thinking I wasn’t going to get one. I became frustrated and discouraged as the days passed. I was sitting in a coffee shop one day in July when I received a phone call from HR at TribalScale with a job offer. I was so close to not answering the phone because I didn’t recognize the number and sometimes I just let it go to voicemail. Later that night, I received another offer from a different company. If I didn’t answer the phone, I would be in a totally different place today. A simple decision turned into something much bigger. Answering the phone changed my life and I received the most incredible experience, where I found what I love to do and where I want to be.

It may take days, months, or even years, but over the years I’ve learned even the worst situations have some kind of meaning behind them. Things fall apart so other things can fall together. Some doors close, so new and more exciting doors can open.

 

What would you tell your freshman self?

If I were to travel back in time and tell my freshman self one thing, it would be to explore as much as you can. Take a course outside your comfort zone, start a new club, try something new everyday. Small or big, there is so much to explore in this world.

 

 

What is your best memory at UW?

My best memory didn’t happen in Waterloo or even in Canada, but in the three years of my university career, it has to be travelling to California to compete at the Hyperloop Competition with Waterloop. Around 30 members of our team spent just over a week together in an Airbnb in Inglewood, about 15 minutes from the SpaceX facilities. We got to travel around the city, spend time at the beach, visit Hollywood, and check out some cool art museums. It was a great bonding experience for the team and definitely brought us all closer together.

 

 

Thank you for your time. I admire all of your great achievements and wish you more of what you already have: intelligence, determination and willingness to take risks.

 

Nicole Dang

Waterloo '21

Hi! I'm Nicole, a third-year Science and Business student at University of Waterloo
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