Be Confident In Who You Are And Believe In Yourself: An Engineer's Key To Success

"The opportunities that UBC Engineering offers are fantastic. It goes beyond the classes you take."

Raeiti Azarkeyvan

Raeiti Azarkeyvan

  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Program:
  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Year: Fourth year (as of July 2023)

Why did you want to study engineering?

I had decided on engineering by Grade 11 because I really liked to solve problems, fix things and take things apart to figure out how they work. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else!

Why did you choose UBC?

I grew up in North Vancouver and knew that I wanted to move away from home, but when I was 17, the idea of moving somewhere completely different than my hometown was a bit intimidating. I’m very happy I picked UBC: it's far enough from my home that I can enjoy all the outdoor activities that Vancouver has to offer, while experiencing something new.

How did you choose your specialization in Environmental Engineering?

At first, I thought I wanted to do computer engineering, even though I had minimal coding experience. First year does a really good job of introducing you to different engineering disciplines and helping you understand what the specializations are like. After completing the coding course offered to engineering students in first year, I quickly realized it was not something I saw myself doing as a full-time job. I also realized I didn’t want to be behind a screen every day, and that I wanted a career that also included outside field work.

Foundation Year Environmental Engineering

What are some of the highlights of your education so far?

One of the highlights of my education so far has been all the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made through being in the program.

The first-year classes are challenging, and you have to work hard to get through them – which allows you have to work with other people. It’s a great way to make friends!

Also, the opportunities that UBC Engineering offers are fantastic. It goes beyond the classes you take. There are opportunities for you academically, professionally, socially – there’s so many different things you can do depending on what interests you.

Are you involved in any clubs or teams?

I’ve been doing a bunch of little things. I was involved with UBC Solar, which I joined in first year. After that I worked with UBC WasteNauts. They were focussed on using waste as a product. I really enjoyed that work and got to lead my own project. I was also the Co-President of Environmental Engineering in my third year and took on a lot of leadership initiatives – from running meetings and connecting with students and staff to attending events within the EUS

UBC SolarUBC WasteNautsEngineering Undergraduate Society

You went on a student exchange to Denmark! Tell us about it.

I spent four months at Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen through UBC’s Coordinated International Experience.  It was an amazing experience that made my degree so much more valuable to me. I took four master’s-level courses and got credit at UBC for all of them. I travelled a lot and met so many people – I now have friends from all around the world. I highly recommend the CIE program!

Coordinated International Experience

What have your co-op experiences been like?

Co-op has been awesome and totally worth it for me. Even if it extends your degree by a year, it allows you to learn more about the opportunities within your specialization and figure out what you really like to do. A lot of times the things you learn in the classroom are very theoretical, whereas co-op is very practical, such as learning to use different software applications.


How do you see yourself using your engineering degree?

I don’t exactly know where I want to work, however, I do know that I want to take some time to work and gain experience after I graduate and then hopefully go on to do a master’s degree.  

I don’t see myself working somewhere where I feel like I'm just doing the same thing – where I'm not learning anymore and I'm just executing. I want to work in a position where I feel satisfied with the work I'm doing, and where I know the work that I'm doing is valuable and making a difference.

Any advice for other students?

In first year, it can be hard to ignore the fact that you may not be the top of the class anymore and that you are somewhere in the middle. Remind yourself that we are all different and unique in our own ways.

Be confident in who you are, believe in yourself and know that there's light at the end of the tunnel.

UBC environmental engineering students taking a reading in an urban creek.

Environmental Engineering

As one of the most beautiful places anywhere, British Columbia is an ideal location to pursue an Environmental Engineering degree. UBC offers two Environmental Engineering Programs...

Environmental Engineering

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