Member Spotlight: Blueprint President Will Nippard
UW Blueprint is a student run club that provides top-tier tech for non-profit organizations. Founded at the University of Waterloo 2 years ago, we could not have provided strong partnerships with NPO’s without the dedication, passion, and time of our members. We’ll be spotlighting different members and teams. Some will be the returning members of Blueprint, having worked on several projects, and some will be new to the team as of a month ago, just starting their work with Blueprint.
Tell us about yourself, and your background with Blueprint.
I just graduated from the Computer Science program this December. I did a few work terms with HealthIM, a startup that develops software to assist police services with mental health crisis situations, which is now where I work at full time as an Implementations Developer. Half the time, I help police, healthcare and community mental health agencies get HealthIM’s software up and running. The other half of the time, I build software and adjust it based on what different groups need.
With regard to Blueprint, I got involved in my last term of University as a Project Developer, back in Fall 2017 — a large reason being because I really liked their mission and what the club stood for. I stumbled across it in a way… I’m not actually sure how I found out about it, but it was probably on Club’s Day!
As President, what are your future plans, and what are you looking forward to?
Every four months, we have a new team, which can make it difficult to handoff the projects we’ve been working on. So, my main goal is to iron any communications issues out to improve handoff. A step towards this might be working with more local initiatives, where we can have face to face meetings with the client, which helps add some ownership and accountability — which could really improve some of the communication issues. I think there’s a lot of interesting things we at Blueprint can look into doing to become more adaptive, reactive, and fluid to these kinds of situations.
What kind of culture do you hope to continue or instill at Blueprint?
I think the most important part is instilling the core values that have always been there — we’re doing this work because it does good for the world, in a sense. It sounds a little grandiose, but the main point of Blueprint is to help, which is integral to Blueprint, and will always be a core part of its culture.
The other part is maintaining the “friend group” feel — this term, I love how engaged everyone seemed right off the bat, so I’m thrilled with how this term has kicked off. I also want to make Blueprint a “network” in a sense, where people can make connections through the people they work with at Blueprint, which could be really helpful for co-op jobs — learning how to optimize that would be really cool.
As a past Developer, or President, what have you learned in your journey with Blueprint?
As President, I’ve been focusing on ways we can improve and build a stronger foundation for Blueprint, whether it be improving areas through handoff, or our day to day workflow. So, I think my biggest takeaways are still to come — as President, I’m going to try new things, and, hopefully, find something that works. I’m going to learn a ton about how to help teams communicate, how to actually instill the kind of culture Blueprint strives for, and how to best work with such a diverse team, who come from all kinds of different backgrounds and disciplines.