“I need to fully understand how things work, which is why I like engineering.”
- Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
- Campus: Okanagan
Year: 3rd year
You completed a diploma in engineering technology. Why did you want to go to university?
I couldn’t afford to go to university as an international student. So after I graduated from Okanagan College I worked as a civil engineering technologist for Advance Precast where I did product testing and drafted shop drawings. After I got my permanent resident status, I applied to UBC Okanagan’s engineering program and started here in January 2022.
How did you choose your program specialization?
I’m not someone who can just memorize things and be satisfied. I need to fully understand how things work, which is why I like engineering as a whole. I also like to see what I’m doing, so some elements of mechanical and electrical engineering weren’t as interesting to me. I like civil engineering because of the technology used in the industry and because I think it has better job opportunities.
You’re working part time while going to school. Tell us about your work experience.
I started at UBC in January 2022 after the application date for the co-op option. So I reached out to a bunch of companies I was interested in to see if I could get a job in my area. I was hired at D.E. Piling for a summer position and I am still working there part time during the school year. I like the work and there’s a lot to learn. It’s a consulting company, so the projects change all the time – I’ve helped out on the civil design of projects that range from grading a site to make sure water flows properly to designing a home. I love the challenging parts of the job and my co-workers are incredible.
Any advice for other students?
Figure out what works for you and your learning style. At university, unlike college or high school, no one is going to tell you what to do. Are you the sort of person who needs to prep in advance for a lecture? Do you need to write out your notes? I learned that I need to separate my school work from everything else, so I stay on campus to get all my assignments done, even if that means staying late. When I am home, I do not think about school at all, which is a nice break. My brain is in relaxing mode!
Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that you are doing so many tests and assignments that a year from now you won’t even remember your mark. As long as you’re passing, as long as you’re getting the average required to be eligible for co-op or a master’s degree if that’s what you want, achieving more than that doesn’t really get you anywhere. It’s as important to take care of your mental health, socialize with friends and get work experience. There is so much more to university than your grades.